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 have finally read The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh and I must say it was quite fascinating! I was only vaguely familiar with the origin story, A Thousand and One Nights, I mostly remember a retelling of said tale called The Storyteller's Daughter, which if I can recall was the same concept in general.
Shahrzad, nickname Shazi, was an admirable heroine. She was strong willed and wasn't the flouncy sort. She was determined to kill the boy-king who had killed her best friend, among dozens of other young girls for seemingly no reason. Every day he would marry a young bride and by the next dawn, she would be dead. Shazi decides it's time for Khalid's reign to end. She was going to kill him herself if she had to, and that's why she volunteered herself to be his bride. And for whatever reason, this is allowed.
Naturally, Khalid has a reason for why he is murdering his brides every night, though that reason is slow to come by. Instead of trying to figure that out right away, Shazi attempts to just stay alive for as long as possible and to do this, she begins with a story that lasts a night or two longer. Khalid is intrigued by his newest wife and he begins to almost falter in his emotions.
In the meantime, we are getting other perspectives, as this is in third person point of view, from different characters with their own agendas. Such as Tariq, who was a boy from Shazi's "old life". One she loved and who loved her. Tariq is determined to save her at any cost. Though I didn't get any real love vibes from these two. I guess because they aren't together on the pages. So naturally, of course, we start seeing a true love connection with Shazi and Khalid.
I was impressed with their romance. While it seemed to come about rather quickly, it was never really "true love" until much later on. In fact, Shazi tries to fight her growing feelings, because falling for the boy who murdered her best friend wasn't acceptable. I found I didn't mind their love either. It felt believable.
What was a bit confusing for me was the whole reason Khalid was murdering these girls. I mean we get an explanation and I understood it, but I guess I was just expecting something more! Something more detailed, rather than just the answer we were given. So that was kind of a letdown almost, because I felt like this was all building up to something so spectacular and horrifying. Though we do get quite a shock at the end! But it happened so quickly, I was left wondering what exactly just happened. I didn't think it was as horrifying at first, but when I look again and think, is it possible that it was "this", then WOW! That is terrible! So yes, there's a bit of confusion going on for me! LOL!
But all in all, this was a fascinating read! I enjoyed reading a book with a new culture for me to learn about! The glossary in back was most helpful but I found I only referenced it a handful of times, because I was loathe to interrupt reading to understand a word. I got the vague idea of what each new vocab word was, just not in all its details!
I definitely cannot wait to read the next book, The Rose and the Dagger! And naturally, I am one to torment myself, I did not read the excerpt in back because then I would want to read more! I've learned my lesson from reading sneak peeks! So hence, I will just have to suffer in silence. Haha!
Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars