In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.
Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.
The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.
Title: The Rose & the Dagger
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Number of Pages: 416
Publishing Date: Apr. 26th, 2016
After rapidly reading the first book in this series, The Wrath & the Dawn (read my review for that book here), I quickly bought this book so I could see how this story full of action and romance would end. While I will say that I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as I enjoyed the first, I found myself really pleased with where Renée Ahdieh took the direction of the story! There was a fairly good amount of character development, the magic system was explored much more when put into comparison with the first book, the world building was amazing, the plot had a few twists that I didn’t see coming, and the ending was extremely satisfying and gave me ALL THE FANGIRL FEELS.
The rest of this review is spoiler-free, but it does contain spoilers
pertaining to The Wrath & the Dawn.
The plot in this book starts almost immediately where the last book left off. At first I thought that the plot was going to be taking place in mainly one setting which probably would’ve made me rather bored, but as soon as I began to get tired of that one setting, the plot took off and switched to another and I really appreciated that consistent changing-of-settings aspect of this book.
The plot of this book didn’t grip me as quickly as the first book’s plot did. This is one of the reasons as to why I gave this novel a 4-star rating. It really took me a few chapters to fully immerse myself back into this world, which surprised me because I figured it would take no time at all for me to lose myself in this book. Nevertheless, once the action in this story began to take place, I began to really enjoy and appreciate this book and the small twists and turns that the plot of this book contained.
The ending was amongst my many favorite parts of this book. It took a turn that I never even expected would happen and, needless to say, it had me on the edge of my seat. The last chapter of the book was so cute and adorable and ASDFGHJKL, THE FEELS. (I’m sorry for saying ‘feels’ so much in this review but my inner fangirl freaked out often whilst reading this book.)
I really enjoyed the character development within this book because it was easily visible within multiple characters. I was really impressed with the amount of character development that took place in regards to a number of side characters, as well as the main characters. The romance between Shazi and Khalid never failed to form butterflies in my stomach because they made such a great and powerful couple. I also liked the few glimpses of romance that occurred between different side characters!
“From the stars, to the stars.”
Renée Ahdieh’s writing style is magnificent. It’s magical and beautiful and GAH, I will definitely read whatever book she releases next because her writing really captures my attention with all of the intricately-described details that she puts into every paragraph.
“A boy who’d thrived in the shadows.
Now he had to live in the light.
To live . . . fiercely.
To fight for every breath.”
Overall, I really loved this book! I think it provided a good ending to a really beautiful duology and it’s made me want to find more fantasy retellings to read in the future. I adore each of the characters in this novel, I thought the plot was really intriguing, and Renée Ahdieh’s writing is magical. She does a fantastic job when it comes to world building and character development, so all in all, this duology was really amazing!
“It was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone. It was about belonging together.”
So, have any of you read The Rose & the Dagger? What are your thoughts on it? Comment them below!