Title: The Wrath and the Dawn.
Author: Renee Ahdieh.
Links:Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
The Wrath and the Dawn was an enthralling tale, packed full with romance and intrigue. Shahrzad is one of my absolute favourite characters of all time — she is so witty, strong and fiercely loyal, and is certainly not afraid to stand up for herself and what she believes in. She is filled with hate for the Caliph of Khorasan, the man who killed her best friend, and she has sworn to get revenge. Shahrzad doesn’t know why Khalid kills his wives — no-one does, but what she does know is that she will be the one to kill him. But, of course, that doesn’t turn out EXACTLY as she planned. She begins to unmask the monster that is Khalid piece by piece, learning as she does that he is not who she thought he was. Her relationship with Khalid grows slowly but surely, and in a way that is believable — she comes to love him as she sees past the monster and realises that what is behind that mask is something completely unexpected, and not quite as hideous as she originally thought. What I love the most, though, is that she doesn’t just accept that fact and forget all about what he did. She still knows what he has done, still wants him to pay – she stays loyal to her friend – but she finds herself torn. Torn between finding out who he is and why he does what he does, and making him pay for what he has done. Torn between her love for her friend, Shiva – and her childhood sweetheart, Tariq- and her growing love for this mysterious man with a cruel past. And the effect is completely compelling and wholly intriguing.
The world building in this book is spectacular; the world is beautifully described in such a way that you are transported right into Khorasan with Shahrzad and Khalid, you can see what they see, hear what they hear. You forget all about reality. All that exists are the buildings, people, clothes, food and the little hints of magic (something that I hope to hear more of in the second book!) in this world. Seriously, with the way that the food is described, don’t be surprised if you find your mouth watering and your stomach gnawing in hunger. And the clothes are all so gorgeous and richly described – it all makes me so envious!
Each and every chapter is wrought with suspense and told in different point of views to convey the different emotions and thoughts of each character- the whole effect is utterly breathtaking and wholly alluring. The Wrath and the Dawn is a stunning debut and I cannot wait to read the sequel, The Rose and the Dagger. Seriously, I might make a countdown on my phone. 😀
Rating: I absolutely LOVED this book. Renee Ahdieh did a spectacular job, so it’s no surprise that I’m giving this book a big ★★★★★