The Wrath and the Dawn: The Arabian Nights Retelling I Needed!

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh 
Publisher: G.P Putnam 
Buy this book: Amazon / Book Depository
One Life to One Dawn.In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
I want to start my review by saying that I did thoroughly enjoy this book. It won the vote on what I should read next, and so many of you were recommending it. I am so glad that you did, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm just going to admit it right now that it isn't a 5/5 read for me, like it was for so many of you. There are just a few things that bugged me when I was reading that stopped it from becoming a perfect read for me. There was just one small aspect of the story that wasn't explained properly, it made it feel like a really huge plot hole. Plot holes grate on me so much when I am reading, I really obsess over them and that takes away from my enjoyment of the book. Hopefully this part will be explained in greater detail in part two, so that it will make more sense to me.

I'm going to move on from the plot hole issue for now and instead concentrate on why I absolutely adored this beauty of a book. First of all, I must comment on the writing - it's beyond stunning! Renee Ahdieh really brings this world to life, with all the vivid descriptions of the landscapes, the buildings, the clothes and, let's not forget, the food. Her descriptions of the food actually had my mouth watering and my stomach rumbling. I truly longed to fall into this world, just so I could devour all of the delicious food she was describing - usually book descriptions have zero affect on me.

Next we have the characters, and there are quite a lot of them in this book. I love complex characters and there are so many of them here, characters I know we have barely scratched the surface of so far. Everyone had their own distinct personality, and they all had different motives that were driving them.

Shahrzad fascinated me, especially since she willingly offered to be sent to the palace to marry the Caliph. She's strong and determined, good with a weapon, and is a girl with a mission. She lost her best friend to the Caliph, and she wants her revenge. But then she's conflicted and torn, and I loved that side to her.

Khalid is more of an enigma, a puzzle that needs solving. You know there is more to him then we initially know. We are well aware of the fact that he kills his brides the day following the wedding, but we are not sure why. It's obvious to us that he isn't just doing it for laughs, or because he loves a great hanging in the morning!

Tariq is a character that I actually really loved, even though he seemed to annoy so many people. He is Shahrzad's childhood sweetheart, and he is determined to rescue her from the Caliph. Many didn't seem to like him, but I think they hated him because he got in the way of the romance between Khalid and Shahrzad. I'm a huge fan of the childhood sweethearts though, so I was cheering for Tariq for the majority of this book. Plus, the guy has a pet falcon! And that is just fucking awesome.

This book was wonderful and it kept me reading. But it didn't completely blow my mind as much as I had hoped. I think the sequel has the potential to become a 5/5 favourite, as long as it explores the plot hole issue.

Now, time to discuss my issue. It's spoilery so highlight at your own risk people!!!

My only problem with this book came into play once the whole curse aspect was revealed. My first issue was that I was a little disappointed with that explanation. At the beginning it mentions the rain has stopped, and that things were going wrong. I thought he had agreed to some kind of deal, where he was saving his people and Kingdom by agreeing to kill the 100 people. It's still sad and horrible, but it would make it seem a little more noble in some ways. But, nope, just an angry father seeking revenge. That didn't make too much sense to me as it really wasn't Khalid's fault. He didn't make his wife miscarry. He didn't make his wife commit suicide. So, maybe he wasn't madly in love with her but most royal marriages weren't based on love. 

My other big issue with the curse was how horribly unspecific it was. I feel it should have to be as specific as wishes have to be, where you have to be super clear exactly what you want. It just seems like it only states '100 lives for the 1 you took". There is no mention of those lives having to be female. No mention that they have to get married to Khalid. So why is he marrying all these women and killing them?!? Is this explained at all? Did I miss that?!? This bugged me the whole time I was reading. The guy needed to make his curse way more specific, otherwise what is stopping Khalid just getting a criminal every morning and hanging them?!? SOMEONE TELL ME, I'M GOING CRAZY!!!

4/5 Butterflies

I absolutely loved this book, if it wasn't for that one small issue it would have been a 5/5 read for sure. This was the Arabian Nights retelling I had been hoping for when I tried A Thousand Nights. I can't wait to see where the story goes in the sequel. 


  1. I didn't read the spoilers because I haven't read this yet but I am glad you loved it, even if it wasn't a five star read for you.

  2. *Unpopular Opinion Timeee!*

    Really, 4 out of 5 stars?! I am stunned and intrigued. I've seen this plot SOO many times before, and reading it just now I was immediately turned off. But then reading your post has made me really curious. I can't help finding some of these girl-falls-in-love-with-appalling-human-being books distasteful, so I'm a too wary to read this myself. For that reason IIIII...... read the spoiler. >.< And that plot point really is a pickle. I hope there's a good explanation, cuz if not... *shakes fist.*
    Great review, thanks for sharing! Glad it was a good read for you.

  3. This is on my TBR for this month. I am not sure if I am going to pick it up for myself this month because I made my TBR massive but I shall be reading it soon. It sounds like a pretty good romance and I, for one, love retellings like crazy so that appeals to me. I love beautiful writing as well <3 Just a shame about the massive plot hole. I didn't read it to avoid spoilers though!

  4. I've been seeing people with ARCs of the next book and argh, must get on and read this!

  5. hmmm never gave much thought to that part of the curse. Maybe that was just an easy way to kill them. i never realized this was not explained.

  6. I think I'll just bump this one on up on my TBR Pile Challenge. This is the second raving review I've read this morning.

  7. I'M GLAD YOU (MOSTLY) LOVED IT TOO. <3 I adored this book and AFJDKLASD THE WRITING WAS MY FAVOURITE AND THE CHARACTERS AND THE FOOD. Oh the food. Ahem. But I didn't actually see those plot holes?! I can't even remember if I had reasons behind them. hehe. I feel like there was a reason he had to marry the girls BUT YEAH I CAN'T REMEMBER SO I SHALL SHUSH. You're probably right and it is a bit of a plothole...;D

  8. Hmmmm. A cute way of hiding the spoilers. :) Nice review!
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

  9. I'm glad you loved this one! My library recently got a copy so I'll have to borrow it. It sounds so great!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  10. Huh. I didn't notice those plot holes you mentioned. Now I kind of want to reread and see if I'll notice. Like you though, I ADORED the writing, the characters, the food, the setting EVERYTHING. The only thing that stopped this from being a 5-star read for me, was I found the ending much too abrupt. Like there was NO resolution at all. And I NEEDED at least some D: Other than that though, this was such a treat and I'm happy you mostly felt the same way! GREAT review^^

  11. Well I'm more than happy that you read this beautiful book. I cannot wait to re-read it before the sequel.
    I can see where you're going with the plot holes. I didn't even notice them. And maybe that's because I was far to invested in the characters to see beyond them. I think with the whole 100 not being explained, Renee just went with the original tale and it was implied? I don't know. Sucks that you caught onto it. Lol.

  12. I feel like the last one standing that hasn't read this one yet. :) Sorry to see there was a pretty significant issue for one (plot holes are hard to get past) but it's good to hear that it was still a great read.

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

  13. YES! I had a similar issue, but couldn't put it into words correctly.
    While I also hope that book two will rectify this, I am nervous that if it doesn't then book two might let me down.

    Emily @ Follow the Yellow Book Road

  14. How did you love Tariq??? I have to admit, I was not a fan. As far as the plot holes, it's been awhile for me but I don't remember thinking about it, but after reading what you wrote, yeah, that makes no sense. It's funny how sometimes things like that will bug me and it almost ruins the whole book for me and then other times I don't even notice or barely notice. ~Pam


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