Best Fiction for Young Adults
Ahdieh, R. (2015). The wrath & the dawn. New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA).
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.
Commentary and Text Connections:
In Eastern lore, there is a collection of legends and folktales that makes up an epic metafiction of interwoven stories. In English, this epic is called “The Thousand and One Nights,” or “The Arabian Nights.” Hundreds of legends reside within the frame story of a vengeful king who, after being betrayed by his adulterous wife, marries hundreds of virgins, one after the other, and kills each one the morning after the wedding. In her debut YA novel, “The Wrath and the Dawn,” Renée Ahdieh adapts the story of “The Thousand and One Nights” into a teen romance appropriate for ages 14 and up.