Book Review | The Wrath and the Dawn, by Renée Ahdieh

Book Review Header

The wrath and the dawn coverAfter the last retelling of a classic story, I wasn’t exactly  clamoring for more. It wasn’t awful, but I wasn’t interested enough to read the rest of the series. Thank goodness for the flash sale price on The Wrath & the Dawn, or I’d have missed out on it completely.

The Wrath & The Dawn is a young adult book that I quite honestly forgot was for young adults at times. Along those same lines, it is certainly a book I would have read and adored as a teenager.

A retelling of 1001 Nights (or Arabian Nights, if you know of it that way), The Wrath & the Dawn once again follows a young woman whose life is risked when she becomes the wife of a king who seems determined to kill each of his brides after only a single day of marriage. To Shahrzad, the 19-year-old caliph is a monster: a monster who has already killed her closest friend in his madness. She’s out for blood, volunteering herself as the next bride so that she may learn enough about Khalid to find a weakness before she falls victim to his deadly whims as well.

Shazi makes it through the first night without incident. Unlike the other brides, she makes it through the next several nights as well. It’s cherished time, because it provides her more time to discern how she can easily tear him down from the inside.

Of course, she doesn’t expect to fall in love with him. She doesn’t expect to learn that there’s more to the story of why he’s killed tens of young women in his quest to find the perfect bride. She doesn’t expect to realize that he’s not as much of a monster as she’s always thought.

Yes, it’s predictable, as both young adult and romance books oftentimes are. There’s even the old flame from back home, Tariq, who is gallantly ready to steal Shazi from the caliph’s clutches. In fact, Tariq actually plays the same role in this book that Jacob Black plays in Twilight (here’s to hoping there’s no imprinting on a baby in the next book). But The Wrath & the Dawn is notably different. Shazi isn’t weak– she’s smart and mouthy, while still being a relatable 16-year-old young woman. She has desires (which are tastefully written for the appropriate audience), and readers fall in love with Khalid along with her. Through it all, Andieh doesn’t lose sight of the adventurous plot line, which remains throughout.

At this point, I’ve read The Wrath & the Dawn, as well as two of Andieh’s associated short stories. It was that serious. If I didn’t also have a couple more books I needed to finish with some degree of urgency, I’d have skipped right into the full length sequel as well. I’m afraid to say it, but I might have to admit to myself that I actually enjoy well-written romance. I’m cringing inside, but there you have it.

It’s safe to say I recommend The Wrath & the Dawn. If you’re a reader interested in adventurous Young Adult books with a good pinch of romance, this is for you. For those who like a historical backdrop to their action/adventure/romance, this will absolutely be your cup of tea. Finally, for people interested in retellings, start with this one instead of Cinder— you won’t regret it.

Have y’all read The Wrath and the Dawn? Are you surprised I’ve read 2 young adult books in one month? Do you have others that you know I’ll like? Let me know in the comments! 

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  1. […] The Wrath and the Dawn, by Renee Ahdieh […]


  2. Hey! This is unrelated to your post BUT Carla @ The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise is doing guest posts this month by people of color and I wondered if you would be interested doing one? Each month Carla uses her blog to provide a platform for different communities (in the past she has done feminists, the LGBTQIA community and June is dedicated to people of color) I thought it would be cool if you talked about why you started your blog, or the lack of diversity that you found in the blogging world or whatever else you wanted. Just a thought if you’re interested! The link to Carla’s blog is below

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be great! Thanks for the heads up!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem! I look forward to reading it!


  3. That’s a really good title–and based on your review, I might try this for the beach, even though YA and romance aren’t really my cup of tea, usually.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How is it possible that a dude is killing dozens of women, but it’s somehow okay/justifiable? This book sounds, to me, like it could be romantic if you overlook a lot of things (like readers overlooked the fact that Edward was a hard-core stalker in the Twlight series).


    1. Fair point, which is why I delayed reading it for a while. But since it was only $2.99, I decided to give it a chance. The author makes it work– and where she can’t, the caliph takes responsibility for his part. Edward Cullen seriously creeped me out, because he really was a hundred year old man stalking a teenage girl. This book doesn’t require the reader to make the same allowances: we’re allowed to be horrified and angry at what’s happening, and I appreciated that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It definitely sounds more complex than the Twilight series. Thanks for responding!


  5. This isn’t one I would normally choose for myself, but you’ve made it sound so good! I’ll have to look out for it. I’m thinking it might make an excellent mother/daughter read. 🙂


    1. I’m in the midst of several uber-heavy reads, and this was a breath of fresh air. I also like good YA more than I care to admit.

      Also, depending on your daughters age, this might still be too old for her. I’d say no younger than 13.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She’s 15!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. It was a wonderful book and I hate that I waited so long to read this. Great review!


    1. I wish I’d read it sooner, too! I can’t wait until I get to read the sequel! I’m in the middle of a really heavy read, and could use something less heavy at the end!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh it’ll be amazing. I read the sequel as soon as it came out.. Just couldn’t wait

        Liked by 1 person

  7. jessreadingnook

    I haven’t been reading as much YA as I normally do, but I just bought this book and can’t wait to read it! Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I guess we’ve switched, since I NEVER read YA. I’m happy I picked this one up, though. It was only 2.99 on kindle!


  8. I dont like much of romance in YA. But adventure sounds good. I always find it difficult to weigh in and see if I would enjoy a book or not


    1. Romance in YA is always a little bit off to me because I wasn’t prone to such strong feelings at such a young age. It’s hard to relate to, honestly. There are elements of that in this, but she doesn’t follow her whims as blindly as I’ve seen in other books


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