I really loved this book more that I though I would. I absolutely flew through it and was captured fully by the world and the writing style. I really appreciated how the author included lots of culture to her book, (seemed to take place in a fantasy version of Persia) especially because it was a culture that I have never read about before and I’m sure most readers haven’t. There’s not much I can say about this book without spoiling it but basically this story tell the tale of a Shahrzad, who marries a king that for the past few months has married a new wife each night and then proceeds to kill her each morning. He had just married and killed Shahrzad’s best friend at the start of the novel, so she chooses to marry him in an attempt to avenge her friends death by killing him.
DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE WRATH AND THE DAWN
The dramatic irony in this book absolutely killed me.
I am glad that the author kinda revealed why Khalid was doing what he was doing during the prologue so that I wasn’t left wondering the entire book what his secret was. Furthermore, even if we weren’t hinted at what he was doing I feel like, and this may just be me, it was somewhat obvious that he had some great reason behind his actions. This view was likely distorted by the fact that this was a book so of course the heartless murderer who the main character falls in love with had to be hiding a selfless and lovable interior. Duh.
I will admit that the story behind why the Khalid was cursed is heartbreaking and yet really strange. I just fail to grasp why Ava’s father would have reacted so violently as to condemn 100 girls to death as a way to punish the Khalid. For someone who seems so upset over his own daughters death, this seems highly hypocritical. Though I understand that the father was grieving, this seems like a pretty extreme response especially considering Khalid didn’t actually kill her. Now if he had outright killed her then yes, I would understand why he would be so mad at Khalid as to severely curse him, but I don’t think his daughter choosing to end her own life because she was unhappy was worthy of such a horrific reaction.
I love Shahrzad. She is just such a quick witted and amazing character. Her strength throughout the novel was refreshing as she never once did anything other than what she wanted to do. She is never really a victim, which is surprising considering the story is set up for her to be a victim time and time again. Her resilience and stubbornness made her such a relatable and inspiring character and I am excited to see her character grow even more in the next book.
The magic system in this books seemed barely touched, which confuses me considering this is only a duology. I just don’t know how they will have time, among other things, to completely flush out a magic system along with (I’m assuming) establish Shahrzad’s journey to control her power, but I guess we will have to wait and see.
I really enjoyed the storytelling aspect of the story. All the stories Shahrzad told were very captivating and interesting and I thought it worked well for the story. I enjoyed how the themes and ideas of her stories were woven into the novel and their romance. I really feel like, as weird as this is, the foundation of their relationship was these stories and it was how Shahrzad was able to first break down his barriers.
There is also some talk to the notion that this book is “instalovey” and while I see where these claims are coming from, I disagree. In my mind I see instalove as when two characters fall in love with each other seemingly instantly. This however is not the case because Shahrzad hates Khalid for a long while before she loves him. While she is always attracted to him, the love doesn’t come till later. So though his love was pretty instant, (something not too surprising honestly considering his circumstance) I’m ok with it because it was only one sided for a while.
Speaking of love, I really am not about love triangles.
What I am ok with is a character being in love with one person, and then falling out of love with them and then into love with someone new, staying true to their new love. That is ok. And that seems to be the case for this novel. And lets keep it that way. I really am hoping and trusting that Shahrzad’s heart won’t be conflicted and that she will stay true to her love of Khalid. That being said I do like the twist of having a third character that loves the protagonist but their love is unrequited. That I am ok with. I just don’t like anything that at all resembles cheating. I just think cheating on someone is one of the worst, irredeemable things you can do to a person and I lose so much respect for characters when they do it. So don’t upset me Renee I’m counting on you!
I also really enjoyed, as weird as this sounds, all the attempts on her life. I find that often in books character say things like “being important to me is dangerous” blah, blah, blah, but the character has only one or so attempts on her life the whole book. I truly felt the entire book that she wasn’t safe and that her life was constantly in danger, which helped the story be that much more realistic.
I just knew that there was no way she was going to remain in the palace the whole book. I’m honesty surprised she was able to stay as long as she did without something happening. I think it will add a nice sense of longing and struggle in the book that would’t be possible if she had remained in the castle the entirety of book 2. I just know it’s going to drive me crazy because I will just want her to get to go back home to Khalid but luckily we get to read from both of their POV’s so I won’t be completely in the dark. Also, reunions are always fun
I give this book 5/5 stars!
Originally posted on danisbookshelf.wordpress.com
Published by Danielle Greene