Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Wrath and the Dawn Blog Tour:
Author Renée Ahdieh discusses the food + Giveaway

Tour organized by Penguin Teen
See below for the full schedule

Did The Wrath and the Dawn make anyone else hungry?  

Today I’m thrilled to have Author Renée Ahdieh visiting to talk about the delicious meals she wove in her story. 

Go HERE to see my love for this book in 5 points.

The Wrath and the Dawn
Renée Ahdieh
Published: May 12, 2015 by Putnam Juvenile 
Category: YA, fantasy, magic, 1001 Nights, Persia

Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository 

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.


The Food in The Wrath and the Dawn
by Author Renée Ahdieh

Food has always been a particular passion of mine. I grew up in a mixed-race household, and watching my family struggle to bridge cultural gaps was a pivotal part of my upbringing. Oftentimes, these struggles were most clearly manifested in food. My mother is South Korean, and I was raised on a diet of white rice, pickled vegetables, and lots of garlic. There were occasions when these foods brought about a dubious look from strangers and even my father’s own family members. But I soon learned that food—much like music—can be such an equalizer. When you share a plate of something you love with someone new, you start to see the humanity in the simplest of gestures . . . an extra spoonful here, and a laughing question asked there.

I knew when I began writing a book based in a non-Western culture that I really wanted to make the cuisine shine. And in this small way, I hoped to bridge any divide readers might feel between them and what could be considered a foreign or “exotic” culture. If a reader could see herself/himself partaking in the same food as the main character, then the story could then become that much more relatable. Some of my most favorite reads as a child contained lush descriptions of food. I particularly recall Brian Jacques’ Redwall series. To this day, I can read the descriptions of the food and feel instantly transported to another world . . . in addition to being instantly hungry! I mean, who wouldn’t want a bowl of hotroot soup and candied chestnuts?

In order to do the cuisine justice, I turned to my Persian mother-in-law and some of my closest friends. The Wrath and the Dawn’s world is based on ancient Persia, with some touches of the Abbasid Caliphate and Hindustan thrown into the mix. My mother-in-law patiently taught me how to make Persian rice—though I might have set fire to the kitchen the first time—and all the many wonderful stews and amazing marinades that have made Persian food world-famous over the years. The best part about learning how to cook these things (other than getting to eat them!) were the stories that came along with it. The tales of how this particular dish came to be, or even the way my mother-in-law has carefully tweaked it over the years. These are the things one can’t necessarily learn by reading a book, and I will forever be grateful for these experiences.

After learning more about the cuisine, I turned toward my own training for guidance, both as a writer and as a self-confessed foodie. Prior to writing books, I wrote for several travel magazines and food blogs. Having done this, I had a fair idea of what might translate well onto the page. It was important for me to be as authentic as possible while being equally accessible. So I took particular pains to make the food in the book a big facet of the world building.

Honestly one of the best compliments I’ve received about The Wrath and the Dawn—aside from people telling me it kept them up at night!—is that they wanted to eat all the food in it. And if I had my way, we would all be sharing a big plate of buttery saffron rice and sizzling kebabs!

YUM! Bring on the food. Are you all as hungry as I am now?


About the Author

I live in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with my husband Victor and our dog Mushu. My YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, was published on May 12th, 2015. In my spare time, I like to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of my characters.

Follow Renée: Goodreads | Website | Twitter


Blog tour schedule

The Young Folks – Guest post - May 11
Two Chicks on Books – Interview - May 12
Once Upon a Twilight – Interview – May 13
Addicted Readers – Review – May 14
Cuddlebuggery – Review – May 15

The Eater of Books! – Top 10 list – May 18
Love is not a triangle – Guest post – May 19
Mostly YA Book Obsessed – Character profiles/Where I See Fashion – May 20
Gone with the Words – Interview – May 21
Fiktshun – Review - May 22

Read.Breathe.Relax. – Interview – May 25
The Daily Quirk – Review – May 26
The Irish Banana – Would You Rather? – May 27
No BS Book Reviews – Review – May 28
Me, My Shelf and I – 25 Random Things – May 29


Five winners will receive a finished copy of The Wrath and the Dawn + 3 silk scarves. One scarf features the cover design, and the other 2 have a tiger (for Khalid) and a falcon (for Tariq)* 

Giveaway is for US residents only (Sorry, international readers!)
You must be at least 13 years old to enter
See my policies HERE

*I want to note again that I don't think this series has a triangle. You can see more of my thoughts on this in my review


  1. Such a stunning tour post Lauren :D Thank you so much for sharing. <3 Love it. And I'm oh so happy that you loved this book so much sweetie :D I shall read it soon, I think. I'm excited yet nervous for it :) Hope I'll love it too. <3

  2. Thanks for the giveaway! I'm so excited for this book. Although after reading this post, I'm going to have to make sure I never read it on an empty stomach. Mmmmm kebabs and saffron rice. I also love how clear it is that Ms. Ahdieh did her homework. I appreciate a well-researched novel.

    Sarcasm & Lemons

  3. Oh YUM! Nothing makes a fictional world come alive like the everyday habits and practices, like preparing and eating food. And since food can communicate a lot of subtext between people, it is a great vehicle for moving the plot along. I can't wait to drool over this book! :)

  4. I love Persian cuisine!! I seriously have no idea how they make their rice taste so good. Renée did an amazing job describing the culture and the food in particular. Lovely post, Renée!

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

  5. Mmm...I'd be all over her cooking! (especially since I don't have the patience to cook myself, sadly). Food really is such a uniting force. Share a plate with someone and it's hard not to connect in some way or another.

  6. I'm so excited for this (the food descriptions and the book!). I'm Persian and I'm pretty much in love with our food. I love that there are staples like rice, which is made differently from other cultures, and the different stews we have are phenomenal. I'm really excited to see a book somewhat set on Persia because that um, never happens. Also, pretty good chance I'll bug my mom into making kebabs soon!

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex


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