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?
Overall, I rated this book four stars.
Some people may be a little shocked — “SURELY THIS IS A FIVE STAR BOOK?” some of you may be exclaiming. And I can understand why. I have seen so many people on Goodreads and within the blogging community rating this book five stars. But there was so much hype surrounding this book and I think that caused me to have really high expectations. Expectations that I don’t think were met. Does this happen to anyone else?
Now — don’t get me wrong — I still really enjoyed this book. It was actually a really entertaining read that I would recommend to all my followers and readers. And I am looking forward to reading the sequel soon!
↠ The Plot
I actually found the beginning to be quite slow and it took me a little while to really get into the story. Though, what followed a slow beginning was a very intriguing and fascinating story that was much better paced. I actually read the book considerably quickly, because I wanted to see what happened next in the interesting plot that Ahdieh weaved and how the characters developed.
The overall plot was simple and straightforward, but I really enjoyed the twists and turns that Ahdieh added. Now, I wouldn’t say that the book is complicated and surprising (though it is in no way predictable), but there were moments throughout the book that I found to be different. My favourite aspect was definitely the way that Shahrzad’s stories that Ahdieh threaded throughout the book — as they mirrored the events that were happening between Shahrzad and Khalid.
There was something that I didn’t particularly like (and I am probably going to get so much hate for this…), but I actually didn’t enjoy the romance between Shahrzad and Khalid. There was no doubt that something was going to blossom between the two, but I was kind of disappointed and found myself wishing that something wouldn’t occur between them. It just felt a little out of character for Shahrzad. Please tell me that I am not the only one that felt that way…
↠ The Characters
Shahrzad was a very interesting character and as the novel moved forward, allowing her the chance to develop, I grew to really like her. At times she was a little confusing — especially with the growing romance between her and the man she had planned to kill — however she was such a strong-headed, determined character that I loved reading her story and watching her develop. I love the way that Ahdieh chose to write Shahrzad, especially as the story progressed and the layers of Shahrzad’s character pealed away. Essentially, The Wrath and The Dawn is almost a coming-of-age story for Shahrzad and I’m looking forward to seeing how she further develops in the next book.
The best part about Shahrzad’s character is her love of stories. The stories that she tells weave beautifully with the plot of the entire story, and I love the comparisons between Shahrzad’s stories and the path that she faces. These stories made Shahrzad become very enjoyable read. I wanted to know how her stories ended as much as Khalid did.
Unfortunately, I found the other characters lacking. I didn’t enjoy them as much as Shahrzad and, in fact, only liked them when she was interacting with them (such as Despina or Jalal). Though, I didn’t like Shahrzad’s father very much if I’m honest. They didn’t come across as well-rounded characters — which is incredibly unfortunate since I absolutely loved Shahrzad.
A very enjoyable read, with a well-developed and intriguing female protagonist. The romance was not my favourite, but I can see how it would appeal to others. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that is a fan of retellings and I cannot wait to read the next book!