Mundie Moms

Monday, June 29, 2015

THE WRATH & THE DAWN by Renee Ahdieh / Book Review

By: Renee Ahdieh
Published by: Putnam & Sons
Released on: 5/12/15
Series: The Wrath & The Dawn #1
Source: ARC received from publisher at RT
Rating: 5 Stars - I LOVED IT
Add it Goodreads 

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.

An intoxicating debut! The Wrath & The Dawn is a captivating story set in a vividly detailed world, and beautifully told. Renee Ahdieh's storytelling is mesmerizing. With unforgettable characters, and a romance that slowly ignites the pages, this book will leave you wanting so much more when you finish it. It's perfectly paced, and an incredibly well written book. This is one of THE best books I've read this year. 

(The Longer Review Version)

The Wrath & The Dawn is a beautiful told, calculated story. Nothing within this story is without purpose. From the little to the big details, to the way the story is told, everything is vividly detailed, and in the story for a reason. I loved that nothing is what it seems. Ahdieh does a beautiful job at unraveling this story's plot twists, and each of the characters secrets in a timely manner, allowing readers to form their own conclusions, much like Shahrzad does. Once you think you have things figured out, Ahdieh reveals a shocking truth, which alters the story, and against my better judgement, makes fall even more in love with the characters.

The characters in this story are masterfully crafted. When each character is first introduced into the story, Ahdieh reveals just enough about them that you're able to form an opinion about them, or understand why Shazi seems them they she does. It's not until you get further into the story that she purposefully allows readers to get to know a little bit more about them, realizing that not all the characters are as they first seem to be. There's so much more to them. In slowly unraveling the characters's layers bit by bit vs all at one time, Ahdieh allows her readers to see just how complex, and intertwined many of the characters are with each other, and the plot twist within the story. 

It's been awhile since I've read a book that was so well paced, and so patiently told. There's now rushing through this story. There's so much to take in, and so many details to observe and mull over, that you literally have to sit back, and enjoy the pace Ahdieh sets in her captivating story. Once you start reading it, there's no stoping until you're at the end. Even then, you'll be wanting more. The twists in this book come one after the other. The characters in this story are addicting. Once you get to see a glimmer of who they really are, you want to know more about them. 

I loved Shazi! This girl is so courageous. In a world where women aren't meant to stand their ground, and are forced to hold their tongues, Shazi's inability to be anything but fierce, and witty, makes her stand out. She's fearless, and daring, and I admired her character, and her strength. She's not afraid to speak her mind, and she doesn't apologize for doing so either. There's also this other side to Shazi I loved getting to see. That's her falling in love. Shazi has risked everything, and is willing to lose her life for something she strongly believes in, but in doing what she does, she realizes there is much more to the cause. In her patience to seek justice she realizes there's more to the person she has wanted to seek revenge against than she ever thought. Where she's risked losing herself, she now risks losing her heart.

It's easy to want to hate Caliph. Especially since the reader sees him from Shazi's point of view. But there's something about this young King that makes it hard to believe that he does what he's known for just because he's the King, and can. Caliph is the most surprising character, and the most complex character out of the entire story. Ahdieh has written a beautifully, broken, fearless leader with Caliph. He makes no apologies for who he is and what he does. He's calculating, observant, and not someone anyone crosses. Shazi has away for getting under people's skin, and there's something about her that Caliph can't resist. There is so much more to this young King than his ruthlessness and power that he's been known for. I loved seeing Caliph for who he really is, demons and all. What I loved most is the way both Shazi and Caliph have a way of calming each other when it's just the two of them, though things are far from calm around them.

Shazi and Caliph have an incredible chemistry. It's one of the most beautifully written, torturous slow burning romances I've read. It's the kind that ignites the pages, yet leaves you wanting so much more from them. Their relationship, and their chemistry is one of a kind. It's not forced, but one that slowly builds up, and grows stronger with each layer that is pealed back between the two characters. Each touch, each emotional moment, each sensual kiss, and each secret that slowly gets unraveled between the two of them brings them closer together, and unites them in a powerful, binding way. Their relationship is one that starts out treacherous, and set in tradition, but grows to be something so much more than either of them, nor those around them, could have ever imagined. I loved the way Ahdieh wrote their story. It's complex, dangerous, and grows into something that is undeniable, fierce and unbreakable.

The Wrath & The Dawn is intoxicating. The more I read, the more I wanted from this story. Trust me, you get a lot from this story. I did not want this story to end. For all the questions I got answers to, there are still plenty of unanswered questions. I couldn't get enough of this story. I loved the characters, including the secondary characters whom play a huge role in Shazi and Caliph's lives. I love it when an author makes me love those characters as much as I love the main characters. And that ending! My only compliant is that I have to wait until next year to read the sequel! What have you done to me Renee Ahdieh. I've now got a book hanger, and I pity the next book I read. 

Favorite Lines:

...."wisdom becomes less of a birthright and more of an expecation. In my life, the one thing I have learned above all is that no individual can reach the height of their potential without the love of others. We are not meant to be alone, Shahrzad. The more a person pushes others away, the clearer it becomes he is need of love the most." 

.... "Trust that the man you see now is a shadow of what lies beneath. If you would, give him the love that will enable him to see it for himself. To a lost soul, such a treasure is worth it's weight in gold. Worth it's weight in dreams." 

She was drowning in sandalwood and sunlight. Time ceased to be more than a notion. Her lips were hers one moment. And then they were his. The taste of him on her tongue was like sun warmed honey. Like cool water sliding down her parched throat. Like the promise of all her tomorrows in a single sigh. When she wound her fingers in his hair to draw her body against his, he stilled for breath, and she knew, as he knew, that they were lost. Lost forever. In this kiss. 

Read The 1st Chapter of The Copper Gauntlet By Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, which is book #2 in the Magisterium Series, won't be out until September 1st, 2016. Thanks to Scholastic Press, fans of the series can read a sneak peak from the book! Right now fans of the middle grade series can read the entire 1st chapter! Head over to here to read it. 


Callum Hunt’s summer break isn’t like other kids’. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren’t heading back to the magical world of the Magisterium in the fall.

It’s not easy for Call . . . and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc.

Call escapes to the Magisterium -- but things only intensify there. The Alkahest -- a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic -- has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends Aaron and Tamara awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes -- and get closer to an even more dangerous truth.

As the mysteries of the Magisterium deepen and widen, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare take readers on an extraordinary journey through one boy’s conflict -- and a whole world’s fate.

You can pre-order your copy from Amazon | Barnes & Noble, and any of your favorite online retailers. Add it to your TBR lists on Goodreads.

Cassandra Clare Shares A Snippet from TALES FROM THE SHADOWHUNTER ACADEMY / Mundane Monday #247

Cassandra Clare treated fans to a snippet from Tales from The Shadowhunter Academy this past weekend. You can read the snippet below:
I thought a snippet from Helen and Aline’s wedding in the TSFA story Bitter of Tongue might be appropriate!
Simon did not fully understand the traditions of the Shadowhunter people.
There was a lot in the Law about who you could and could not marry: if you married a mundane who did not Ascend, you got your Marks stripped and were out on your ear. You could marry a Downworlder in a mundane or a Downworlder ceremony, and you wouldn’t be out on your ear but everyone would be embarrassed, some people would act like your marriage did not count, and your terribly traditional Nephilim Great-Aunt Nerinda would start referring to you as the shame of the family. Plus with the Cold Peace functioning as it was, any Shadowhunter wanting to marry a faerie was probably out of luck.
But Helen Blackthorn was a Shadowhunter, by their own Law, no matter how many people might despise or distrust her for her faerie blood. And Shadowhunters had not actually built it into their precious Law that Shadowhunters could not marry someone of the same sex. Possibly this was just because it hadn’t occurred to anyone even as an option way back when. 
So Helen and Aline actually could be married, in a full Shadowhunter ceremony, in the eyes of both their families and their world. Even if they were exiled again right afterward, they got this much.
In a Shadowhunter wedding, Simon had been told, you dressed in gold and placed the wedding rune over each other’s hearts. There was a tradition a little like giving away the bride, for both parties in a marriage. The bride or groom would each choose the most significant person to them from their family—sometimes a father, but sometimes a mother, or a parabatai or a sibling or chosen friend, or their own child or an elder who symbolized the whole family—and the chosen one, or suggenes, would give the bride or groom to their beloved, and welcome their beloved to their own family.
This was not always possible in Shadowhunter weddings, on account of sometimes your whole family and all your friends had been eaten by snake demons. You never knew with Shadowhunters. But Simon thought it was kind of beautiful that Jia Penhallow, Consul and most important member of the Clave, was standing as suggenes to give her daughter Aline to the tainted, scandalous Blackthorns, and to receive Helen into the bosom of her family.