This review would not have existed without my friend Priyaa who persuaded me into reading this picturesque masterpiece. Thanks a million.
I was coming into this book blind, not knowing what’s it about, which is rare for me because I often find myself watching booktube recommendations and knowing the expectations that come with it. Luckily, The Wrath and The Dawn did not disappoint, in fact, it is most likely up there as one of my favourites!
The novel itself was inspired by the tale, A Thousand and One Nights which I was not familiar with. But the gist of the story surrounds the life of a king so cruel, he would marry maidens only to kill them comes dawn. Until one girl had the idea to tell him stories every night but never finishes them, in order to survive. The novel follows the same storyline but with little enthralling twists.
Characters so beautifully written, you’ll fall in love
Renee Ahdieh’s own take on the age-old characters is quite refreshing. She laces each character with such elegance that you’ll guarantee to fall in love with them. The supposedly vicious Caliph Khalid Ibn al-Rashid has such a character complex that (like me) you’ll be confused on whether to despise him or completely fall head over heels. A character so charming yet agitating due to all of the nonsensical choices he makes. And of course, we also have our leading lady, Shahrzad al Khayzuran, the modern heroine. She’s fearless, witty, impulsive with a lot of Hollywood sass and relatability factor. Reading this novel, I feel attached to the characters, there is a similar sense of attachment towards them, likewise with Harry Potter characters.
Oh, and did I mention that everyone is POC? No? Okay. Every character (except Despina, she is of white Grecian decent I’m assuming) are POC.
Welcome to picturesque, Khorasan
The fact that it isn’t set in the West, in particular, is already a huge selling point. In the novel, we get a glimpse of old Khorasan a historical region in the middle east, which is a Caliphate (state) under Khalid. Ahdieh manages to vividly describe every setting the story took place. There is an enthralling description of the attires, jewels and gems, food and architecture along with clink of swords and bullseye shots of arrows on the sidelines.
Swift Plot and Heartwarming Romance
The plot dances swiftly from the beginning to the ending, keeping you at the edge of your seat with each scene between the lovebirds giving a little flip to your heart. All of Khalid’s cheesy lines are guaranteed to make you go aawwwwh. Although so, the couple took it slow and you can see the relationship building up, none of that insta-love crap we see so often in YA novels nowadays. It’s next to impossible to put the book down but as you approach the end, you’d wish that somehow the book stretches and you could keep marvelling at the beauty with which Ahdieh has designed the story, carefully weaved it with superb dialogues.
What I don’t really favour about this book is, of course, the cliffhanger at the end. But what’s a series without one?
Honestly, having no particular expectations, this book managed to sweep me off my feet. I would definitely recommend giving it a read. If you are into diving into a cultural adventure and a whirlwind of romance, this book is for you!
Final Rating – ★★★★☆
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Thanks for reading, see ya in the next one!