Book Review: The Rose and the Dagger

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Author: Renée Ahdieh
Published: Putnam; Penguin; 2016

Pages: 416
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #2
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, YA
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4 out of 5 stars

Possibly slight spoilers for the series.

Following the events of the night of the storm which plagued the city of Rey, Shahrzad and Khalid have been forced to temporarily remain apart. Shahrzad is reunited with her family and friends in the desert. Residing in a camp where secrets are afoot. With kingdoms on the verge of war and a curse threatening to keep the king and queen apart, they must find a way to break it once and for all.

The Rose and the Dagger is the final instalment in this breathtaking duology and I was immensely excited to get my hands on it. Overall, it did not disappoint. It was lovely to reunite with Shazi, the fierce and full of life Calipha, and Khalid, the tortured and misunderstood Caliph–along with the other characters which we get to see more of in this book.

There aren’t many complaints I have in regards to TRatD apart from two small ones: one being that it was a little slow at times and the other being the way in which the curse was broken. If I remember correctly, I also found The Wrath and the Dawn to be a tad slow in the beginning but then I became absorbed in the story completely; with TRatD the same happened at times, but it didn’t bother me too much. That darn curse… From the first book the curse has been this big thing. The reason for many deaths and the possible destruction of the city if not fulfilled. The thing standing between Shazi and Khalid…. So, I suppose I expected a bit more? I won’t reveal what happens but I will say I had a Harry Potter flashback, of sorts.

With the small negatives out the way… There is much to love about this conclusion of the series. Lets start with the characters. I continue to love each characters’ development. Shazi continues to be outspoken and loves those she cares for fiercely. It was wonderful for people to finally start to see in Khalid what Shazi does. I am a Khalid fan. I love seeing a character whom doesn’t lie–rarely, as he would say. He is a person often of few words, speaking when it really matters; as someone of often few words, speaking when I really have something to say, I can appreciate this. What I noticed in this book is that we get to know secondary characters a lot more and see their development which I always think is important.

The words. At times, I found myself briefly stopping to take in the beautiful and often wise words.

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.

For it was easy to be good and kind in times of plenty. The trying times were the moments that defined a man.

It does not take courage to kill. It takes courage to live.

A word of warning, never read this series while hungry because you may find your mouth watering. Ahdieh loves to include the most delicious descriptions of food, haha.

Have a box of tissues ready because if you’re like me you will find yourself crying into the book, muttering through the sobs “No. No. No. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” There are aspects of the book I did not see coming, which I liked. Although I was cursing at the book, I liked the surprises; I liked being on the edge of my seat. Honestly though, I could have done without the reason for my crying–just rip out my heart why don’t you, haha. And that epilogue… *sings* I am happy. Oh so happy.

A story of love, friendship and magic. What more could you want? Enchanting.

Tell me, did anyone else see a Harry Potter similarity when it came to the curse being broken? Did you find this to be a fitting conclusion to the series?

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