The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights. There was a lot of hype around this book. I heard about it everywhere and everyone seemed to love it. I liked it to be sure, but I definitely didn’t love it. For starters, the book is well written. I liked the writing and the descriptions were great. The characters were merely OK though and that’s where my problems with the book begins.
The majority of the plot was centered around the love story and to be honest I just didn’t buy it. Every night the Caliph of Khorasan, Khalid, took a new bride and every dawn she was executed. The main character, Shahrzad, volunteered to be one of his brides in order to kill him. Shahrzad’s best friend was one of the brides that were killed. This was what spurred her to volunteer- revenge. However, not long into the whole ordeal Shahrzad fell in love with him. For me, it happened entirely too fast to be believed. I wouldn’t care how beautiful a guy was or how amazing his “tiger eyes” were… he killed my best friend. I risked my life to go into the lion’s den for pure revenge and then I fell in love so quickly? It didn’t feel real. I would have liked to see her internal struggle with revenge and love more. I wanted to see why she out of all the girls before her was so special to him. Khalid and Shahrzad mostly annoyed me with the over dramatic romantic and jealous reactions too. Maybe I’m just cold hearted (to be fair I’m not much for romance), but I don’t think I’m wrong here. Maybe if I were a young teenager and not the cynical old crone I am I would have been whisked away by the romance, but sadly I am what I am!
At the moment there is at least one more book after this one. I am interested enough to read it. Near the end of the novel there were things that sparked my interest. There were hints of magic and some subplots that had promise.