Because it’s not like I don’t have several other things for this blog to be working on…. Here’s a book review!
The Wrath and the Dawn
by Renee Ahdieh
Series: book 1 of 3? (3rd comes out in May! *squee* possibly more….)
Contains: slight language, slight sexual themes, fighting, sarcasm, magic
book-a-likes: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. Also saw a review likening it to Game of Thrones by J.R.R. Martin (totally less death in this book, but maybe on the world-building side?) Oh, and Obvs, A Thousand and One Arabian Nights
Also? Diversity in YA fiction!
So, if you know anything of A Thousand and One Arabian Nights, this book starts off following that formula. We aren’t really sure what’s going on because the author wanted to introduce us to every character ever in the prologue and first chapter. (like seriously… so confused). So, we don’t know why, but the King (Khalid) will marry a girl and then kill her the next morning and because the last “wife” was our MC’s (Shahrzad) best friend, she’s volunteered to be the King’s next wife with plans to get close to Khalid and MURDER him.
And because it wouldn’t be YA fiction if there wasn’t some kind of weird love triangle, enter childhood crush Tariq who apparently hasn’t made his feelings of “I want to be more than just a friend” known. Except the further we get through the book, the more we realize that Khalid isn’t just a monster, just made horrible decisions and we’re still not super clear on them because he plays things pretty close to his chest and actually Shahrzad is super in love with this infuriating, murdering boy-king.
Overall, I loved all the parts with Shahrzad or Khalid and the fortunately short time devoted to Tariq mounting his rebellion I kind of slept through. The only point where I felt for Tariq is when he left his really awesome horse at a well because a guy had “accidentally” dropped the bucket down the well, and I may have yelled a little for Tariq not to go down in the well and let that dude steal his horse.
I loved that throughout the book, there are middle eastern words so that you can never quite forget where this is set and you aren’t actually reading about Mary Sue white girl. I was initially annoyed, but then I got to wondering why the words were in italics and realized that there was a glossary at the back (wonderful!) because I’m horrible about not reading the last pages of a book.
(*word to the wise, don’t read the back of the book to the first in the Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy….. huge spoiler there…..)
I don’t know what the next book will bring to us, but I’m sort of but really hoping for some death or maiming of Tariq…. not his friend Rahim though…. he’s suffered enough for being friends with Tariq.
Strong female character throughout, though in this genre we nearly always get that. But she gets called ‘brat’ a lot by her handmaiden which is kind of refreshing actually.
Oh, and her dad….. like seriously dude…. murdering things to give yourself more magic powers…. nothing about that seem wrong to you? Nothing? Where does it stop, dude? Where does it stop? (RIP hare and horse)
And I am so not happy with that ending because I sort of understand but also, NOT AT ALL. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a cliffhanger ending everyone’s safe, but there’s totally more story to tell. I’m so glad there’s a second book for me to go pick up. I need more Khalid in my life. That man has the heart of a poet and even when boneheaded, I can see why Shahrzad fell in love with him.
Also, check out some of my other latest reviews!!