Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Saga of Shahrzad and Khalid #1
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Had I known going into this novel that the series is called the The Saga of Shahrzad and Khalid, I would not have picked it up from the library. I’ve seen some hype about it, true enough, but I’ve read my fair share of YA love triangle centered novels for this year already. And while Ahdieh weaves a colorful and oftentimes dark new world of Khorasan, at the core The Wrath and the Dawn is simply that – yet another tale of one girl and two guys. Though there is certainly potential for Ahdieh to focus more on the suspense and the adventure, and even the magic, in upcoming installments in the series, the name of the series itself seems to suggest that Ahdieh is here to tell love stories. And considering the tales that Shahrzad tells Khalid to stay her execution, and the emphasis on love in them, I can’t say I find this surprising. I do find, however, that the romance is perhaps a little too heavy in this novel for my liking, as it is definitely the entire center of the plot, and not just a sub-story on the way to a great whole.
If you can get past the heavy romance elements in the story, then it’s still an enjoyable book. It’s unique (it’s a retelling of 1000 Arabians Nights, but I’ve never read that, so it feels fresh to me at least) and vivid, with rich characters and an immense world for the taking. I’m hoping we get a little more of the action and magic in the next installment, so I’ll probably give at least one more novel in the series a try.