I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Published by Penguin on May 12, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Retelling
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.
The Wrath and the Dawn was an entertaining twist on a very old story. Drawing upon the story that framed all of the others in One Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn creates a Shahrzad who volunteers to marry the murdering king in order to avenge the death of her best friend. The idea that she is actually there to murder her new husband sets a tone for the story and was a nice twist. Everyone thought she would be begging for her life when, in fact, the King should have been worried for his own. It also gave the love story a very interesting start, to say the least. Life in the palace was described in great detail which painted a rich and dangerous world in which Kalid and Shazi must live. Thankfully, as Shazi plots her husband’s demise, we also get a glimpse of things through Khalid’s eyes. For me, this was essential, because clearly, he is not the monster he seems.
Shahrzad must navigate the complicated politics of the palace, all the while learning more and more confising facts about Khalid. While this is not a strict retelling, really, the source material served as a foundation for a new story that very ably took on a life of its own. There were some aspects of the book that I felt weren’t fully formed. Instead of the repetition of Shazi’s days in the palace I would have liked more about how her feelings for her new home and the people around her, developed. However, as I’ve said many time before, I always give first books a pass, especially this one because I feel like this series is going to grow into something that will completely pull me in. The Wrath and the Dawn was an interesting start to a series that will undoubtedly gain a huge fan base.