Description from GoodReads:
"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."
Carolyn's thoughts on the book:
I am a huge fan of fairy-tale retellings, but unlike the vast amount of YA books that seek to put a new spin on the tale of Cinderella or Snow White, I had never encountered a YA retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. I certainly had some concerns going in to the book (hello, Stockholm Syndrome), but my feminist fears were allayed: although Shahrzad, the protagonist, does ultimately fall in love with Khalid, she originally intends to assassinate him (so not the passive maiden typically depicted in fairy tales), and as the book moves along, both she and the reader discover more and more about the terrible reason Khalid has been wedding and murdering a young woman every night (and it's decidedly not some twisted, misogynistic hatred of women as a whole). Overall, the book definitely didn't echo the damsel-in-distress trope or any other typical, patriarchal clichés that seem to (sadly) abound in some retellings of fairy tales.
The book is masterfully crafted, artfully revealing the perfect amount of secrets and backstory as the story goes along. Shahrzad is a relatable and likable character, and her fierce loyalty and determination to protect her loved ones, whoever they may be, is one of her many endearing qualities. Likewise, Shazi's cleverness and intrepidness allow her to hold her own against Khalid. Their relationship is engrossing and captivating, the more they learn to trust and love one another - despite the circumstances that bring them together and then tear them apart (in more ways than one). The mysterious magic and delicate political situation, in addition to being fascinating, add depth to the story and the setting.
I am already anxiously anticipating the release of the sequel (The Rose and the Dagger) next year. The Wrath and the Dawn is a brilliantly enthralling tale, and especially suited for readers who enjoy retellings of fairy tales with strong female protagonists.
Carolyn is a teen blogger who shares her favorite YA reads and favorite book related finds with readers on Fridays.