I really only have good things to say about this book. I loved it. I loved the story. I never felt like it got slow or anything. My attention was captured the entire time.
The Wrath and The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, the story of Shahrzad. Every night Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride only to have them killed the next morning. After Shahrzad’s best friend falls victim to him, she volunteers with the intent on killing the 18-year-old king. Each night she tells him a story, making him lose track of time and ensuring that she’ll live on to see another dawn. With each passing day she realizes there more to Khalid than just the monster the world thinks he is, and expectantly, the two begin to fall in love. The book captures their story as Shahrzad tries to navigate seeking revenge for her friend, seeking the secrets of Khalid, and seeking her heart.
First of all, I loved the retelling aspect of it. I’ve always been really interested in One Thousand and One Nights and I loved how the over all story was based on it. I also loved how Shahrzad retold some of the stories and how Renée Ahdieh was able to relate them to the plot of the book.
That said, I thought the plot was incredible. The book is told in third person and from multiple points of view. At the beginning, it was a little tough to wrap my head around because of the large cast of characters and my interest laid primarily with Shahrzad, but I really grew to love it. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I loved every scene.
I also fell in love with the setting. I love how it’s based in the cultures of the Middle East, which I find so rich and beautiful. Renée Ahdieh’s writing is so enchanting. She paints such vivid images with her words that just brings everything to life. The food, the clothing, the architecture, the everything else were woven into the story in a way that just immerses you the world and you don’t want to leave.
And I loved all the characters. I found Jalal and Rahim hilarious and I loved how they were both so loyal to their friends. I thought Shahrzad was an incredibly strong heroine but she was also realistic and relatable. I loved seeing her grow throughout the book. I found Tariq interesting and admirable because of the lengths he’ll go for the love of Shahrzad. But Khalid is my new love. I loved his character development and how slowly throughout the story, he’s character is revealed. Like Shahrzad I felt like this character was convincing and realistic he is. I love the monstrous aspects of him and I love the side of him that loves his people and Shahrzad so deeply.
By the number of times I said “love” in this caption, you can tell this is definitely one of my favorite books. Everything about it was just so beautiful, I give it all the stars in the sky.