Skip to main content

The Wrath and The Dawn

Review

The Wrath and The Dawn

THE WRATH AND THE DAWN is magical. It’s beautifully inspired by ONE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS and weaves together Middle Eastern culture with mystical and political elements that are as enthralling as Renee Ahdieh’s stunning prose.

Each night in ancient Khorasan --- a once real city, based in the Persian Empire ---  the Caliph, a boy king named Khalid, condemns his new wife to death. Each dawn brings new misery for a new family as their daughters are murdered, and for no apparent reason. When Shahrzad’s best friend is murdered by Caliph, she volunteers to be his new bride in order to seek revenge.

She should hate the Caliph with all her being but against reason, like his senseless murders of the wives before her, she grows closer to him. Could it be that the monster of Khorasan, the king of kings, is human after all?

THE WRATH AND THE DAWN…weaves together Middle Eastern culture with mystical and political elements that are as enthralling as Renee Ahdieh’s stunning prose.

As the mystery behind Khalid’s actions unravels and Shazi grows confident in her role as Calipha, I fell more in love with their story. It was such an enticing tale, interwoven with its own inner narratives. I love that Shahrzad was clever enough to stay her execution by telling him an ongoing story. I love how her storytelling was what brought them together.

However, I wish that the storytelling was used as more than a plot device. Once Shahrzad and Khalid got to know each other, I feel as if Shazi’s tales were brushed to the side. That’s completely understandable in an epic novel such as this one, but I still wish that more time could have been spent with the Caliph and Calipha.

Renee Ahdieh tries to pack in a lot into an already large novel. The story flows rather seamlessly, but there are moments when we are taken out of the action and treated to Shazi’s friends’ and family member’s perspectives. This should allow us a more comprehensive view of the situation, but I found it confusing. There is clearly a lot going on in this world and I wish there was a more unified way of getting a glimpse at it. That being said, I loved Khalid’s point of view, and I think that the other perspectives provided readers with important information --- I just wish it could have been done more smoothly.

I also feel that although Shahrzad was an amazing, clever and intelligent character, she seemed a bit uneven at times. In fact, all the characters felt this way at one point. For people who were fighting a war, going through hell only to keep on going, they seemed overly dramatic and a little too characterized. I often felt myself pulled out of the story, rather than sucked back in. 

However, the risks of the story, as well as some really amazing prose, truly made THE WRATH AND THE DAWN glorious. It was impossible not to fall in love with and root for Shahrzad. The ending was just as incredibly intense as the opening scenes and I eagerly await the sequel to see what strong, capable Shahrzard does next.

Reviewed by Brianna Robinson on June 10, 2015

The Wrath and The Dawn
(The Wrath & The Dawn #1)
by Renée Ahdieh

  • Publication Date: April 5, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Speak
  • ISBN-10: 0147513855
  • ISBN-13: 9780147513854