Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy (Retelling)
Number of Pages: 395
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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.
When I first picked this book up, I’ll admit that the very beginning had me a little wary. The story didn’t have me *quite* as enthralled as I had hoped. However, the writing was absolutely gorgeous, so I found myself continuing on. I am so glad that I did, because this book was simply breath taking, not to mention heart wrenching. Every element about this story, whether it be the romance, the magic, or even just the world building itself was just so well done and absolutely beautiful.
Renee Ahdieh doesn’t skimp on the details of this world. Everything is described in exquisite detail, whether it be the room that Shazi is sitting in, or the outfit that she’s wearing. Heck, even the descriptions of her meals are mesmerizing to read. To really just sum it up, Renee Ahdieh is one hell of a story teller.
Her awesome story telling skills really make her characters come to life. Every character had their own distinct personality, even those who have little to no dialogue. Shazi was wonderful. I have a weakness for female characters that are equipped with a silver tongue, and Shazi is definitely exemplary in that respect. I really loved how strong and smart she was. I thought she was the perfect match for Khalid. Speaking of Khalid, he was just…swoon worthy. Don’t be fooled, he is definitely a total jerk sometimes, but he does have a sweet side. It’s just buried. Very, very, very deep. These two characters share some moments that had me cheering and flailing and nearly crying. Okay, I’ll be honest, I was ugly crying by the end of this book…
All in all, this book is quite possibly the most beautiful thing that I’ve read in quite a while. This is some grade A, prime, beautifully done romance with some really great action and politics going on too. Five (million) out of five stars.