Review: The Rose and the Dagger - Renee Ahdieh


The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #2

My rating: {★★★★★}

YA Fantasy
Published April 26th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons

Source: Purchased
I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse-one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

"What do you want?”
“To live … fiercely.”

I find I adore duologies. There's something so inherently different about their makeup, their entire structure compared to a trilogy. Not to mention the fact that there's far less commitment issues when it comes to a duology. In this particular series though I would have been more than happy to read more!

After finishing The Wrath and the Dawn I found I just HAD to dive straight into The Rose and the Dagger. It probably had something to do with the cliffhanger, but Ahdieh definitely had me ensnared in this story and so invested in the plot that I just had to know what happened next.

I don't want to talk too much about the plot and give anything away but I really enjoyed where Ahdieh took this story and the wonderful secondary characters that we got to know and care for and the fact that they are all unique and flawed, sometimes to the point of frustration!!! But that is what life is.

The romance was again a huge YES PLEASE for me. I know that there's rumours of a love triangle but I don't rate this series as having one, or if it does, THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE - yes, there is a third party involved who has romantic feelings for one of the MCs however these feelings are not returned and there is no angst or conflict. I love Shazi and Khalid's relationship and their love and trust and understanding in one another is truly beautiful. I also enjoyed the side romances of the secondary characters and in particular Irsa's arc.

“May I kiss you?”
“Why are you asking permission?” Irsa murmured. “Doesn’t that—ruin the moment?”
“No.” He smiled, but its edges wavered with a deeper meaning. “Because it’s not just a kiss.”
“Why is that?”
“Because when I kiss you, I want yours to be the first … and last lips I ever kiss.”

There's a wonderful variety of strong women in this series and I enjoyed the twists and turns and the 'girl power' vibe. Again, Irsa was a wonderful character to follow - she was more timid, less brash, not as confident in herself as her older sister and yet she still found the strength to be fierce when it was required of her.

It's a lush fantasy filled with well developed, diverse characters, romances you can get behind, a kingdom on the brink of war, flying carpets, magical creatures and a roller coaster of emotions. The series ends on a very profound and powerful note and I was more than happy to leave a five star rating. If you haven't picked up these books yet - do it now!

In the end, there is only time for love.

The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1)


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