Renée Ahdieh’s ‘The Wrath & The Dawn’ Transports Readers
Cultural Appreciation and Folklore Fantasy Come Together
Cultural appreciation and folklore fantasy come together in The Wrath & The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh to create a mesmerizing tale for young-adult audiences that immediately transports the reader to another world. In her reimagining of the Arabian Nights folktales, Ahdieh deftly constructs a saga of magic and mystery. Set in the ancient Middle East, protagonist Shahrzad al-Khayzuran uses wit and will to outsmart and uncover truths about a boy-king, Khalid, notorious for killing a new bride each day at sunrise.
After her best friend becomes the king’s betrothed and is subsequently murdered, Shahrzad is determined to end the caliph’s reign of terror and bring him justice. She offers herself up as his bride and then entrances him with wondrous tales every night, ultimately extending her life in hopes of learning his weaknesses. But as time goes on, Shahrzad develops feelings for Khalid and realizes that everything is not as simple as it seems; the caliph’s cold exterior may be a front for a tortured soul.
Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights and the French folktale Bluebeard, The Wrath & The Dawn is an enchanting tale of secrets and suspicion that teases out the truth until its final revelation. It not only celebrates Middle Eastern culture but also offers a platform to speak about diversity. Imbued with promising characters and a resilient protagonist, The Wrath & The Dawn tells a story of mystery and intrigue as well as fighting for what you believe in, no matter the cost.