Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and The Dawn

“Get up, Shahrzad al-Khayzuran. You kneel before no one. Least of all me.”

PictureThe Wrath and The Dawn has kept me busy for the past two weeks. I had my eye on it for a while now but never picked it up until two weeks ago.

The story is about a young woman named Sharzhad. She’s the oldest child in a family of four. Her father was once an advisor of the King but works as a scholar now. Her mother passed away before the story begins.
Right off the bat, we learn that Sharzhad has lost her best friend Shiva. Shiva’s been killed and no one knows why. The only thing Sharzhad knows is that the young Caliph of Khorasan kills his wife at dawn only to remarry the next day. In order to stop this endless killing, Sharzhad decides to volunteer as the Caliph’s new bride. Her plan is to kill him before he kills her.

But things are not what they seem.

When Sharzhad meets Khalid, the Caliph, it doesn’t surprise her to see he’s nothing but a cold-hearted soldier who diesn’t care for anyone but himself. But Sharzhad is determined to stay alive until the dawn has long passed. In order to survive, she begins to tell Khalid a story about a thief who stranded on an island with no food or drink. Right before the end, dawn breaks and Sharzhad knows she’s won.

In her quest, Sharzhad continues to share stories with her husband while trying to figure him out. In her search for his weak spots she finds anything but opportunities to end his life. She does, however, discover something entirely different but much more valuable.
When I read this book for the first time, I did kind of struggle with it. Not because it was slow-paced or dull but due to its richness of new vocabulary. The story is set in Iraq, back when it was still an empire. I didn’t know much about the Iraq history or its culture and that’s why it was a little difficult at times. Of course, the people in Iraq would be clothed with things I have never heard of. And they have values and habits that are unknown to me.
It was so much fun having to use Google to get deeper into the story and understand it. I even Googled Baghdad to make sure I was in the right place. I also searched for pictures of certain clothing like the sash or a mankalah. It expanded both my vocabulary and my knowledge about the Middle East.

And that is what reading should be about, as well. It should be about surpassing boundaries and cultures. We should use books to learn about each other and it’s a damn shame that there aren’t more books like this out there. It was refreshing to read about someone other than the typical American white-girl you come across so often in YA literature nowadays.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.Picture
It’s become an all-time favorite of mine and it’s caused me to have a major bookhangover. I can’t think about anything else and I keep rereading bits and pieces of it. Khalid’s story won’t get out of my head. Nor will the ending which was beyond brutal.
I mean… that ending was… NOPE. I literally can NOT wait until The Rose and The Dagger is here. I miss Khalid en Sharzhad too much already *cries* . And I’m curious to see what happens with Jahandra, since he seems like he’s going down a very dark road. Also, Sharzhad seems to have potential for badass magic use so I have that to look forwards too 😀

Oh, who am I kidding? I NEED KHALID AND SHARZHAD TOGETHER and happy and jolly and .. and…. ugh *cries some more*

Only 93 days to go and I’ll have my hands on part two ^^

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