Series Review: The Wrath & the Dawn / The Rose & the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

Posted May 23, 2016 by @Angelized_1st in Books, Entertainment / 4 Comments

Series Review: The Wrath & the Dawn / The Rose & the Dagger by Renée AhdiehThe Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath & the Dawn #1
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on May 12th 2005
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General, Historical, Ancient Civilizations, Love & Romance
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
ISBN: 9780399171611
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks
Goodreads
four-half-stars
three-flames

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

“Love is a force unto itself, sayyidi. For love, people consider the unthinkable…and often achieve the impossible. I would not sneer at its power.”

I received a copy of The Wrath & the Dawn last year when I attended the Romantic Times convention. It was the hot, “must-read” book at the time, yet I somehow put off reading it. The further away from the hype I got, the less urgency I felt in reading it. I’m glad I waited it, for it was unbelievably good and I would have died waiting for the conclusion. While the story isn’t new, being inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, it’s arguably one of the best retellings I think I’ve ever read.

The story centers around a beautiful sixteen-year-old, Shahrzad, who’s out to avenge her best friend’s murder at the hands of the Caliph. Every dawn, the Caliph Kahlid executes his bride from some unknown reason. To enact her revenge, Shahrzad volunteers to marry the Caliph, and end his reign of terror over Khorasan once and for all. However, once Shazi gets inside the palace, she discovers things aren’t what they seem, and the brides have met their terrible fate for a reason Shahrzad is determined to uncover.

I had never read the original novel, but I knew of the story. So when this book came out I was very eager to read it. Especially, since it takes place in the Middle East, and I’ve been looking for more diversity in my reading. To top it off, I knew this was supposed to be a great love story, and I’m still kind of on that romance kick I started last year. The novel was very well-written. I could envision the world Renee Ahdieh created clearly, and found the characters and their situation to be very believable. None of the events happened out of nowhere, and while the characters changed over the course of the novel, they remained true to who they were.

Series Review: The Wrath & the Dawn / The Rose & the Dagger by Renée AhdiehThe Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath & the Dawn #2
Published by Penguin LCC US on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General, Historical, Ancient Civilizations, Love & Romance
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
ISBN: 9780399546631
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks
Goodreads
four-half-stars
three-flames

The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as "a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance."

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

“It was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone. It was about belonging together.”

Picking up on the heels of The Wrath & the Dawn, The Rose & the Dagger finds Khalid and Shahrzad trying to put things right. With war approaching, the lovebirds are running out of time, and find themselves surrounded by enemies. As the two work towards saving Rey, and their love, their enemies conspire to take Khorasan for their own. From the palace to the desert, Ahdieh takes reader on an adventure, that may even feature a magic carpet ride, or two 🙂

As much as I loved The Wrath & the Dawn, I feel that The Rose & the Dagger topped it. Not only is the romance more mature, but both Khalid and Shazi have come into their own as characters, and know what they truly want. I also love that we get to spend more time with Sahzi’s family, and meet a wise Shiekh named Omar, who in fact reminded me of the one played by Omar Sharif in Hidalgo. (If you haven’t seen that film, it’s definitely worth checking out.)

Now that readers know the truth behind Khalid killing his wives, Ahdieh provides readers with a lot of political intrigue, action, and of course more romance. The Rose & the Dagger is a great end to a wonderful story. If you are a fan of retellings, then I can’t recommend this series enough. Not only does it showcase some very strong female characters, but has men who don’t want to squash their autonomy. I found this to be very refreshing considering how many people view gender relations in the Middle East.

About Renee Ahdieh

I live in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with my husband Victor and our dog Mushu. My YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, is available wherever books are sold. In my spare time, I like to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of my characters.

I’m also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as an active member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

@Angelized_1st

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4 responses to “Series Review: The Wrath & the Dawn / The Rose & the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

  1. After reading your reviews on these two books I immediately had to add them to my wish list on Amazon! I need to find some time and read these ASAP. Beautiful review!

    • @Angelized_1st

      Thanks! I’m so glad you enjoyed my review. The series is really good, and hopefully you’ll find the time to read them. Thanks for stopping by!

    • @Angelized_1st

      Thanks, Christy! That’s how it was with me as well. The ARC for The Wrath and the Dawn sat on my shelf for a year. Now that I’ve read it, I don’t know what the hell I was waiting for. Have a great week!

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