Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Genres: A Thousand and One Nights, Young Adult
Maturity Level: Young Adult - some violence and sexual content
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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?
So my first thought was that I probably should have read a quick summary of the fairy tale before starting because I found the very beginning a little confusing. As the book went on it started to explain some things more so it was much better. Besides that first confusing part, I was hooked the rest of the way through. I physically could not put this book down, it was impossible.
My favourite part of this book was the romance. The whole hate to love thing can be a little overdone sometimes but it always pulls me in. I just loved the chemistry between Khalid and Shazi from the moment they started interacting with each other. There was no swooning “omg I love you so much” moment, it was all very realistic emotions. To me they felt realistic anyways, I can’t promise everyone will think the same. There were parts that were a little predictable since, you know, it’s a retelling, but there were also a lot of moments that I wasn’t expecting.
Speaking of what I wasn’t expecting, I didn’t think I’d fall in love with that characters this much. While the story lacks a little bit of world building, I found myself not caring just because I was so interested in these characters and I desperately wanted to now what would happen to them next. None of the relationships any of them have are the typical ones you would see in a story. We have the king and his cousin who act like brothers sometimes but other time they’re far from it. Then we have the same cousin who slowly starts to become friends with Shazi and who;s relationship is always entertaining. There’s just so many characters and they’re all perfect. I also desperately need some fanart with Shazi in some of her outfits because they all sounded incredible.
The only complaint I could think of was that the world building was lacking a little bit. We didn’t see much other than the palace (and a few stops on the way to the palace), though I can tell there will be a lot more in book two. I think this was just a very character and plot driven book so the world didn’t really matter too much. If we don’t get more in the next book though I think it will be disappointing.
I also didn’t really like the second POV. I’m not going to lie, I can’t even remember his name. It starts with a T maybe? That’s how memorable he was to me. I just thought he was boring and we could have done without his parts of the story. Shazi’s parts were what I kept reading for.
I’d recommend this to any YA lovers who are also a big fan of romance. If you don’t like your books with a lot of romance than this isn’t the book for you. It’s also great for fairy tale lovers not because it’s a retelling but because it has a fairy tale feel to it. Everything feels a little magical when you’re reading this book and the romance is definitely worthy of a fairy tale.
I hate hyping up any book too much because I know how much I hate being disappointed. Just know that this really was a great book and it kept me hooked even past the point when I put it down.