Wednesday, August 16, 2017

THE WRATH & THE DAWN BY RENÉE AHDIEH - BOOK REVIEW

I have heard nothing but amazing things about this book and to be perfectly honest, that made me a little nervous going in. I wasn't sure if it was going to live up to the hype, and I'm still not sure it does in every regard.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, The Wrath & The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh.


The story is a take on the Middle Eastern folk tale, One Thousand and One Nights, (also known as A Thousand and One Nights or Arabian Nights) where the king takes a new bride every night, only to kill her in the morning. After Shahrzad's best friend Shiva is taken and murdered by the Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, she volunteers to be his next wife and to avenge her friend's death by killing him. But Shazi's silver tongue is no match for the brooding boy-king and she soon finds herself falling in love with him. As her past comes threatening back, bringing the boy she loved since childhood and the beginnings of a war, Shazi must decide where her loyalties lie.

Now, I'm just going to say that I know very little about the fairy tale this book gets its inspiration from. I understand the basic premise but I can't say as to what extent Ahdieh goes to incorporate details of that story into this one.

For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. I always love a good enemies-to-lovers story. I pretty much knew starting out that they would end up loving one another so I went through the story open to that notion. Like the similar Westernized fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, the girl finds out the monster is just a boy, at the mercy of another spinning his fate. For me, I accepted this before I started the book. I could see, however, if you are caught off guard by this idea how it could come off as slightly Stockholm syndrome-y.

The characters themselves were fairly well rounded. The narration is in third person so I didn't feel particularly attached to any one of them, but I felt like I knew enough about them to like most of the characters. Shazi did lose sight of her original task, but I can't fault her too much for it because I knew she would. We don't learn much about Khalid, hopefully, book two gives more details on him but from what I do know he is a troubled boy who doesn't want to do what he is forced to do.

I did find the writing style a bit trickier to get into. It took me a while to get used to Ahdieh's layout of the story and to figure out what was happening. I was confused for the first 50 pages or so because I didn't really get what was going on and who was who. There are a lot of characters and kind of two simultaneous storylines that made it a little difficult to follow. Once I got the hang of it, though, I was able to really dive in and enjoy the story.

While there were a lot of things I really liked about this book, there's just something that I can't quite put my finger on that is holding me back from giving it a full five stars. I liked it, but I just didn't love it. I don't know if it some of the issues I had or if it was because every man and their dog loved it and got my expectations up.

I will say that I will be continuing on with this series and I am excited to read more from Ahdieh. I think she has real potential being that this was her debut and I enjoyed it as much as I did.

Overall, a good book, but don't go in with too high of expectations.