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’m such a fan of story retellings, so needless to say that I had high expectations for The Wrath & the Dawn. Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath & the Dawn is guaranteed to blow readers away in both its familiarity and uniqueness; in it’s characters and description. Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid- the young king of Khorasen who has killed all his brides by dawn- knowing that he would kill her as well. After he had her best friend Shiva killed, she took the risk of death and vowed to take her revenge before the dawn arrived. Shahrzad captures his attention with her spectacular storytelling and against all odds she survives the dawn, and the next one, too.
The Wrath & the Dawn is primarily a love story between Shahrzad and Khalid, although an extremely unconventional one. Some may even call their relationship problematic considering all the deaths by Khalid’s command. Their slow burning, chaotic relationship was definitely a refreshing one to read as it didn’t contain annoying tropes: instalove, the arrogant disrespectful man, the helpless girl, blah blah blah. Shahrzad is quick-witted, strong, a skilled archer, and heavily determined. She’s described as having a slight frame, but her mere presence on the pages demand readers and characters alike to be intimidated. Khalid on the other hand is somewhat vulnerable; although he can be quite intense and intimidating himself. Their matching fiery attitude causes severe- and interesting- bumps in their odd love story.
I thoroughly enjoyed the presence of magic in the book! When I first delved into the novel, I expected it to be a political fantasy- of which there is a fair share of- rather than a magical one. The third person perspective of the book was interesting to read, it allowing us to learn about the main side characters such as Shahrzad’s childhood sweetheart Tariq, and her father that possesses magical abilites, Jahandar.
Lastly, I would like to shoutout the growing diversity in YA novels! It will always be fascinating to read about new cultures and traditions that break away from our constructed “norm”. The world we live in is ridiculously diverse and we need to include that apparent diversity in our books; it’s only accurate. As I’ve said many times before: Representation in fiction is important.
The Wrath & the Dawn is definitely a must read for those who enjoy unconventional romances, diversity in characters, and fantastical magical retellings.
Last review: Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton
Next review: Kids of Appetite by David Arnold
Until next time!