The Wrath & The Dawn – Renée Ahdieh (Review)

Title: The Wrath & The Dawn (The Wrath & The Dawn #1)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, 2015
Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Retellings

This review can be found on my BlogTeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page

*This book also counts for my Celadon City: Rainbow Badge for #Readthemallthon (yes, I’m still doing it!)

My Review:


I haven’t been surprised by a book in awhile. Maybe I’ve been expecting one thing and got another…maybe I thought the book wouldn’t be as good (or bad) as it was. But this book blew my mind. I kept thinking that a retelling of 1,001 Arabian Nights couldn’t possibly result in any love. The guy kills his brides for crying out loud! But…once again…I was surprised. Good surprised.

Sharhzhad volunteers to marry the Caliph, Khalid: the King of the country. She knows she will die, but she wants revenge. The King has been marrying the women of the city and has been executing them at dawn, creating civil unrest. Every  oghy a new bride, and every morning an execution. Shazi volunteers because she is trying to avenge Shiva, a close friend that was killed as one of the many brides. She has a plan…if only she can execute it before she is executed.

The first night she tells Khalid story, and as we are familiar with the tale, the story doesn’t end at sunrise. As upset as the King is, he allows one more night. The next night as she finishes the story, it bleeds into a new one, prompting the King to get suspicious. As the guards come that second morning, and Shazi struggles to explain she has more of the story to tell, the King proclaims Shazi not to be hurt; she is now the queen. Shazi is relieved and knows she now can try to exact revenge…but what nags at her are the questions people have already been asking: why has the King been killing his brides at dawn? What secret is he protecting? Sometimes he seems so guarded as a “boy-King,” but other times she sees beneath the veil over his amber eyes and finds a troubled soul. Can Shazi keep herself on her mission to destroy this monster? Or will Shazi be taken in and fall for the most dangerous man in the Kingdom?

Is It Classroom-Appropriate? 

I think it is ok. It’s rich with history and describes the beauty of a world we never get to read about: the historical Middle East. Magic and beauty are abundant. Curses are real. Carpets…can fly? Aladdin is the only peek at what has been a neglected area of the world. Hostilities now in the region do not detract from the rich cultural references we learn in Ahdieh’s book. Lexile.com rates it as High-Low (more mature subject matter…probably due to a suggestive scene or two) score of 690L (HL690L).   Now, for the classroom activities, there are abundant vocabulary words and cultural references. So much can be done! The stories Shazi tells could be used as writing prompts, and the secret Khalid is keeping could be speculated. This book is rich with possibility! I could write a lesson plan now using it. And I think I’m going to keep it in my arsenal of books to use when I’m able to create a unit plan on Retellings of classics/fairy tales. 

Age Range:

They recommend 14-17 as their usual “go-to” age group, but I think you could go as low as 13. The “suggestive” scenes are really only hints; there is no sex stated, but is implied. But we do cut out before things get hot and heavy. And there is no swearing. So I wouldn’t see a problem letting ages 13 and up read this book. I would be all right with my niece reading it. That says a lot to me when it comes to reading material for younger ages.

End Result:

I know this has been a popular raring as of late for me, but I give The Wrath & The Dawn ★★★★★! I know…I’m just having a good book streak. And because the next book is also overdue, I’m going to read that one right away. So I’ll be following up this review with the sequel. I recommend this to everyone: it shows deep character profiles and rich history…it shows the complexities of the human heart. It makes me wonder if someone who does bad for good reasons is still a bad person (I’m not going to give more of this book away…you just have to read it!). I now almost am willing to see if a retelling of Bluebeard could have a complex character, too…though I did read a book that references that fairy tale (I can’t remember the name), but it definitely made me feel for the “bad guy.” You’ll have to read this one and tell me if you felt for Khalid. 

Warning: there is a love triangle. Isn’t there always? But it’s not done poorly. I’d like to know, btw, where all these guys are that fall in love with the same woman and fight over her. Never happened to me…I think both guys would say, “Deuces,” and leave me out in the cold. So I do t find it believable for a real-life situation…but it does make for good reading, doesn’t it? Gotta heighten the conflict: if boy simply got girl, wouldn’t that be boring? Lol.


Happy Reading!

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57 thoughts on “The Wrath & The Dawn – Renée Ahdieh (Review)

  1. Annie

    Excellent review! You know, I was about to buy this one a while ago, but I wasn’t sure… the story does interest me though! 😀 Your review has made me sure I’ll read it ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just bought the sequel this past Saturday! I love the covers for these books and a new one was released for book 1. I only own TWADT on Kindle for now, so I will probably get the new version lol. Have you see it? It’s gorgeous!
    Great review and good on you for continuing the #ReadThemAllAthon!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this! I didn’t even know it was a Sheherazade/1001 nights retelling! I studied Arabic so I should’ve been on top of this one damnit. Also, regarding the 2 guys fighting for the same girl, does it count if the girl is interested in neither one of them? Cause that happened to me and it’s annoying as @#%!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No. That doesn’t count, lol. Though it probably was annoying!
      Yes, this is a good retelling! And no need for Arabic; it’s completely dumbed-down for us all non-Arabic speaking idiots. 😂
      I think you’d like this one…and the love triangle is only reciprocated in one direction really.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, shame ;). I thought I’d impress someone with it here eventually. But yes, annoying anyways if they both start to behave like stalkers at the same time! Luckily, I’m old and saggy now *phew*. Dumbed-down huh? I like dumbed down! 😉 Cool x3

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You…I swear every time I read your comments I laugh out loud.
      Yes, it’s super dumbed down for us slow old folks. Lmao.
      YOU’RE old and saggy? I don’t think so. I saw your book blog podcast. Now I’M old and saggy. 33, baby. Double threes. I’m like Sex in the City age. I’m Samantha, hitting on younger men. I just was seeing an 18 year old! I’m a cougar in training. ::hangs head in shame::
      Though, he had a girlfriend. So I’m the stupid one. But normally I like them young and stupid, so I can mold them. I drink their youth in my tea. (Wow, that sounds creepy, right?)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, well, right back at ya!! *throws fake glare*. Dude, 33…you’re lucky!! I was already reading books by the time you were born!! I think. Or well, almost, maybe *strokes chin*. HAHAHAHA *fist bumps!!*. My husband is 6.5 years younger than me, so I believe I’m a puma. Young and stupid is the way to go, though :’). LMAO (it does! :’)

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Ok…now I’m dying to know your age! You looked in your 20s in your book podcast! (And 6.5 years younger..that is exactly how young my ex was that dumped me last year…and we were together 6 years, so I practically watched him grow up! Lol)
      Puma, cougar..,whatever we are, we are the predators, and the young is our prey! Mwhoohaha!
      Also, the reason two guys fighting for a girl that doesn’t want either doesn’t count is because you could care less about them…except that you said it became stalker-y…that’s never good. But I wouldn’t be surprised if you ate them for dinner! You’re one tough puma-cougar-wildebeast!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BWAHAHAHA, I was just messing with ya. I’m actually 35 ;). But I don’t like to share it with the big public. Just pretending I’m still 29 (A). Thank you for the compliment, though ;). People here often think I’m taking the piss out of them when I say I’m 35, so that’s something at least! LOL @ watching him grow up :’). And high fives for scoring the green leaves! 😄 RAAAAAAAWR!! You know I like sausages, right? I’m not saying I’ve got a freezer full of human sausages but I do like Chianti and flava beans >:D

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Dude, you really got me!
      I had seen the first comment in my browser but hadn’t had a chance to respond, so all this time I thought you were freakin serious! Omg!
      I could kill you right now…that’s why I’ve been teasing you about being old! You’re only two years older than me!
      You (cough cough) umm, rhymes with “witch…”
      You got me good.
      And by the way, I’ve been 29 for going on five years now, so I get it. 😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LMAO! I put in a small pause between the two comments for dramatic effect, but not as much so you wouldn’t see it pretty much straight away anyways :’):’). Hahaha, love you too <3. And if I'd be 53, my comments everywhere would be even more inappropriate than they already are! O_o Plus, I'd be married to a 46-year-old for now. *wrinkles nose* *high fives on being 29 forever!* 😄

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, a real life love triangle. I would just like to know what it’s like, lol:
      This love triangle is weak: it’s pretty obvious who Shazi is going to pick so it’s not frustrating like most YA.
      I hope you give it a chance. 👍

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’d like to judge that for myself, thank you! 😂😂😂
      Jk. It’s probably very difficult. I’d just like one guy to vie for my attention…two would shock me! (Well, there was a time when I was dating this guy and his best friend hit on me…but he was dating my friend and I told her about it so I wouldn’t be the bad guy)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Christy Luis

        Definitely! I recently started another ya with a similar setting, but I ended up putting it aside due to the slow pace and plot; this one sounds way better 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeees, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this! It was one of the better books I read last year, and while I didn’t like the sequel as much, this series just feels very magical to me. Are you going to pick up The Rose and the Dagger soon?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a great review, and I am so so glad you loved this book as well. The Wrath and the Dawn is a favourite of mine, I completely agree with you I was wondering how they were going to make this a romance, how they would represent the character of Khalid in a way that made him sympathetic and not a murder and it was done really well. Plus I love Shazi as well, she is one of my all-time favourite female characters because she is just so amazing. I can’t wait to see what you think of the second book, in my opinion that one is even better! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so funny! Everyone thinks the second one is better, and I am all about the first one! Lol.
      I just wasn’t as surprised, and because of that, the first one will always hold a place in my heart. The second is like most sequels (and I’m talking sequels, not trilogies or other series books): they take care of the problems and make everything back to normal. And I am a happily ever after kind of girl, but I just got used to expecting more. I think I’ve become book jaded! 😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I’ve seen a lot of reviews that say that as well, I mean both are great books I guess it just comes down to personal preference.
        Do you think this series could have been better as a trilogy then? I agree with you it tied everything up nicely but they could have made more of the curse and the action if there was another book. I’m not quite jaded yet, I want a happy ending more than anything else! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Yeah, I feel like they had to tie it up in the book, so there wasn’t as much explored. They could’ve done more. Or, instead they could’ve turned it into one book. By having two, it was like one was all action and the second was all summation. But that’s just my opinion. It was still good, but I wish there was more.
      I guess I’m greedy, lol! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess the danger with doing more though is that the story becomes too drawn out. Maybe the author felt that’s what would have happened if she’d wrote a third book in this series.
        Nah I’m the same, even when a series ends I still hope for more from the characters and the world. I’m incapable of lettings books I love go. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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