The Wrath & The Dawn is the debut novel of Renee Ahdieh. It is a recent retelling of the old classic, A Thousand and One Nights.
Each night, the Caliph of Khorasan takes a new bride; by morning, she is dead. After the most recent death of her best friend, Shahrzad volunteers to be the Caliph’s newest bride. When night comes, Shahrzad tells the Caliph a story to keep him occupied. By morning her story is unconcluded and the Caliph spares her for one day so he can hear the ending.
This happens for one more night, and then another, but Shahrzad soon realizes that the Caliph – Khalid – is much more than he seems. He is not a madman as the people believe, so why does he take a new bride each night only to murder her at dawn? Even more maddening, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love with him.
Meanwhile, Shahrzad’s best friend Tariq and her father attempt to rescue her. While Tariq seeks an alliance with the wandering tribes, her father Jahandar delves deep into himself to harness a magical power – but is it one that will ultimately help or destroy him?
I have been really interested in retellings of A Thousand and One Nights lately. I found this book to be a tad slow at the beginning as we are introduced to the characters. We don’t really understand Khalid’s intentions and nature until about 2/3 through, and the action doesn’t pick up until the end. But the time is necessary to set up the relationship between Shahrzad and Khalid.
At the end of this volume our budding lovers have been separated but the curse that holda Khalid is still in place. The question becomes: how will it end? Only way to find out is to the read the next book, which I definitely intend to do.
My rating: 3.5/5