The Rose and the Dagger
By: Renee Ahdieh
Release Date: April 26th 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young
Format: Print ARC
Source: Lit Agency
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.
Renee Ahdieh has a way with words- I swear 90% of this book was quotable. I found myself rereading line after line because of how beautifully eloquent they were. Immediately upon receiving this book I threw all other things to the side and devoured half of it. I sort of freaked knowing this was the end of the series so I halted and went to other books that were releasing sooner and came back to this one. I didn’t want it to finish and leave me wanting these characters and world.
The Wrath and the Dawn was a masterpiece and I was afraid that this sequel and ending couldn’t match the emotion, passion and beauty of the first book. Rest assured, Ahdieh does not disappoint. This book touched on so much- magic, love, betrayal, redemption, a flying carpet, and so much more. Just wow. I’m so impressed with the expanse of this story and how the characters and storylines all meld together to weave such a stunning story. Once again the reader becomes swept away in the vivid descriptions and emotions of the characters.
I did not reread TWatD prior to jumping into this one and I’d actually recommend that you do (if you have the time). It was fairly easy for me to get immersed again and recall the characters but I will say that the emotional connection I had upon finishing the first book had sizzled some and I didn’t have that heart wrenching feeling between Khalid and Shahrzad like I wanted. I’m sure this was not the fault of the book but rather, because I have read so much in between the first book and this one.
The first book focused on Shahzrad’s story telling, and the build up of her and the Caliph’s burgeoning emotions toward one another. In this book we focus more on the world outside. There are many elements shifting outside of Khorasan and the wheels are set in motion for a war. I loved seeing the way Ahdieh tied in the secondary cast into the story and gave them such pivotal roles in the outcome. I was vastly impressed with how different the tone of this follow-up was and yet the characters remained true to themselves.
Because the story takes place in a larger setting and there are more forces being moved around I felt that the pacing was perhaps a tad faster overall. Had I let myself I could have easily devoured the book in a sitting or two. I tried to stretch my reading out as long as possible. There were more action scenes but they, like every other aspect of the novel, were written elegantly.
Bah. It is so hard to write a review for a book like this. I’m really at a loss for words because it was, in essence, just really amazing and you should stop reading my words and start reading Renee’s.
Did you read The Wrath and the Dawn? Well, if the answer is yes then you will need to read The Rose and the Dagger and bask in how well these books tie together and expand the world. Did you answer no? You should purchase or borrow it immediately.