The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

The basics

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn


Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1

- The Wrath and the Dawn (May 2015)
- The Rose and the Dagger (April 2016)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Read a full summary of The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh below. If you can’t remember what happened in The Wrath and the Dawn and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

in short

The king of Khorasan has been cursed by his first wife’s, Ava, father to marry a hundred girls every evening and have them killed every dawn if he wants to avoid his city being taken from him and a thousandfold deaths. Driven to depression after a miscarriage, Ava took her own life at dawn. Shazi volunteers to marry Khalid when her own best friend, Shiva, is taken and intends to kill the boy-king herself. However, gradually they both get to know each other and fall in love, but when Khalid leaves to see to the forces rising against him (thanks to Tariq), everything falls apart. The city is destroyed because of the black magic Shazi’s father performed against it and Shazi ends up having to leave Rey with Tariq. Meanwhile, as Reza (Shiva’s father) and the sultan of Parthia (Khalid’s uncle) join forces to take the kingdom of Khorasan from Khalid, Khalid vows to never hide from his city again.

what happened in The Wrath and the Dawn?

  • In the prologue, the king, Khalid Ibn al-Rashid, gives some mysterious order after which rain starts pouring and the people of Rey rejoice. Apparently, the boy-king is cursed.
  • Shahrzad al-Khayzuran is being readied for her wedding to the king when her father arrives. She swears to him that she’ll be alive the next day and to go be with Irsa, her younger sister. Important to note that Jahandar then tries to bloom a rose with the help of magic to give to Shahrzad, but it withers and dies.
  • Shahrzad is then taken to Khalid and silently vows to kill him.
  • Tariq (Shazi’s first love) and Rahim arrive at the fortress only to receive news that Shahrzad is getting married to the king that day because of Shiva. Tariq plans to go to Rey and kill the king.
  • Shahrzad waits in her chambers for the Caliph to arrive who asks her why did she volunteer. Shazi refuses to answer.
  • Jahandar stops at the city library for a tome and then he and Irsa make their way out of Rey.
  • Shahrzad and Khalid have perfunctory sex? Despite Khalid saying he doesn’t want to and that her life is more than enough? Much confusion, most puzzling.
  • They proceed to have food and Shahrzad somehow convinces Khalid to let her tell a story after which he can ask her a question he wants to.
  • Shahrzad begins telling him the story of Agib late into the night and as soon as dawn breaks, Shahrzad stops the tale and asks Khalid to give her one more day. He agrees and storms out.
  • Whaaaa-
  • At noon, Shazi’s extremely friendly and sassy handmaiden, Despina, comes crashing in bearing food and open support for Shahrzad to win whatever game she’s playing.
  • Shazi wanders the halls with Despina and the Rajput in tow and from there she gets to the training grounds where she meets Jalal (Captain of the Guard) and accidentally discloses her aptitude for archery.
  • Jalal asks Shazi to help him fix Khalid since she has already rattled him buuut just then Khalid arrives and all activity ceases.
  • Pointed things fly like arrows and looks with some of them succeeding in hitting the targets.
  • Meanwhile, Jahandar is slowly but steadily losing it and despite it all, very convinced to translate some text from that tome he stole to help his daughter.
  • Sex happens again that night and I’m again so very confused and puzzled.
  • Shazi then continues the story of Agib and just as dawn arrives, tries to sneak in the story of Aladdin. Just then however, the General arrives with guards to take Shahrzad.
  • Khalid ends up introducing Shazi to the General as the Mount of Adamant and calls her his queen. Meanwhile, I die.
  • Tariq and Rahim finally arrive in Rey, meet with Shiva’s father, Reza and tells him about his plan to kill the king regardless of Shazi continuing to stay alive with whatever means she is.
  • Zzz.
  • The next day, Shazi plans to watch the tournament to see just how able Khalid is with a sword and what it will take to kill him when the General catches them and is rather blatant about seeing her as a threat to the Caliph.
  • And oh, she also learns how she’s the first bride that Khalid sought out after the wedding. Hm.
  • That night Khalid doesn’t come to her chambers however, soldiers come to drag her away to be strangled. Khalid and Jalal arrive in time to save her.
  • Shahrzad and Khalid have a very shippy, a very asdfghjkl moment which I barely survive and this is the moment in where I started to blame Ellis for somehow making me deciding to recap.
  • The caliph leaves for the city of Amardha for a week to meet with the sultan of Parthia (who has designs on the kingdom of Khorasan).
  • Tariq gets insulted by Rahim and it is the best since it involves living off nothing but fresh dew and cold fury. What, this is important information.
  • Reza asks Tariq and Rahim to conceal their identities if they really are to organize a force and storm the city and asks them to go home while he settles his affairs.
  • However, Tariq being Tariq, he sends Rahim home and plans to seek out the Badawi tribes to get them on their side on his own.
  • The General tries to have Shazi poisoned and just wow. *slow clap*
  • Shazi suspects it was Despina and things get awkward between them.
  • Shazi is asked to meet with Khalid’s first tutor who tells her about Khalid’s rather traumatic childhood (also, his mother used to tell him stories at night so goodbye), that Shazi has magic and ends up giving her a magical carpet (she doesn’t know that it’s magical yet).
  • Tariq arrives at the border or Khorasan and Parthia and meets with a sheikh of a Badawai tribe who accepts his request of business proposition and takes him to his home.
  • Khalid is back and Shahrzad tells him he can make amends by going out on the streets with her alone (where she has decided she will kill him).
  • The Aladdin-esque scene is probably my favorite and rightly so because they have fun (I mean, Shazi makes a small penis joke about a drunk asshole and it is the best), they bond (when the drunk asshole and his friends come after them), they flirt and the feels are too much to handle.
  • Apparently, also for Shazi since she couldn’t bring herself to kill him as a result.
  • When they come back, Khalid meets with the General and tells him that any attempt on Shazi’s life is an attempt to his life. Things are getting very serious.
  • It also seems important to note that they both hesitate to have sex as a result. Hmm.
  • Also, Khalid is curious about where Shazi’s family went.
  • Oh and as Khalid is cursed himself, the non-killing of brides is taking its toll on him.
  • Shazi finds out that Despina is pregnant and Jalal has no idea which rules out Despina being the one who poisoned her.
  • Jalal and Shazi are trading questions and when Shahrzad sneaks in a question about the reason Khalid’s brides are to die, the game seems to be over. Khalid arrives and parries with her and just gaaah.
  • At night, Shahrzad is in a dilemma about Khalid when he arrives. Shazi basically asks him about the brides when they’re half a moment away from having sex. Hot damn.
  • Meanwhile, Jahandar is off killing small creatures to achieve magic via the tome and he succeeds which doesn’t bode well at all. For anyone involved.
  • Shazi comes to know from Despina about the barring of any attempts on her life which only complicates things further.
  • Khalid ignores Shazi the next day and that hurts her, but they reconcile and Shazi tells him the story of Tala at night in yet another futile attempt to get the reason out of him.
  • Jahandar is finally in Taleqan with Irsa and seeks out Rahim to ask him to be included in whatever they’re all up to.
  • Two weeks later, the sultan from Parthia and the caliph’s bannerman arrive in the palace. In the meantime, things between Khalid and Shazi have not improved.
  • Tariq also arrives in disguise and suffice it to say that Shazi is horrified.
  • Tariq spots Shazi and this is really the moment he becomes a grade A creep AKA Yraiq.
  • Khalid and Shahrzad enter the gathering in the evening together.
  • During dinner, Shazi subtly insults the sultan quite relentlessly and I love it.
  • Yasmine, the daughter of the sultan, annoys Shazi for obviously having a thing for Khalid.
  • Tariq slips in a note to Shazi to meet him at her balcony.
  • Yraiq acts like a sullen lover when they meet and it is most unnecessary. He also kisses her and just no.
  • The next day is for hunting and Tariq spies on Khalid and Shazi having a moment, knows Shazi is in love with the boy-king and gets caught in the process which sparks Khalid’s interest in him.
  • Despina and Shahrzad discover that the carpet moves when Shazi touches it.
  • Tariq is back in the Badawi tribe and still plotting to get Shazi out of the palace since he thinks she needs to be saved from the monstrous boy-king and zzz.
  • In the tribe, he meets Rey and Jahandar and they plot some more.
  • In the palace, there’s another attempt at Shazi’s life by assassins who Khalid, the Rajput and Jalal freaking kill outright in her chamber. Khalid almost gives up but is saved by Shazi, my queen.
  • The attempt was ordered by someone who knows.
  • Khalid and Shazi have a very intense moment in his chambers and fucking hell.
  • He is then called into a meeting with Jalal.
  • While inside his chamber, Shazi discovers the unsent letters of apology that Khalid has written to the families of his brides who were killed and a half finished letter to her family he wrote on the day she was almost strangled.
  • My heart is broken.
  • Shazi decides that he must be punished despite being in love with him.
  • Meanwhile, Jalal asks Khalid to let Shazi know the truth if he’s so willing to die for her but he refuses.
  • Back in his chamber with Shazi, the pain in his forehead is too much to bear. The faqir arrives to take it away with the help of magic and then Khalid tells Shazi everything starting with Ava and how he came to be cursed.
  • The rain hadn’t exactly stopped in the 2 months since the wedding of Shazi and Khalid but there’s no guarantee against it.
  • The General and Jalal give Khalid the report about Tariq.
  • Khalid comes to Shazi, ask her to go to Tariq which what the fuck, no and gives her a dagger to kill him because Shiva was killed because of him.
  • They finally have the sex we’ve all been waiting for, bow chicka wow wow.
  • Khalid leaves the next day for the border of Khorasan and Parthia to discuss strategy with the emirs there about the force gathering against the kingdom.
  • On a hill overlooking Rey, Jahandar sacrifices a mare and more magic flows in his veins. He’s one delusional father.
  • Jahandar is to create a diversion while Tariq and Rahim storm the palace.
  • Lightning starts striking the various parts of the palace and fire erupts everywhere so Tariq decides to get Shazi.
  • Inside, Shahrzad asks Jalal to go look for Despina.
  • Tariq arrives at Shazi’s terrace and kills the Rajput (noooo) without hesitation and won’t leave without taking Shazi with him.
  • Shazi takes him and Rahim to the stables from the caliph’s chamber as Khalid had once told her about its existence. There, Jalal and the General intercept them but Shazi comes to know that the lightning is likely to kill people and so they have to carry on with the killing but Jalal refuses and asks Tariq to take Shazi away and never let her return.
  • My heart.

how did it end?

Reza meets with the sultan of Parthia and join forces to take down Khalid once and for all. Meanwhile, Khalid is standing on the rooftop terrace in front of the destroyed city of Rey with the now-finished letter to Shazi’s family which he then burns.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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