This book turned me into complete trash. I can distinctly remember a moment, as I was reading this book, where I thought, “This is it. This is the moment where I turn into trash. I can’t turn back now. It’s too late.” It actually inspired my most recent booktube video. As a result, this book is my favourite book that I’ve read so far this year.
The Wrath and the Dawn is a retelling of 1001 Arabian Nights. This is a story that I’ve always know the gist of: the king marries a new woman each day and kills her, then moves on to the next woman, until one woman starts telling him a story, with the promise of more the next day, which she does for 1001 nights. But I have never actually read/heard the story itself. Now I just want to read ALL OF THE ARABIAN NIGHTS STORIES. GIVE THEM TO ME.
This book did what so many YA novels fail to do. Although the love story developed quickly, and the romance was forbidden, it was not insta-love. It felt quite realistic. Which was refreshing. I also loved that while the romantic lines were quite poetic, they didn’t feel sappy or saccharine. It didn’t make me want to gag or cover my eyes while reading, so points to you, Renée Ahdieh.
If fantasy novels intimidate you/feel like too much work to read because of all of the world building involved, I would definitely suggest this one. Although this world clearly had magic as an element, it was not an overwhelming part of the novel. The magic became more prevalent in the second half of the book, so it felt like a natural development, rather than an information dump. There is a glossary in the back, where you can see the Arabic (inspired? actual?) terms used in the book. I checked it a couple of times, but most of the meanings of those terms are pretty clear based on their context.
If I keep writing about this novel, I know I’m going to give away spoilers. So just go read it. I loved it so much. 5/5 stars. Would read again. Will read the sequel. Then I’ll read the first one. Then I’ll probably read the sequel again.