Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Published: May 12th 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Categories: Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
External Links: Book Depository • Goodreads
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights
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.
I read a short story just recently (like just two to three weeks ago?) called 眠れぬ王に捧ぐ夜語 (a story for sleepless king at night). It is, like The Wrath and the Dawn, a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights. If it weren’t for the length (which I think was intentionally short hence was rushed) I would’ve loved it even more because I liked how it used the stories she tells, a very important part of the plot (and and to refrain from spoiling too much, those stories are connected to the couple) and not only to prolong the heroine’s life.
If you have literature class in school, you must have tackled this piece of gem. I was a non-reader before but when I stumbled across this great story (or collection of stories), I was quite mesmerized. I loved this story and the stories within. So anything that says it’s retelling of Arabian Nights piques my interest instantaneously. But what made me more excited prior to reading were all these raves reviews. Expectations multiplied ten folds y’all~! But now that I have, I guess, I’m little embarrass to say that I’m part of minority—again. While I think it was quite enjoyable, it wasn’t all too breathtaking as I thought it’d be (compare to the original; but then again nothing beats the original).
I must admit that Shahrzad has spunk; though at certain times this attitude of her can be mistaken as willfulness. She offered herself to wed the king even though she knew what has happened to all the girls before her and she could also have the same fate. But she has an agenda. Courageous enough to banter to the king of telling him stories only to leave the ending for the next day. In that way her life was spared, albeit momentarily. But unbeknownst (to me), she fell in love with him and so was him with her. Because the king and that incidents regarding the girls weren’t exactly as it looked on the front. And she, becasue of the truth, might eventually give up her real purpose.
So there you have it, if anything, the essence of the plot on which it was adapted from remained intact; I’m really grateful for that. But for some reasons I wasn’t invested with the characters (which is always been an important part of my reading). As I said mentioned the heroine can be too stubborn and arrogant. The king was restless (that was understandable though) but not quite intimidating as how they pictured him to be. Individually, I did like them. Romantically speaking? Now that’s where I was lost.
The romance did lead the story. I even want to mention that there was love triangle but it was quite dismaying so I won’t expand it any longer. I do love romance but I wasn’t rooting for them or anything quite surprisingly. In fact I was little confused because while there was tension between them, I didn’t feel it was romantically linked. I can tell she was really, sincerely mad at him and I can also feel that the king was suspicious of her, yet it happened. I was one big question mark when it did. *sighs*
The story was rich; the writing was splendid (although sometimes it felt rigid. I don’t know I’m being nit-picky again, so sorry). Overall, it was an OK read. I might check the sequel because the ending left something worth checking out, as well as that brief sample of the sequel that led me all too curious.
Preview Quote: “I understand how difficult it is, putting your heart in someone else’s hands. But, if you don’t, how will you ever truly know a person?”