Thursday, June 8, 2017

"The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)" by Renee Ahdieh

I'd read several reviews that rated this book highly before I even put it on my watchlist because I'm very picky about young adult books, I tend to be disappointed by some of the highly rated YA books, and really, I tend to like adult books better. But the reviews were such that I convinced myself this one would be okay, as it had fantasy and romance and I tend to like that combination.

Initially, I liked it- the author has a wondrous way with words, Shahrzad is independent minded and bent on revenge, and the other characters (other than Khalid) were fairly likable, too. The atmosphere in this book was the best part of it for me- I'm a fan of Gothic romances, and this seems to follow in that tradition. You may see where this review is going- I liked some of the book, but I did have some major issues with the rest of it.

The Plot (As Seen on Goodreads):
'One Life to One Dawn.
'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?
'Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.'

I noticed someone comparing Khalid to Edward (of Twilight fame), and really, that's too kind of a comparison in my book. If Joffrey weren't so spoiled and single-minded- that is Khalid in my opinion. I can't discuss much in this review because I think more than a few people may go on to read it, but I felt like Shahrzad's spine dissolved after about two days in the palace (another highly disappointing part of the book for me). The love story failed to make me believe in it, and given that's core to this book, well- it's no mystery why I didn't like it.

Another issue I had with this book- although I tend to forgive most historical novels for keeping the heroine relatively secluded, not much happens with Shahrzad in this book. She pretty much kicks around the palace for most of it. The palace, while intriguing at first, bored me. Shahrzad is queen- that much is true, but I felt this book would've been better served with more action and less introspection/storytelling.

The Wrath and the Dawn is a lavishly written book that failed to impress me with its "love story". While I'm sure many people will find this book more than palatable, it didn't sit right with me, so I won't be recommending it unless you like hot, brooding boy kings. I may end up reading the second in the duology because I bought both for my Kindle, and though I scoff at the main love story, there is a secondary one that interests me.

Rating: 2 of 5 Stars for a fairy tale retelling that failed to spellbind me.


Age Advisory: Ages 16+ for cut scene sex (you don't read it, but you know it's there), violence, and murder.


Page Count: 395 pages

2 comments:

  1. I am sorry this one didn't work for you. I think yours is the first negative review I've come across. It's good to have an alternate viewpoint. I do want to read this one at some point, but admit it's not high up on my TBR list at this point.

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    1. I read a negative review of this on Goodreads and felt it was more spiteful than anything else, which was why I bought this book. However, given my penchant to dislike hyped books, I should've reconsidered buying both books to this duology. I hope you enjoy it whenever you get to reading it!
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Wendy!
      ~Litha Nelle

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