-Ahdieh, Renee. The Wrath & the Dawn. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015. ISBN-13: 978-0-399-1761-1. Hardcover List Price: $17.99. Paperback List Price: $10.99.
This is a wonderful book. While it’s advertised as retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, you will also find just as much political intrigue as an episode of Game of Thrones, and a hint of “Beauty and the Beast.”
Shahrzad is a great heroine. I love how Ahdieh added some new touches to the frame story, giving the characters of Shahrzad and the king deeper motivations and backstories. While I did not know how it was possible to humanize someone who murders his wives the morning after the wedding, Khalid is written in a way where you can root for him, especially when you read his letter to Shahrzad at the end. Needless to say, I am anxious to read the sequel. Among other things, I want to find out how the alliance between Reza and the Sultan of Parthia turns out in the next book, and how it will impact Tariq’s friendship with Shahrzad.
While this story is almost flawless, it is somewhat tiring to see countless books (particularly within YA) which fall back on a love triangle to create drama. I found Tariq very annoying at times, especially when he and the others are so determined to rescue her, when she clearly doesn’t need it. While this one can almost make it work, as the view of women as possessions is something that is accurate to the culture and time period Ahdieh is evoking, the YA love triangle is one I wish would go away.