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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-12-28 02:21
DNF Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
The Wrath and the Dawn - Renee Ahdieh

WARNING: Angry. Spoilery. Beware.

DNF at 55%. After the mass hype surrounding this, I was expecting to be disappointed by this but for completely separate reasons than I am.I listened to the audiobook while knitting and have thrown my phone across the room twice.


I must be missing something here. This is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights (haven't read it) which immediately intrigued me. The main character volunteers herself to marry this horrible murderous Caliph so she can kill him, as he married and murdered her friend. That's his thing - marry a girl, fuck her, kill her the next morning. Kill him. Good.


So Shazi keeps herself alive by telling stories, plots his death, he has sex with her without her consent. This is horrible, but expected. And then he kisses her and suddenly this person she has referred to as a monster, who has raped her and treated her like an object, this is the person she has sudden conflicting feelings about. Then it is night, and the next scene is written in such a way that I think I'm expected to swoon that Khalid has actually asked for Shazi's consent.


And here we are. Book returned to the e-library. Me ranting on here like the good old days. What on earth am I missing here? I have read the other reviews (to see if she poisons him at the end) and this is apparently a swoon-worthy romance and

they end up together. ??????? I don't get it. No stars given due to my own rule about not starring DNFs but this may change in future. :|


For your amusement, here are my reading status updates of this book. I can almost see my eyes rolling into the back of my head and starting on fire.

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text 2016-12-23 01:51
Reading progress update: I've read 23%.
The Wrath and the Dawn - Renee Ahdieh

So far the main character has stared into the mirror and described herself (while describing generally attractive features and simultaneously moaning about how plain she is), describes her outfits each time she has a wardrobe change. Eyes have also been referred to as "topaz orbs".


However... shoot me if this isn't a really entertaining story. I'm so hooked! This serves as a reminder to me that YA can be a bit cringey and fun at the same time. Normally I blame myself for being picky.

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review 2016-12-18 22:27
Dull dull dull.
The Wrath and the Dawn - Renee Ahdieh

This sounded like such an intriguing book. A retelling of the classic 'One Thousand and One Nights' where the storyteller Shahrzad tells a long tale to buy time and to extend her life for another day to complete her plan for revenge. What she did not expect, however, was to learn the reasons for her new husband's reasons for killing a new bride every night and how she ends up falling in love with him. That was not part of the plan at all.


What seemed like a great concept is just...dull. Initially I was willing to go along with it but the plot is lackluster, the characters are not interesting AT ALL, and the love story that drives the entire tale is boring. There is the bond between Shahrzad and Khalid (Caliph who kills a new bride every night) and then there’s one between her and Tariq. Yawn.


There isn’t much more to say as other reviews cover the criticisms of the book pretty well. The book is entirely too long and it just felt like the author had nothing to say but used a lot of words to say it. It was excruciating to get through. It wasn’t necessarily bad writing either. There could be an excellent tale to tell but it doesn’t work well in the hands of this author.


I really regret buying it. The author has a new book (‘Flame in the Mist’) coming out that’s supposed to take place in feudal Japan and has been described as “’Mulan’ meets Tamora Pierce” which drew me to finally pick this up. I’ll read ‘Flame’ but will be skipping the sequel to this.

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review 2016-09-26 03:29
Book 72/100: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Adieh
The Wrath and the Dawn - Renee Ahdieh

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge Item: A book set in the Middle East


This is a first novel, and it feels like one. The prose is overwritten and tends toward the purple, and it resorts to using the same descriptions far too often. Like, we don't need to know that Jalid has "tiger eyes" each time he looks at Sherzhad, do we? Or that Sherzhad has luscious, waist-length hair? There also seemed to be something weird going on with transitions, because I often had to backtrack to figure out how we got from one scene to another, or from one point of view to another, etc.


It's hard to redeem the caliph who murders a new bride every night, and this book puts forth a valiant effort. But in doing so, it sort of lets him off the hook for his crimes, which is a little off-putting. The tumultuous love story between Jalid and Sherzhad probably would have captured my interest if I read this as a teenager, but as an adult it felt a bit on the melodramatic side. Plus, whenever I started to get into it, there was, "Oh yeah, but this guy has killed a bunch of women," and that sort of killed the mood for me.


The world-building is pretty shaky and doesn't seem to be firmly rooted in Middle Eastern history or in a new, magical world. It ends up being a sort of mashup of the two, but the magic plays such a tangential part in the story that it feels a little out of place. There are curses and random powers inserted mostly for the sake of convenience and without feeling as though they are truly woven into the fabric of this time and place. And, like, why was there a magic carpet that never even did anything? I could have done without the half-baked love triangle, too.


I gave the book three stars, so obviously it wasn't all bad. It held my interest well enough even if it annoyed me at times, and there are far too few retellings of fairy tales outside the European canon. It ends on a little bit of ambiguity/cliffhanger which seems to set it up for a sequel, in which the love triangle is destined to take center stage. I don't think I will be reading it.

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review 2016-08-06 16:10
The Wrath and the Dawn Book Review
The Rose and the Dagger - Renee Ahdieh

While I didn't enjoy this AS much as book one I still liked it a lot. My favorite characters are apart for quite some time in this book, which is why I think I liked the first one more. I'm super glad this one is only a duology because it closed really really well.


Shazard is back and this time her feelings for Khalid are threatening to come out in the open. With her friends still wanting revenge, Shazard has to be careful about who she trusts. For if she trusts the wrong person, things could get deadly.


I love the romance in this. Its not the whole story but it really is what makes it so wonderful. The  relationship between Shazard and Khalid and then Tariq works really really well. Not to mention the writing is exquisite.


These classic fairy tales being made into YA twists is a thing I am really enjoying and I'm hoping we get more of them.

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