Review The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh

Review The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh

Synopsis: A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights 

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Retelling
My thoughts:
“I love you, a thousand times over. And I will never apologize for it.”
The Wrath and the Dawn is, simply put, amazing. Breathtaking. Stunning. My sappy, romantic heart was joyous with this love story, swooning and falling head over heels in love with the characters. Thrilling, seductive and incredibly enchanting, this book will have you devouring page after page filled with literary deliciousness.
One enigmatic boy-king, the caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride every day only to have her killed at dawn. Madman, they call him. A ruthless, cold-blooded killer. But when Shahrzad, a sixteen-year old girl, volunteers to become his new wife, and afterwards manages the unthinkable of living the deadly dawn's arrival, things start changing pretty quickly. Especially when Shahrzad desires the caliph's head on a silver platter.
Shahrzad joined my personal squad of favorite MCs. She's a feisty, fierce, silver-tongued heroine. I adored her reckless demeanor, her passionate heart and her cunning, sharp mind. And her sarcastic personality was truly a joy. Strong-willed, stubborn (but endearingly so) and clever, she was a refreshing main character. Loved her to bits.
“This dangerous girl. This captivating beauty.
This destroyer of worlds and creator of wonder.”
Khalid, the caliph of Khorasan, the King of Kings, was swoon-worthy. You probably figured out that there's a reason he's killing his brides and the motive is absolutely soul-wrenching. But Khalid is alluring. Mercurial. Enigmatic. He's every shade of intensity known to human kind and under his cold façade, he's broken and utterly alone. His way of loving is a force to be reckoned with, one that will pretty much leave you in a pile of goo at his feet, a blubbering mess or a hyperventilating fangirl. Regardless, you will feel goosebumps and butterflies in every scene he's in, just like Shazi (a testament of the author's writing skills).

“What are you doing to me, you plague of a girl?” he whispered.
“If I’m a plague, then you should keep your distance, unless you plan on being destroyed.” The weapons still in her grasp, she shoved against his chest.
“No.” His hands dropped to her waist. “Destroy me.”
The actual romance was just wowza. Allow me to say it's been a while since I've read something so seductively dark in a YA book, but I'm glad this happened because HOTNESS OVERLOAD. These two transcended the enemies incognito phase only to reach the boundless state of mutual adoration, if you like. Because they end well past love and straight into worship land. Together, they're every bit of a royal couple, a tiger king with his queen ready to pounce on their prey. They're strong, daring and unique. Dangerous and sexy. Not to mention all-consuming. Perfect for each other and so so in love with one another that I could not suppress -- for the love of all things mighty -- a happy sigh whenever they were together.
“Love is—a shade of what I feel.”
And oh my goodness, they're sizzling, smoking hot. You'll blush, you'll drool, you'll feel your heart going bazinga at some (actually, most) of their scenes. The award for best chemistry is, hands down, theirs.
I know I basically gushed only about the romance, but there are some other elements in the story, equally enrapturing. There's a drop of magic that I really hope the author will continue to harness. Then there's the plethora of attacks at Shazi's life, just enough to put us on the edge and trigger some intriguing political repercussions. Captivating, magical and emotional, the story will pull at your heartstrings instantly and will keep you gripping the book at the same time.
Despite the attention on their peculiar relationship, we meet other characters that have key roles in the story's development. Tariq, for instance, is such a love-sick puppy it hurt, but lovable nonetheless. Rahim and Jalal were wonderful friends and also LOL-inducing characters. And Despina was just awesome in every possible way.
“So you would have me throw Shazi to the wolves?”
“Shazi?” Jalal’s grin widened. “Honestly, I pity the wolves.”
The ending was something along the lines of OHMYGOD THIS ISN'T HAPPENING MY POOR BABY NOOO. I seriously don't know how the story will be continued -- since the series is a duology -- because all kinds of dangers are threatening Khalid, his relationship with Shazi and the kingdom he's ruling and I'm afraid they'll be too much of a burden. I can stomach all the heartbreak in the world if it means they'll get a HEA.
“My soul sees its equal in you.”
Renee Ahdieh crafted this amazingly well-written debut novel in a masterful manner. She used Arabian wonders to create lush settings. She used quick and short dialogue (the type I like the most) to create realistic banter. She used different POVs to expand the story to its vast potential. And finally, she used original elements to put a glorious new spin on A Thousand and One Nights. Her writing-style was truly spectacular and I cannot wait to see with what she astounds us next.
“Get up, Shahrzad al-Khayzuran. You kneel before no one. Least of all me.”
I beg you to abandon your endless TBR and pick up The Wrath and the Dawn. Lose yourself in its mesmerizing tale, have your heart crushed in between its pages and witness Shazi and Khalid become the epitome of romance. I promise this exquisite and soul-wrenching story will be among your new favorites. Just don't kill me for waiting a year for the sequel -- I am agonizing by myself quite alright.

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