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Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn is loosely based on the tale of 1001 Nights, but it's also so much more!  True, it opens with the focus on Shahrzad, who is the latest bride of the Caliph of Khorasan.  He has been taking brides and killing them the morning after the wedding for months now.  One of those past brides was Shahrzad's best friend, and her plan is to survive long enough to avenge her.

I felt that The Wrath and the Dawn got off to a bit of a slow start.  There were quite a few characters to introduce, and the story took a predictable route with Shahrzad telling Khalid (the caliph) tales at night to keep him interested, and to keep herself alive.  However, there was also the intrigue, with Shahrzad being quite the revenge-seeking fireball, and with a secondary plot following Shahrzad's male relatives as they plot ways to help her from afar.

Also the setting!  It's not every day that I read a book set in the Middle East.  I loved loved loved reading the descriptions of the clothes and the palace and the social mores!  Even Shahrzad's handmaid is beautifully described in glittering silks and flowing mantles.  I never thought I'd be a fan of a desert setting until I read Renee Ahdieh's descriptions of it.  Maybe it's partly due to the fact that I'm writing this review right after a rare ice/snow storm in my neck of the woods (southeast US), but I so longed to be in the sun and the sand!

After the first somewhat predictable third of the book, the story takes a bit of a turn from the original 1001 Nights.  The action picks up, with multiple attempts on Shahrzad's life... surprisingly, not by Khalid!  Then there is also the development of a love triangle.  Personally, I'm not a huge fan of these, but they do tend to up the intrigue a little.  And the reader gets to pick a "team!"  (I changed "teams" a few times through the course of the book; it's not as clear cut as other books have been.)  On top of all that, there is the secondary plot line with Shahrzad's father, uncle, and second cousin, who are trying to help her avenge her friend's death.

Now, you may be asking yourself why I'm reviewing this book on this site.  Tynga's Reviews is all about fantasy and the paranormal, right?  Guess what?  There's MAGIC in The Wrath and the Dawn!  You must be patient; it doesn't make an appearance right away.  And I won't give any spoilers, but the magic becomes more and more prominent to the storyline, up to a can't-put-down climax!  So that's why The Wrath and the Dawn (and, I imagine, it's sequel) fit on Tynga's Reviews.

I'll wrap up by mentioning the climactic end... it's a doozy!  I read well past my bedtime because it was too exciting for me to put down, or to fall asleep while reading.  Then the book stops.  Bam.  With so much more that I need to know!  I'm so so so glad I read this book after the sequel has been released so that I don't have to wait to find out what happens next.  So just a warning:  you may want to go ahead and get both books from the library at once; you'll be glad you did!


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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1 Person left their mark:

  1. Not sure if I want to read this after all, I have seen so many mixed reviews, so I am putting this on the maybe list for now. Thanks for the review!