Review ~ The Wrath and the Dawn

Posted February 29, 2016 by Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog in Reviews / 41 Comments

Review ~ The Wrath and the DawnThe Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1) by Renee Ahdieh
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 12th 2015
Genres: Retellings, Young Adult
Pages: 395
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
4.5 Stars

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.


In order to get revenge for the killing of her best friend, Shahrzad volunteers to be the next wife of Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. His wives before have not made it to the first dawn without being killed. Shahrzad escapes this fate by telling Khalid stories each night that entrance him and leave her alive come morning. During their shared time spent love starts to form and secrets are revealed. Can their forbidden love survive?

This was a book that I have really wanted to read for a very long time. It was one the retelling that really called out to me. So I finally gave in and bought the audio version. At first, I was a little confused and underwhelmed. It started off a bit slow and took me a while to get all the characters and their relationship to each other straight. This was a case of a book for me that just kept getting better, and better, and better as it went on.

Shahrzad and Khalid made this book for me. I completely bought into their characters and their romance. I felt the struggle in their feelings for each other and how forbidden it was. Shahrzad was feisty and strong but still vulnerable, especially when it came to Khalid. Khalid was misunderstood by so many that it was nice to see him slowly open up to Shahrzad and show his true self and feelings.

There were also some really great secondary characters. I really liked her handmaiden, Despina and the commander of the guard, Jalal. They were both sharp and fun to watch interact with Shahrzad and Khalid. They were loyal friends and glad they all had each other. Then there was Tariq and Shahrzad’s dad. I wasn’t as thrilled with them but they had their purpose to serve.

The setting and culture were described so vividly. I could picture the area where they were, the architecture of the buildings, the elaborate dress and hair and makeup and most importantly I could almost smell and taste the food. I have never been hungrier when reading a book!!

The writing in this book was absolutely stunning. I am not one for overly flowery or pretty, for lack of a better description, writing but I thought it worked perfectly here. I was completely taken in with Ahdieh’s words and how they brought the story to life.

It did take me a while to get everyone’s name and relationship down. But once I did the story flowed well and made sense. I listened to the audio and think the narrator did a really great job and did enough to help distinguish the characters. It was a story that built up and left me needing the nxt book. Can’t wait for The Rose and the Dagger!

Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog

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41 responses to “Review ~ The Wrath and the Dawn

  1. I’ve been on the fence about this one for so long. I’m not a huge fan of retellings but I always hear great things about this one so it seems to forever sit in my maybe pile. Your review though is fabulous and has me thinking I need to reevaluate which pile it should be in 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed this one!
    Jen recently posted…The Monday MustsMy Profile

  2. This one has been on my radar because I like the idea of the retelling but was worried that it would be slow or just too heavy. It sounds like a really good read though I’m glad to know going in that the start might be a bit slow. I’m looking forward to reading it!

    PS – I took your advice and went with the audio of In a Dark Dark Wood and LOVED it! The story was so good and the narrator might be my new favorite for audios.
    Katherine recently posted…A Reckless Desire – ReviewMy Profile

  3. I am so glad you enjoyed this so much Grace! I am definitely excited to pick it up at some point! (Hopefully soon!) I’m glad to know it took you a minute to get into this one- I have the same problem with fantasy novels alot of the time, so I’m glad to know it gets better and better! Shah and Kali sound great! (Yeah, I totally shortened the names. LOL. Too long to write!)
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  4. OMG. I am so glad that you said that you were overwhelmed and confused at first. I’ve started this book five times, but I keep putting it away because it’s just really confusing. I don’t know if it’s the writing style that’s throwing me off, but something is. It makes me feel so much better about trying to get into it again, knowing that you had the same problems.

    I think what I might do is borrow the audiobook from the library and read along with my physical book. That might help.

    Anyway, fabulous review! I’ll take everything you said and consider it for my next attempt at this book.
    Erin recently posted…Sunday Street Team Review: Where You’ll Find Me + GIVEAWAYMy Profile

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