Friday, September 25, 2015

The Wrath and the Dawn by Reneé Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn is a historical fantasy set in an an Arabic world in the distant past. The main characters are Shahrzad, a 16-year-old girl who is seeking revenge, and Khalid, the 18-year-old Caliph of Khorasan (a sort of regional king). Khalid has been marrying young girls and murdering them systematically, and Shazi decides to marry him and kill him before he can kill her. She keeps herself alive for a few days by telling him stories (a la the famous Arabian Nights story) but that only lasts a few days. Khalid falls for her and she loses her interest in killing him and instead tries to find out why he has killed so many young women all the while succumbing to her growing feelings for him. I wanted to like this book more than I did, but I struggled to finish it. The writing was frequently overly flowery and the strong female character overcoming a male-dominated society didn't ring true to me. In spite of all the good reviews this book got, I just didn't buy into the characters or the romance or the fantasy elements included. I think this book will find an audience with fans of romance books, probably younger high school readers would be the right age to read it.

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