Read this if you’re in the mood for: YA fantasy, awesome world building, badass heroine, romance, retelling, diversity

Summary: 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.

Read this if you like:
Kristin Cashore
Like Cashore’s books, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN featured a strong female lead that doesn’t let herself get pushed around in a world powered by men. And like Cashore’s FIRE, there’s an awesome romance!

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Both epic, both large scale fairy tale retellings, both books you’ll love!

The Rec: THE WRATH AND THE DAWN is a book that pulls you in from page one, and doesn’t let you go even after you finish it! Days later, I’m still thinking about this book. I love love loved the world building, which is so full and unique and captivating to read. I have a huge crush on Shahrzad--she’s fierce and fearless, passionate and loyal--and her words and actions had me alternately laughing and gasping. But let’s not forget about Khalid, the tortured caliph (king) that had me turning the pages faster and faster. For everything we learned about him, I wanted to know more. Ahdieh writes Khalid as my favorite kind of love interest--equal parts tortured and harsh, but also equal parts vulnerable and sweet.

This book is a retelling of 1001 Arabian Nights, and while this isn’t a tale I’m very familiar with, it seems like Ahdieh has really grown the fairy tale into something much larger than itself. This book does a wonderful job balancing the line between epic fantasy and fairy tale--there is action and adventure and romance, but bound in a world of story and by a voice that is controlled and, even though it’s on the page, feels like it’s whispering the story in your ear as you read.

The Caveat: The romance between Khaild and Shahrzad is one of the driving forces of the novel, so if you don’t love love, you might not love that (but you would be missing out on an amazing story!)

You should read this because: THE WRATH AND THE DAWN is part epic fantasy, part fairy tale retelling, part romance novel that you won’t be able to put down!

Read this book!
THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renee Ahdieh (Penguin, May 2015)

Recommendation by: Sara