First, let’s take a mintue to appreciate the beauty of the covers. Oh my.
Book 1 : The Wrath and the Dawn
Book 2 : The Rose and the Dagger
Author : Renee Ahdieh
Genre : YA Fantasy, Retelling
Goodreads summary :
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?
Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.
1. Lyrical writing : I really, really liked Ahdieh’s writing. At least, the good parts. I mean, there are both good and bad parts to her writing (I have mentioned in the cons too) but the good part is that her writing is lyrical. Some of the scenes are just beatifully depicted, and the writing is very easy, simple, and pretty much flows. You can fly through the books in no time, it’s that swift and beautiful.
2. The romance : I really like it when the romance in a fantasy/non-contemporary book is well done. Most book in these genres fall prey to some of the most terrible romance pet peeves : insta-love, cliche-love, unrealistic love triangles, dramatic love, cheesy love etc. Thankfully, the romance in this book was spot-on. There was a love triangle involved but it was fairly realistic, and tbh, I’m not against love traingles (as a lot of people are), I just can’t stand the unrealistic ones. The romance developed well in the first book, and kinda lacked in the second.
3. Characters : Kudos to Renee Ahdieh for creating such amazing characters. I especially loved Khalid, Jalal and Despina but more or less, all the characters are characters you can love and enjoy reading about. Will they make a lasting impression on you? Probably not (except for Khalid). But is reading about them and their banters fun? Extremely.
4. Plot : I loved the plot. I haven’t read Arabian Nights, though have been told the story a multitude of times by ancestors and elders. It’s an amazing story and I really liked Ahdieh’s take on the fairy tale. I love how the author mingled magic and romance into this classic tale, and overall, the plot has the ability to keep you hooked. The author did an extremely wise thing by keeping the story to two books, because had this been longer, it would have turned boring.
1. Descriptive writing : Yes, the writing was lyrical but, I felt that there were too many unnecessary descriptions of not-so-important things. Food, dresses, architecture, terrain – all of this described once or twice is good but later on, it did become exhausting.
2. Second book syndrome : Whereas I found the first book to be spectacular, the second book did not, sadly, live up to my expectations. It was an enjoyable ride, and I did read it in one day, but when I look back to the first book, a lot of aspects which made the first book special were absent in the second one. It lacked romance, it lacked the stories, it lacked the mystery element.
Everyone who wants to read a good, short, enjoyable fantasy story.
A ‘good book’ or a ‘good read’?
Good books. Amazing reads.