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.
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“Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”
I LOVED it. The Wrath and the Dawn is a retelling of the infamous A Thousand and One Nights. It’s similar to A Thousand Nights by E.K Johnson but it’s more action packed and I enjoyed it a lot more.
Shahrzad is intelligent and resourceful and witty without sounding snobby. The same could be said for countless other YA main characters but Shahrzad actually pulls it off. Her best friend was taken to be Khalid’s wife and like all his other brides, she was killed. Shahrzad volunteers to be Khalid’s bride to end his regime once and for all. I’m not usually a big fan of the whole “falling in love with the monster” trope but Ahdieh plays it off very well. Shahrzad gradually realizes all is not black and white after all as she struggles to understand how she could possibly be drawn to her best friend’s murderer.
Khalid was mysterious and alluring and too secretive for his own good. Like Shahrzad, I also gradually came to like him. He is also intelligent and observant. Not much could be said about him without spoiling.
I really enjoyed the romance in this book, it was well written and well developed. Khalid and Shahrzad are a good match and will always keep each other on their toes.
I liked most of the secondary characters though at times it felt like there were too many of them to where their personalities felt the same. If you gave me a description, I wouldn’t be able to tell you whether it was Rahim, Tariq or Jalal (or maybe it’s just because they say men are all the same :D). Feisty Despina on the other hand (Shahrzad’s maid) was my favorite secondary character and I loved the interactions between her and Shahrzad. YA often lacks female to female interaction as if a strong female MC cannot have a female best friend so it was a nice change.
Now to my favorite thing about this book: the food. No book has ever made me this hungry, not even the lavishness of the food at Hogwarts. I came as close to tasting the food as you possibly can while reading.
So, I understand Ava’s father cursed Khalid and told him he had to kill the next hundred brides and all but what I don’t understand is why it had to be a secret. Surely Khalid could have announced to the people that hey, I’m cursed and I must kill your daughters once I marry them or the kingdom will be destroyed. It would have still created problems but at least the people would know and no doubt many girls would willingly volunteer. Hasn’t keeping it a secret done more harm than good?