I LOVED it! I give it 4.5 stars!
I was utterly enchanted by this book from beginning to end! The prologue is my all-time favorite one. It set up a great mystery, and I felt like I had to read the book at a breakneck pace to figure out what exactly was going on. Yet I hung on every word of the beautiful, amazing tale Ahdieh spins!
While the story possesses a great cast of characters, it centers on Khalid (the Caliph of Khorasan; referred to as the “king of kings” in his part of the world) and Shahrzad (a fiery, headstrong girl who is a commoner). The young king is on a reign of terror, marrying a new bride each evening only to murder her the next morning. His people are dismayed and angry at what is transpiring in their country, no one more so than Shahrzad. Her best friend fell victim to the king, and Shahrzad vows vengeance. She volunteers to be a bride, goes into the castle with a plan to win the king’s favor, and against all odds stays alive day after day. Despite her initial hatred and the king’s guarded personality, a bond begins forming between the two. But can a relationship be built with secrets on both sides?
The stories Shahrzad tells Khalid to try to hold his attention and stay alive are SO GOOD. I even teared up at the end of one of these short tales. I also enjoyed the rich descriptions of clothing, jewelry, and food throughout the book. I could easily picture the splendor of what everyone was wearing and almost taste the sumptuous food they were eating!
I read that this book is inspired by A Thousand and One Nights. While I’m only familiar Disney’s Aladdin version of this story, it was fun to watch for signs of it throughout the book. At the same time, the vibrant characters and rich storytelling made it feel like a brand-new tale. The story took turns I wasn’t expecting, but things played out with more tension and excitement than I could have ever imagined!
This book is a must-read for everyone; it’s as simple as that! 🙂 And if you’re late to the party like me, then read it quickly because the sequel comes out Tuesday, April 26th! If The Rose and the Dagger is anywhere near as a good as this book (and I suspect it will be), then this will be ranked among my all-time favorite series.
Let us know what you think about The Wrath and the Dawn in the comments! No spoilers on this page please. 🙂
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