'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.'
The Wrath and the Dawn is a great book and to tell you the truth I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. With so many elements, fantasy and action and it is mainly a romance based on A thousand and One Nights. As someone who doesn’t tend to like romance, it managed to transform me from the Ice Queen, into a slightly warmer version. Less like the Ice Queen from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
With some deliciously angsty parts, and some intense fighting scenes. There was just one part I wasn’t too fussed about and that was the idea that Shazi extends her life by telling Khalid a story, promising to reveal what happens, but only if he lets her live. I just didn’t understand it? Personally if I was Khalid and I knew that someone did have to die, it wouldn’t necessarily persuade me not to. I don’t know if that’s just me being harsh/cynical but I managed to overlook this and enjoyed the story very much.
From hatred on Shazi’s part to perhaps distrust on Khalid’s part, it definitely wasn’t instalove and didn’t feel contrived. I loved their relationship and it felt very genuine in the development. As for the dialogue between them it felt natural an didn’t cringe one bit, even with the romantic parts.
There are some stunning descriptions throughout the novel. The world-building was so rich, from the descriptions of the food to the palace to the lusciousness of the outfits! The secondary characters also add to the story, they aren’t just throw away characters. I adored Despina especially and thought she was funny and a needed female companion for Shazi and the story.
In one way I thought that Shazi didn’t really try too hard to get her revenge and this bothered me. Me being the cold-hearted person I am, I kind of wanted Shazi to succeed in her mission and for the story to take a different turn. Once I’d gotten to a certain part I did however and still do love their relationship.
I would highly recommend The Wrath and the Dawn, I think it is a fantastic YA novel and the writing is simply wonderful.