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.
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I’ve had The Wrath and the Dawn duology on my to-be-read list for at least a year now, so when my friend asked if I wanted to do a buddy read of it I decided to go for it and I’m glad I did.
The story, which is loosely based on A Thousand and One Nights, started a bit slow for me. Told in the third person point of view, we follow Shazi as she embarks on her path of revenge to kill the Caliph, Khalid, who killed her best friend, Shiva, and all his other wives.
Of course, things are much more complicated than Shazi realized and somehow she ends up finding herself falling for Khalid. Honestly, I can’t blame her, because I started to fall for him too. While Shazi’s dealing with her confusing feelings for Khalid, her first love Tariq and her father, Jahandar, are determined to save her. However, their means of trying to save Shazi may cause more problems than they resolve. Also, Shazi may not want to be saved.
I really liked almost all the characters in this. I really liked Shazi and Khalid, especially their romance. It was surprisingly super cute for a story about a guy who kills all his wives. I also really liked Shazi’s handmaiden, Despina, and Khalid’s cousin, Jalal. They brought some necessary humor to the story.
The only characters that irritated me were Tariq and Jahandar. Tariq, because he gave me serious Tamlin (from A Court of Thorns and Roses) vibes, and Jahandar, because while he definitely had good intentions he was totally going about it the wrong way. Besides them, though, I really enjoyed all the characters, and find the villains to be interesting.
I only had a few real issues with this novel, besides the slow beginning. First, we barely saw Shazi’s sister, Irsa. I know nothing about her and I felt like I’d like her if she was in the story more. I also kind of shipped her with Shazi’s friend, Rahim, for no reason, honestly. I just kind of hope that happens.
Second, I was a little uncomfortable with Shazi and Khalid having sex in the beginning. On the one hand, I get that they have to consummate the marriage but it just felt wrong to me, especially because obviously neither of them were really into it. However, I was able to move past it and truly enjoyed this novel and the romance that inevitable blossomed between Shazi and Khalid.
Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot and I can’t wait to read the sequel and see what happens next for Shazi and Khalid. If you’ve read The Wrath and the Dawn, let me know your thoughts about it below.
Borrow or Buy: Buy!
“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.”