Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Fairy Tales, Romance
I loved it beyond words.
I'm in awe. This beautiful journey, this journey of longing, magic and love sang to my soul, gave me wings, spilled vibrant colours in a bleak routine and made my heart burst.
Renee Ahdieh is a rare storyteller.
“One hundred lives for the one you took. One life to one dawn. Should you fail but a single morn, I shall take from you your dreams. I shall take from you your city.
And I shall take from you these lives, a thousandfold.”
The Caliph of Khorasan, the King of Kings, is a monster.
Every day he takes a new wife. And every dawn, he executes her. One of those unfortunate girls was Shahrzad's best friend. Blinded by her grief, her hatred and the desire for revenge, Shahrzad volunteers to become the Caliph's next wife, with one goal in mind; destroy him. Kill him and rid Khorasan of a bloodthirsty tyrant. When the dawn comes and she's still alive, the speculations begin. Why did the Caliph spare her? Is it possible that the monster has a heart after all? And indeed, the enemy turns out to be just a boy, a boy with the weight of his sins on his shoulders. Torn between her promise for revenge and her traitorous heart, Shahrzad might be the only one that can make Khalid care again. But what is the cost?
“I will live to see tomorrow's sunset. Make no mistake. I swear I will live to see as many sunsets as it takes.
And I will kill you.
With my own hands.”
When I started The Wrath & the Dawn I was cautious. Later, I was fascinated but a little detached. But as Shahrzad 's story progressed, as I fell deeper and deeper into a world of intrigue, secrets and lies, I was bound. To Shahrzad's fierceness, to Khalid's tragedy, to the sheer magic that engulfed me like it was a living and breathing thing. Because that's what I felt while reading The Wrath & the Dawn. Alive.
“You have a beautiful laugh. Like the promise of tomorrow.”
Renee Ahdieh's writing is exquisite. Whether she described luscious palaces, delectable dishes and lavish clothes or a love so palpable that ripped your insides open, devastating truths or heartbreaking choices, she captivated you. She trapped you in a world painted in yellow, orange and red, a world where you could touch the sand and feel the heat burn your skin. She invaded your life and with her flying carpet made you a part of a rich eastern culture, a part of a fairytale you wished it would never end.
“My soul sees its equal in you.”
Shahrzad was a fierce heroine, determined and stubborn, a plague of a girl that brought change to a lifeless palace. I was afraid that there would be love triangle drama that would ruin this remarkable reading experience, but Renee Ahdieh knew exactly how to handle it. Yes, when Shahrzad married Khalid she was in love with another boy. But the connection, the trust and eventually the love that was built between the boy-king and his wife left no space for doubt that they belonged together. Khalid was prepared to kill Shahrzad. Shahrzad was prepared to kill Khalid. But none of them was prepared to find their equal, their perfect match, the air that filled their lungs. Their relationship would be angsty, sweet or painful, but the bond that was forged was unbreakable. And Khalid, oh my darling Khalid, he was a mystery, a troubled king with good intentions, aloof but caring, a beautiful monster I came to cherish deeply.
“There is no one I would rather see the sunrise with than you.”
There is no one I would rather spend my precious free time with than Khalid, Shahrzad, Jalal and Despina. They made me smile, tear up and dream, travel and love, and for that I am forever indebted to Renee Ahdieh. If you haven't read The Wrath & the Dawn yet, don't waste another minute. A mesmerizing world of deception, curses and powerful feelings is waiting in the form of paper and words.