Hello, people! So here is the first post of the series of posts I am planning to make for the 2017 Diverse Reads Challenge I signed up for this year :) January was the month for Folktale/Mythology, and I decided to go for the first option.
The Wrath and The Dawn, by Renée Ahdieh is a YA, re-telling of the One Thousand and One Nights tale. In some part of Arabia, a whole kingdom is terrified and outraged by their young boy-king Khalid. No one knows why, he takes a girl from the city every so often, marries her and kills her the next morning. Families are destroyed, and no explanation is given to them. One day, Shahrzad volunteers to be the next girl, but she has no intention of dying.
I had wanted to read this book for so long, mainly because I had read so many good reviews. And it didn't let me down! I really did enjoy this one :D Plus, the hard cover edition of this book is beautiful! The story is refreshing in that it's set in a location I don't read a lot about (even though I lived in Arabia for three years, I never happened to come across a book that was set there). I really liked the way the author hides from you what's happening and you have no clue until, bit by bit, small pieces of information are given to you and you start to build the puzzle. That was interesting and had me hooked!
It is a romance, and the love story is super cute, but I didn't like that it happened too fast. I hate in when people totally dislike each other and then suddenly "they see something in the other" and they're in love forever. That doesn't happen, and that's sign that the author couldn't make a smooth transition. It makes me so mad whenever I see this in books! But regardless, the rest of the love story I really did enjoy and came to ship :P
About the characters, Shahrzad is the typical female protagonist of YA novels that has the role of a heroine but doesn't realise this, and just wants to achieve her initial goal. I really liked Khalid from the very beginning, and always had the feeling it will be a special character with a great potential - didn't let me down!
Another thing that I really liked about this book is that it is told in what I call "tale format", meaning that it has short sentences, with a very nice choice of words (very tale-like! :P). On the other hand, I didn't quite appreciate all the references to the idea of vengeance. I understand the author wants to make us see that's the way things rule in the world she's painted for us, but she doesn't seem to want to tell us it is wrong even though that's how things are. If in any situation revenge is stopped, it is not because the character realises it is wrong, but because a stronger emotion grows in them.
In spite of this, I found the setting she describes quite charming, authentic, and unique, which is great! It's not often that we get to read about other cultures, and I really appreciated it! Though I think I would have liked a broader explanations of the whole Calipha, Emir, etc. thing (the different levels of kings in the story). Before I read this book, I thought they didn't have anything to do with each other -some reigns are Caliphates and other Emirates, but from what I understood in this book, a Calipha has more power than and Emir. I'll have to do some research!
Overall, I had a great time reading this book, and I will definitely read the next book in the duology. I think The Wrath and the Dawn is a really good page-turner, and I totally recommend you read it if you like adventure and romance :D I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.
Have you read The Wrath and the Dawn or the next book to the duology? What did you think - worth reading? Leave me a comment!
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