One Life to One Dawn.
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?
I have fallen ridiculously hard for this book. It has been sitting on my shelf for months watching me go through extended reading slumps but pulled me out of it in seconds. The Wrath and the Dawn is a beautifully written retelling of A Thousand and One Nights that kept me up all night.
A kingdom ruled by a king that marries a new girl each day to then kill her by sunrise. Shahrzad intends to get revenge on the king for killing her best friend. She volunteers herself to be his bride and tells him stories each night that is left on a cliffhanger to convince him to keep her alive for just one more day. With each day she attempts to plot how she may kill him, however, she finds herself falling for Khalid as he is not quite the monster she imagined. While this is happening within the walls of the castle, Shahrzad's childhood love is doing everything he can to get to her and rescue her. He teams up with Shahrzad's father who is into some pretty crazy magic in order to get her back. The different POVs added a nice dimension to the book as we also get to see what life is like outside the castle while also watching the slow-burning romance unfold between our main characters.
“My soul sees its equal in you.”
There are some truly swoon-worthy quotes in this book that made my heart soar. I loved how the romance unfolded between Shahrzad and Khalid. Every time he referred to her as joonam "my everything", I fell in love a little harder. There are some aspects that I hope are addressed in the sequel, for example, I don't quite understand why Khalid found Shahrzad special enough not to kill her straight away. In the book, he says that there was something about her that drew him in, but this was never explained further.
Another thing I was slightly sad about is that this story introduces us to magic within the world but doesn't delve into anything below the surface. Shahzad is hinted at from the beginning to hold some kind of magic but this is not explored too much in this book. Perhaps it's being saved for the sequel? I am unsure but hope that some of my lingering questions are answered!
Overall, The Wrath and the Dawn made me smile and made my heart ache like it has not done in a while. I cannot wait to read more books by Ahdieh and would definitely recommend this a thousand times over to anyone who loves an enemy to lovers romance with a good plot and world-building.
5 Failling Books