The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Rating: 5 Stars
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Goodreads 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.
*I received this ARC from Meghann @ Becoming Books as a guest reviewer, so this review was originally posted on Becoming Books!*
The Wrath and the Dawn was inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, but I wouldn't say it's a retelling. The motives, back story, and characters are different, although some are inspired by the original characters. Although I have heard of some of the stories, I haven't actually read A Thousand and One Nights but became so fascinated with it after reading this book that I actually watched the 2000 TV mini series Arabian Nights, which is essentially a retelling of the original tale... so yes, I loved this book!
For some reason, I didn't pay much attention to the prologue but turned back to the beginning after I had finished it, re-read the prologue, and was like whoa. I guess that's a good thing though, since it became all the more mysterious and suspenseful as the book went on. I found myself wanting answers as much as Shazi did. Renee is an excellent storyteller; there was rarely a dull moment and I found myself flipping through the pages much faster than I thought I would.
I also like how the book is written in third person; most of the YA novels I've read are in first person and sometimes it's frustrating to see only from the main character's point of view. I loved seeing things from Khalid's perspective and it gave the characters much more depth and we see their multiple dimensions so much more easily. Additionally, Renee does an excellent job with all of the characters' story arcs and intertwining them together later on (such as Shazi's dad, Tariq, and the main plot with Shazi and Khalid). In fact, reading this has made me realize that I like the third person perspective so much more than first person.
In terms of characters, Khalid is my favorite and his character development throughout is pretty great. I went from hating him, to pitying him, and then finally to just adoring him. I found most of the characters to be pretty interesting and I love how there are so many important supporting characters!
Overall, The Wrath and the Dawn is a beautiful story and Renee is one talented (and cruel - that ending!) writer; it's going right up to my list of "Favorites". :)
And that ending will make you want the second book, The Rose and the Dagger, ASAP. Trust me.