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.
This book will be stuck in my head for quite sometime, and it should, because it’s beautiful and wonderful.
First off, Renée Ahdieh has such a way of writing that it is almost poetic… the way she uses words… wow, I fell in love with the writing before I even fell in love with the story. I will, from now on, buy and read everything that she writes!
The first few pages were a bit of a torture to get through though and it had to do with the terms I was not familiar with, and those weird long names (some, I still don’t know how to pronounce… I’m looking at you Shazi!). But then I decided to stop pretending that I could enunciate the names anyway, and the rest of the book just flew by. On that note, be aware that there’s a glossary at the end of the book, so you don’t have to wonder for 90% of the book (like I did) what effendi, delam, jan, jonnam, mankalah, qamis, rida’, sayyidi, shamla, …, means. Most of the word’s meanings I got pretty fast due to context, but others are harder, so check that glossary.
Now onto the characters… Shahrzad is now one of my favorite female characters ever! She’s so fierce and determined, brash, stubborn… she knows what she wants, and she doesn’t play, she wins!
From the epilogue we know that what happens to the Caliph’s wives is not really because he’s a monster, so when Khalid is actually there, it’s impossible to hate him. More, the more the book advances and we get more glimpses into his real self, the more I loved him. But I think that what I love most about him is the fact that he sees an equal in Shahrzad and he doesn’t underestimate her, not even for a moment. He knows what she’s capable off, he respects her for it, and loves her even more.
Let’s just say that that scene in the room, with the dagger and the kneeling, almost killed me…
I loved Despina, seriously, she’s amazing. I loved that she called Shazi “Brat-Calipha”, this girl has balls! I also loved Jalal, Khalid’s cousin, the way he protects both his cousin and Shazi, and the relationship he develops with her… amazing, when he calls her delam (my heart) towards the end, I was smiling at myself, because he loves her just like he loves his cousin, she’s family.
Right at the beginning I was really enjoying Tariq and Rahim, I liked their banter and they both seemed like fun. But then Tariq started to get a bit on my nerves, he’s not a bad person, but he needs a reality check… NOW!
I thought the plot was well constructed and I didn’t find it slow at all. The romance itself, yes, slow, deliberate, they truly fall for each other, step by step, and honestly it’s magnificent. I need them together, always, because they are better together!
There will be SPOILERS now…
Now some final considerations. That ending broke me, it left me completely heartbroken… I just wanted and needed one more chapter, a few lines from Shazi to know that she wants and is trying to get back to him. I can’t wait a year to know that, it’s torture.
I have a feeling that Shazi’s father will be the greatest villain in the upcoming books, his callous use of magic will bring all sort of problems, considering that he’s already seeing himself as a king. Ultimately I think he’ll have to die, and the only way that I can see it happen is if Shazi does it – because Khalid would never forgive himself if he has to do it.
People, I need Despina and Jalal and their baby together and happy. Like, now! Seriously, I ship them HARD! Jalal and Despina are great alone, but I need them together, it can only be more greatness.
Tariq’s uncle… WTF?! I knew he would use Tariq’s information about Shazi and Khalid, but I didn’t think he would be willing to kill his daughter’s best friend.
I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book…
One last thing… all those descriptions of food left me so hungry! I wanted to jump into the book and start eating everything that Shazi was describing.
Rating: 4.7 Stars