Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Source: First To Read
Rating: 4 out of 5
Having heard tons of positive hype surrounding The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, I went into this one with pretty high expectations. The Wrath and the Dawn is based off of The Arabian Nights short stories, where the famous Aladdin story came from. I had no other knowledge of The Arabian Nights prior to reading Ahdieh’s story and this did not affect my reading experience whatsoever. The Wrath and the Dawn is a magical, excitingly romantic story, with a few pitfalls here and there, but an overall entertaining read.
The premise here is rather intriguing from the start: Shazi becomes Khalid’s – the Caliph of Khorasan – wife, but she goes into the situation knowing that he has married and killed his previous wives all in one day. She does this because she wants revenge for Khalid marrying and murdering her best friend. Immediately, we get a strong girl with a backbone. Shazi is confident and very determined to help avenge her best friend’s death. Not only this, but she is incredibly brave by walking into the hands of a killer. This may seem reckless and stupid, but Ahdieh allows the reader to understand Shazi’s clear thoughts, causing her to seem more brave than reckless. This sets up the heart-pounding premise for the rest of the story.
Being a retelling of The Arabian Nights, there is, of course, magic involved. Throughout the story, the reader gets little tidbits here and there of Shazi’s dad doing some dark magic, Shazi meeting a wise man who seems to know something about magic, and even a magic carpet. Nevertheless, that’s pretty much all we get. These vague scraps of magic scenes, with little to no other description. This is where I think Ahdieh’s story is weak. I’m going to assume that the magic element of the story becomes more prevalent in the following books in the series, so I’ll let it go for now. At least Ahdieh has peaked my interest!
Other than that, The Wrath and the Dawn is quite romance-heavy. I’m a sucker for romance, but I must also warn you that there is a love triangle. However, it’s one of those good ones where the reader is actually torn, just like Shazi, between two boys who are equally good in different manners. I think the romance is the most intriguing factor of all, to be quite honest. It’s what’s making me curious to read the rest of the series!
Finally, Ahdieh’s writing style is the other key quality I really enjoyed in The Wrath and the Dawn. It’s descriptive, but not overly flowery. Shazi lives in a palace, so she has a higher standard of living, along with feasts. And holy goodness, Ahdieh describes the food SO WELL. My stomach is practically grumbling by the end of each chapter! Hunger aside, Ahdieh’s writing style is very easy to read overall.
In all, The Wrath and the Dawn is understandably an appealing read. However, it definitely has its flaws in the magic/fantasy aspect, in which I hope Ahdieh dives deeper into in the sequel. The story itself is romance-heavy and very addictive! Count me in for book two…