The Wrath and the Dawn short stories by Renee Ahdieh

“Do not fear what the setting sun may bring. Where there is a setting sun, there is also a rising one.”


I fell in love with Jalal and Despina from The Wrath and the Dawn and I was ecstatic when I learned that there was a novella about them. This narrates Despina’s earlier days as handmaiden to the queen and tells the story of how she and Jalal met. Jalal was such a strong yet endearing character from The Wrath and The Dawn that it was nice to read more about him. I just love these two. They feel good together and my heart just wants more of them.


This is a quick read, a glimpse on Khalid’s thoughts upon Shahrzad’s arrival. It’s interesting to know that from the very start, Shahrzad has already made an impression. Khalid was already captivated by her since her arrival. This is an enlightening peek into Khalid’s mind but it’s too damn short. I mean, at that last page, I couldn’t help but groan because it just doesn’t appease my need to know more at all.


This is another quick read which follows Khalid as he returns to his burning city. He rides back and is heartbroken upon seeing the damage brought upon the city he loves. There, he resolved to be better and to be the King that his city needs. I felt kind of let down because I thought there would be more, but it just picked up from where The Wrath and The Dawn left off from Khalid’s POV.

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Review Headings -  Blurb


It started as playful, if barbed, banter before rising to a fateful wager with a most notorious rake—the Captain of the Guard, Jalal al-Khoury—who may have finally met his match in a lovely, if haughty, handmaiden, Despina. But she, too, seems to have met her match in the handsome Jalal. What begins as a tempestuous battle of will and wit in short order becomes a passionate affair spurred on by tragedy of the worst kind.


Seventy-one days and seventy-one nights had come and gone since Khalid began killing his brides. This dawn, Khalid would mark the loss of the seventy-second girl, Shahrzad al-Khayzuran. Khalid didn’t know how many more of these dawns he could take. And there was something about this latest girl that piqued his interest. Not only had she volunteered to marry him, but at their wedding ceremony, she had seemed not the least bit afraid. In fact, what he had seen in her eyes was nothing short of pure hatred. She was about to lose her life. Why wasn’t she afraid? Why did she hate him so? He had never before gone to his wife’s chambers before her death at dawn. Tonight would be different.


The city of Rey is burning. With smoke billowing, fires blazing and his people fleeing, Khalid races back to defend his city, and protect his queen. But Khalid is too late to do either. He and his men arrive to find the city in ruins, nothing but a maze of destruction, and Shahrzad is gone. But who could have wrought such devastation? Khalid fears he may already know the answer, the price of choosing love over the people of Rey all too evident.


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