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  • Emily Fuchs

One book at a time...

Book review of The Wrath and the Dawn

Written by Renée Ahdieh, a No. 1 New York best-selling American-Korean Author in her late thirties, “The Wrath and the Dawn” is the first book of her duology, published in 2015. Her other works include the second book, titled “The Rose and the Dagger”, “The Wrath and the Dawn” short story trilogy, the “Flame and the Mist” series and “The Beautiful” series.


The Wrath and the Dawn is a version of “One thousand and One nights”, a collection of Middle Eastern, South Asian and East Asian folktales and was inspired by her husband’s family’s Persian heritage.

It plays in Khorasan, a country in a made-up world and the home of sixteen-year-old Shahrzad, who must see a girl of a different family each night, be wedded to the awful eighteen-year-old royal Caliph (the ruler of a Muslim society) named Khalid and be executed at sunrise. However, when they take her best friend away, she makes it her mission to avenge her and all the other girls. Her plan: stay alive and kill the gruesome Caliph, but Khalid may not be as bad as she thinks…

Review – my personal opinion:

Even though the book relies very heavily on the “enemies to lovers” trope and has some very stereotypical scenes, it takes you to a whole different oriental world, leaning on South and East Asian cultures, but of course, with a twist of fantasy.

The protagonist Shahrzard, or short Shazi, grows on you very quickly, she is a strong female lead, very headstrong and she knows exactly what she wants. She is a fierce heroine, so stubborn and determined and it’s wonderful to dive into her life and her plan of revenge. It’s always inspiring to see such a powerful main character and it makes the book so much more enjoyable.

Her story with Khalid is so beautiful and I really enjoyed their interactions; because both are so stubborn, their arguments and little quarrels are so much fun to read. It is interesting to witness their relationship develop; it becomes so precious and delightful. :)

I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the book as you dive into a new, unknown world with an unfamiliar culture that includes exciting traditions and new norms; it creates a very diverse and dynamic setting.

It’s amazing to see some Eastern fairy-tails mixed into the plot as well. I really loved the quotes in the book, there are some great sayings, which capture the exquisite writing of Renée Ahdieh perfectly. Her descriptions are amazing, whether they’re of food, the scenery, or the characters, it really captivates you and draws you into her world.

The use of words in the native tongue of Persia or other parts of Asia is pleasant as well. It gives the story some life and connects it to the time and place in which the story is set. It gives you an even more in-depth sense of the lifestyle and it’s great to see a story so intertwined with the history and rich culture of such a diverse and exciting place.

Some of my favourite quotes:

After all, every story has a story”

“There is no one I would rather see the sunrise with than you”

“My soul sees its equal in you”

“You have a beautiful laugh. Like the promise of tomorrow.”

“No. You see things the way you live your life. Without fear”

“It must be a special book.” “All books are special, dear.”

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