Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Book One of the Wrath & the Dawn series
Published on May 12, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Buy this book from Amazon

I read this book on hardcover. 

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“‘It’s a fitting punishment for a monster.  To want something so much–to hold it in your arms–and know beyond a doubt you will never deserve it.'”  pg. 316

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A re-imagining of Arabian Nights, The Wrath & the Dawn weaves the tale of young woman’s quest to avenge her best friend’s death at the hands of a seemingly blood-thirsty king.

For a full synopsis, visit Goodreads.

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There has been no buzz about a movie adaptation for this book.

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The Wrath and the Dawn had all the components to make an amazing story.  A kick-ass heroine with a revenge plot.  A mysterious king who was more than meets the eye.  A supporting cast who were as interesting as the protagonists.  An exotic setting enough to sweep readers from their world to enter this new, exciting, dangerous, and elusive realm.  So I was a little upset with myself for not liking this book more.

Perhaps because the story was told in third person but I just didn’t feel the initial connection between Khalid and Shahrzad.  I didn’t understand how she fell in love him.  Sure, he was hot and mysterious, but was that and physical closeness enough to make Shahrzad wish he kissed her, enough to forget to avenge her best friend’s death even for a second?  And the same went for Khalid.  Yes, Shahrzad was different from the other girls in that she was fierce and stubborn but that wasn’t exactly fleshed out on their first night.  It just wasn’t believable enough for me.

The story really began to pique my interest with the chapter of “The Promise of Tomorrow”.  After that, I was willing to forego my issue with their first impressions.  Because I’m too much of a romantic not to.

The last half of this book was definitely stronger than the first half.  In the beginning, I found myself asking, what was the point of this and where was this going.  I think Ahdieh definitely hit her stride as the story progressed.  The scenes were stronger, the tension higher–there was more of a purpose with the writing.  That scene when she was in his chamber gave me chills and I’ll admit I teared up a bit.  I was particularly impressed by the courage and confidence Shahrzad exhibited especially in front of Salim.  And eventually Khalid’s stoic and brooding nature became less annoying.

There were more than a few questions left unanswered and usually the author can distract her readers with bigger plot movement, but The Wrath and The Dawn lacked that.  Like what was up with the magic and the whole interaction between Shahrzad and Musa?  And don’t get me started on her father!

As an aside, I have to say, Jalal and Despina were a great addition to any scene and I can only hope they take on bigger roles in the second book.

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3.5stars
3.5 OUT OF 5 STARS
Despite not exactly living up to the hype, The Wrath and the Dawn is still definitely worth the recommendation and you can bet your ass I’ll be reading the following book (expected to be released in May 2016!).

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According to Renee Ahdieh’s website, the most played song on her iPod is “The Only Moment We Were Alone” by Explosions in the Sky.

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