Publication: May 12, 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC copy provided by the publisher, thank you!
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.
I haven't read A Thousand and One Nights, so I can't compare the two, but The Wrath and the Dawn is a captivating read. It touched me on more of an emotional level. I felt so drawn in by the story and characters, I couldn't help but fall in love.
The main character, Shahrzad, is a force to be reckoned with. She has a strong personality and a lot of sass. I loved her as a main character. She has flaws and she maybe isn't the most strong-willed person, but she brings so much life to the story. She is definitely not forgettable, and I love that about her.
Khalid is a mystery. The reader has a little more insight into him than Shahrzad does, but there is still a lot to learn. His and Shahrzad's interactions are intense and confusing, but tantalizing and beautiful at the same time. I just couldn't get enough of them.
The building romance throughout the book kept me guessing and wanting more. My emotions were so tangled and mixed, just like Shazi's. There is definitely a war between heart and head, making for an engrossing, unputdownable read.
The writing has a very nice flow with an intellectual feel to it. There are some philosophical elements thrown in and beautiful, thought-provoking quotes. It is still easy and quick to read, which I enjoyed. The chapters do alternate perspectives, which wasn't bad, but there are perspectives from characters outside the palace. Those just didn't interest me as much. I did not want to leave Shazi and Khalid's story line.
I became so attached to this story, it brought me to tears and kept me up at night. I couldn't stop thinking about it once I finished. It's not perfect, and there are some things I wish were developed more. There is a magical aspect that definitely needed more exposure and explanation. However, my emotional attachment allowed me to overlook that. The ending is pretty crazy and I'm so thankful that there will be a sequel, I can't even imagine where things are going to go from here!