book review

Book Review: The Wrath and The Dawn Duology by Renée Ahdieh

I have a new favourite series guys!! I honestly can’t gush enough about this duology. I loved the first book so much that I couldn’t even wait to write a review before starting the second! This book was on my TBR cart for so long and not even because I didn’t want to read it. Like I’ve been desperate to read it since it arrived, but other books just kept getting in the way.

So, this book is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. I don’t know if you guys have seen the really old TV miniseries Arabian Nights but I loved that story and this is a retelling of that so I was so here for it. Khalid, the 18-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride every day, only to have her killed at sunrise. After her best friend is chosen and murdered in this way Shazi volunteers to be the next bride. She tells Khalid a story when he comes to her bedchamber and he keeps her alive to hear the rest. Slowly Shazi starts to grow closer to her monstrous husband all the while plagued by questions of how the person, she’s coming to know could murder so many girls…

What I loved about this book. I adore Shazi. She’s such a strong character and I love how she battles with words. She honestly just seemed like a Calipha in every sense of the word. She’s brilliant and I loved her so much!

I love a good, tortured, morally-grey character so Khalid was also perfect. It was really interesting seeing how the story progressed and being able to understand his character more. Him with Shazi is just perfect.

That brings me on to their relationship. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I love how their relationship was portrayed. Khalid really sees Shazi as an equal, he listens to her even when he doesn’t agree with what she wants. I loved how he was willing to step back and let her be Calipha instead of rushing to her aid. Also, Shazi is so amazing you understand completely why he’s into her, she’s so enigmatic that it makes sense that he wouldn’t kill her like his other brides.

Obviously, their relationship plays a major role in this book but there’s also a lot of plot. Throughout the first book the love that Shazi left behind, Tariq, is setting out a way to save her and his kingdom. I wasn’t super into Tariq; his story arc is a little sad, but he was a bit irritating with his thoughtlessness for me to care much about him. The person who I did grow to really care about though was Rahim which I thought was really unexpected.

I already want to reread these books they’re so good! And I also enjoyed how angst wasn’t injected into Shazi and Khalid’s relationship to make plot for the second book. This tendency of authors is why I have such issues with second books! I just think this is such a good portrayal of a relationship. I saw some reviews on goodreads question whether it was healthy, but I honestly think it’s one of the best examples of an open, realistic relationship in YA books.

So yeah, I gave both these books 5* which has been the first series in a very long time to get all 5* ratings (obviously it helps being a duology). Just going to take a moment to say how much I love duologies, they’re like the perfect amount of book for me. But yeah, I know most people have already read this series but if you haven’t what are you waiting for?

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