A novel I was very eager to read. After that summary, I was kind of curious to see if it really was a modern version of the story thousand and one Night. To be honest, it didn´t quite fulfill my expectations. Yes, I somehow enjoyed reading it and yes, I see the beautiful language the author has used. But sometimes it was, at least in my opinion, way to opulent and filled with things I actually wasn´t very interested in.

The Wrath And The Dawn*
by Renée Ahdieh
The Wrath And The Dawn #1
Publisher G.P. Putnam´s Sons on May 12, 2015
Genre Novel
Pages 416
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher

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 at 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.
Shahrzad wants to see the boy, who killed her best friend, dead. She wants revenge and to be the one who does it, one way or the other. But when she marries the Caliph of Khorasan and gets to know him, she sees all of a sudden a young man with a dark secret. A boy who does everything to prevent his folks from an even more terrible destiny.

Well, sometimes the writing style is a bit stilted, very flowery, and somehow poetic. I had during some pages my pleasure reading it, during others I was wondering when this would be over. Written from the personal narrative perspective, the novel is written in an incredibly poetic way and very detailed. But sometimes it was way too much. Some pages run like rubber and were just as interesting. There is no question that Renée Ahdieh has a very unusual writing style. She conjures with her luxurious and very typical oriental descriptions pictures in the reader´s head that are awesome, colorful, and show a world that seems today very old fashioned and weird. It was, on one hand, a real pleasure to discover this world, on the other, I felt some sort of relief when I finished this novel and closed it.

Oh yes, this novel has its good pages. And yes, to a certain point it is beautiful. And then there are scenes where you can´t seem to find the logic behind all, where the author seems to wobble around things and where she unravels the secrets at such a crawl that you really get bored. I found that very sad. There are so many beautiful words in this book. So many wonderful scenes and the idea behind all this is simply said gorgeous. And with all that in mind, it is, at least for me, really sad that I couldn´t get more out of it. Renée Ahdieh presents a lot of big feelings but they all seem to be felt for the reader through a thick wall. The reader is kept at a distance, and hate, thirst for revenge, and love make every single character to that, what they are: fighters fighting a losing battle.

Shahrzad is a fighter; small in size but big in her heart. She acts out of instinct, doesn´t really think things over before she´s acting. And because of that, she has to suffer most of the time painful consequences. She´s got a sharp tongue and within no time she knows how to ask questions the right way to get the information she needs

Khalid is a young boy who was never destined to take over the position he´s in now. And he never wanted to become like his father. But with the mistakes he´s done in the past, he became exactly the way his father was. Cruel and with obviously no conscience at all; until the day he gets married again and starts to do things differently.

Partly a beautifully written story, no doubt about that; but because of the summary, I expected a bit more. As sad as it is, but for me, this book was an average reading pleasure, despite the oriental luxuriousness and glory. But if you are in for a lot of details, and a very opulent writing style, then this might be the right book after all. But despite this conclusion, I am planning on reading the second book because I am kind of curious about how Shahrzad will solve everything …

Happy reading

*I read the German edition new release by One on February 12, 2016
Reneé Ahdieh
Renée Ahdieh ©Chuck Eaton Photography

Renée Ahdieh is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; consequently, Renée enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charleston, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog. She is the author of The Wrath and the Dawn. 


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