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The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: A Book Review

The Wrath and The Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Son’s Books
Release Date: 2015
Pages: 416
Source: My State Public Library
Synopsis: A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

       Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

     She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

      My Review: The Wrath and The Dawn is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights. Each day the King of Khorasan takes a bride, and the next night he murders them. One of the wives he kills is Shiva, Shahrzad’s best friend. Shahrzad volunteers to marry the king and hopes to avenge her death. While planning the perfect revenge, Shahrzad manages to survive by telling captivating stories, leaving a cliffhanger at the end of each tale that makes the king interested enough to keep her alive to hear the rest of the story. Yet, as she spends her time with the king, she begins to realize that he is not the cold-hearted murderer that he seemed and gradually falls in love with him.

     Shahrzad is a strong character because she is able to take care of herself. She is willing to give up her love, her hopes, her future, and her life to avenge her friend. She is very honest and bold. She is not afraid to stand up for what is right. She is also very observant. Therefore, she is a likable character. Yet, what I couldn’t understand was that in a few days, she falls in love with her best friend’s murderer. She never made any attempt at revenge for her friend. This did not make sense, story wise. Why would anyone fall in love with their best friend’s murderer in such a short time? He did not give a reason why he killed her best friend. Therefore, the romance felt awkward and off-putting. It would make more sense to make her fall in love with him after she found out his reasoning for his behavior. 

     Overall, this story is about courage, love, friendship, and honesty. The message of the book is that revenge does not replace loss. I felt the mystery aspect to be a bit disappointing. His motive for killing his wives did not really make sense. Yet, the characters were believable and fascinating, and I thought she did an excellent job world-building. Thus, The Wrath and The Dawn is perfect for readers who want to read a fast-paced fairy tale retelling with a strong heroine at its center.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


  1. Sounds like an intriguing tale! I wonder why the king murdered his wives on his wedding night. I guess i have to read to find out!


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