Set within the historical Persian empire of Khorasan, The Wrath and the Dawn is an enrapturing tale of love, loss, loyalties and longing—and the stakes couldn't be higher.
When 16-year-old Shazi offers herself up as the next wife to Khalid, the 18-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, many are baffled by her sacrifice. The caliph’s cruelty is known throughout the land, as he repeatedly marries beautiful young women and then murders them the mornings after their wedding nights. But Shazi is determined to exact revenge upon the caliph, whose most recently murdered wife was her childhood best friend. Yet something strange happens when Shazi lives past the first dawn: She begins to see the humanity of the monster king, and as her hate starts to subside, her fierce loyalties to her family and friends also waver, and all dare to question her love.
The Wrath and the Dawn is Renée Ahdieh’s second novel and the first in a forthcoming trilogy that will follow Shazi’s adventures across Khorasan. The author draws inspiration from centuries of collected tales in One Thousand and One Nights to weave this engrossing tale of dire straits in an ancient empire. Strong, emotional Shazi proves to be an immensely captivating, smart, beautiful and blunt character who has come to know herself, even at such a young age. She is fearless in all her pursuits, regardless of however impossible they may seem.
Justin Barisich is a freelancer, satirist, poet and performer living in Atlanta. More of his writing can be found at littlewritingman.com.