Sunday, 12 August 2018

The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh + #Giveaway


The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
First published in America by G P Putnam's Sons in May 2015.

One of my Books From The Backlog and ReadingWomen selections
One of my August Authorfest reads

How I got this book:
Swapped for on the book stall at Torquay Indoor Market

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository
Wordery
Waterstones
Amazon

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.

I've been keen to read The Wrath And The Dawn since I first saw it enthusiastically reviewed on Sarcasm And Lemons way back in September 2015. I was delighted to spot an unread copy on a local book sale table last summer and I've now finally managed to get to read it! With all that build up I was a little concerned that the novel might  not live up to the gushing reviews I've read of it and, erm, I am afraid that this is the case. Not that this is a bad story - far from it! It's just that I wanted to be completely enthralled and I actually felt more pleasantly diverted.

On the good side of the scale our heroine Shahrzad is fantastic. She is witty, highly intelligent, impetuous, brave and also kind. At the time of the original Sheherezade legend I think a female character like our Shahrzad would have been male! I loved her maid Despina too. Ever practical but also mischievous and just a little romantic, I could have happily spent far more of the story with just these two young women. Surrounding them however are various factions of power-seeking men, some chasing revenge and others more concerned with personal glory. The best scenes for me were when Shahrzad pits her wits against the most pompous or patronising of these men and bests them!

I had misunderstood that The Wrath And The Dawn is only inspired by the story of Sheherezade and isn't a full retelling. I felt let down that there weren't more stories in this story! The initial tension of Shahrzad's situation didn't seem to me to be explored in as much depth as I would have liked and that aspect faded too swiftly. This was a recurring issue for me in that I think I wanted The Wrath And The Dawn to develop into a full literary historical work and I had to remind myself that it is a young adult novel. Still, Ahdieh beautifully evokes the gorgeous luxury of Khalid's palace and its lush gardens. I loved all the food descriptions too - this is a novel that encourages snacking! By the second half, I did feel myself becoming swept into Shahrzad and Khalid's world and am intrigued by how certain aspects of their tale will pan out in the sequel. This is a good escapist read and I could understand how others rave about it.

And now it's time for the Giveaway!


The prize is my (very carefully read) hardback 'rough cut' edition of The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh.
Open internationally until midnight (UK time) on the 26th August 2018.

Entry is by way of the Gleam widget below. This giveaway is entirely my own and is not affiliated with either the author or the publisher
(GDPR: Gleam will ask for your email address so that I am able to contact the winner. I will then need the winner's postal address in order to send out the book.)

The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh HB giveaway



Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Renee Ahdieh / Mythology / Books from America

6 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Stephanie! It isn't a favorite for me, but I did really like Shahrzad's strong and witty character as well. And the author definitely knows how to write lush sceneries and settings.

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  2. A murder mystery is good to read when I'm in the mood for it. That cover had me thinking of that game called, Perfection.

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  3. I haven't read Renee Ahdieh and would love to some day! Thank you for the chance 😍

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  4. thanks so much for the opportunity 💖

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  5. The MC sounds great! Sorry it wasn't quite the retelling you wanted though.

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  6. I've already read this so no competition entry but glad you got to read it even if it wasn't the retelling you were expecting. I really enjoyed it (and I have the fancy edition you have as well because pretties!) and although reading again now I might not be as in love with the story, I thought it was fun. I loved the MC and I liked how smart she was! I really think she came into her own in the second book as well.

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