Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Published by GP Putnam's Sons (5.12.2015)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 388 pages
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?
After all, every story has a story.
I have NO idea why it took me so long to finally pick this one up! It’s been on my TBR for almost two years now, and I’ve been wanting to read it forever. I guess I was just worried I wouldn’t like it. I shouldn’t have been! This book was engaging and mesmerizing. Renee’s prose is so beautiful! I loved the Arabian Nights/Aladdin feel it had going to it. There’s not very many YA books like that. It was pitched as a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, but I’ve never read it. Now I kinda want to!
I loved Shazi so much! She was fierce, fiery, and determined. She had a heart of gold, and was totally stubborn, but she stuck to her guns. I loved how unapologetic she was! I was surprisingly attached to the characters. Everyone knows I’m not a fan of romance, but I loved this one! It’s kind of a Stockholm Syndrome story, and I love those. Khalid is portrayed as a monster at first, but I was very curious about him. I was DYING to know about his secret! I was super intrigued by his past and what made him the way he was.
“My soul sees its equal in you.”
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the dynamic between Shazi and Khalid. It’s such an unlikely romance, and even though Shazi fought her attachment to Khalid, it crept up on her anyway. I loved seeing her soften to him as time passed!
THE ENDING WHYYYY. The way it ended broke my heart a little bit, and I’m really hoping to get some closure in the next book!
Side note: I get to meet Renee at YALLfest in November, I’m pretty excited!
“Love is a force unto itself. For love, people consider the unthinkable…and often achieve the impossible. I would not sneer at its power.”
“Trust that the man you see now is a shadow of what lies beneath. If you would, give him the love that will enable him to see it for himself. To a lost soul, such a treasure is worth its weight in gold. Worth its weight in dreams.”
“You are – remarkable. Every day, I think I am going to be surprised by how remarkable you are, but I am not. Because this is what it means to be you. It means knwoing no bounds. Being limitless in all that you do.”
With each word, he broke past every barrier, every wall. And Shahrzad’s will fought him, screamed a silent scream, while her heart welcomed the intrusion as a songbird welcomes the dawn.
“So you would have me throw Shazi to the wolves?”
“Shazi?” Jalal’s grin widened. “Honestly, I pity the wolves.”
‘For nothing, not the sun, not the rain, not even the brightest star in the darkest sky, could begin to compare to the wonder of you.’
Writing style: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5