Book Review: The Rose and the Dagger
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Release Date: April 26, 2016
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.
Shahrzad – Shazi starts the book in the Badawi camp that Tariq was in at the end of The Wrath and the Dawn. If I thought Shazi was a sassy badass in the first book, man, her true colors, sassiness, and badassery really shine through in this book. It takes a while for those things to come out, but eventually they do, and they come in full force.
Khalid – Khalid is weak and seems very lost, especially at the beginning of The Rose and the Dagger. It seems as though he is trying to figure out who he is, or at least who he wants to be, now that Shazi is gone.
Tariq – Tariq simply doesn’t know what to do anymore. He has gotten himself into a situation in which he is in over his head. He enacted this plan of saving Shazi with emotion rather than thinking it through,and it is in The Rose and the Dagger he must now deal with the fallout. Tariq grows up a lot in this book. He faces feelings and circumstances that doesn’t want to face and he learns to work with someone he doesn’t necessarily like.
Irsa – Irsa’s role in this book grows immensely compared to what we saw of her in The Wrath and the Dawn. We spend a lot of time with Irsa as she is learning who to be without Shazi. It’s a lot of fun to watch her become her own person. Irsa then becomes Shazi’s right hand woman, in a sense. The two of them really grow to be best friends in this book.
The Rose and the Dagger seemed to start a lot slower than The Wrath and the Dawn did, so I had a hard time really getting into it. I was excited about it and knew I wasn’t going to DNF it, but it wasn’t one of those books that I wanted to spend all my time with, at least for the first 100 pages or so. Then, all of sudden, the story got super intense, the action kicked in, the romance became super passionate.
There were also some great quotes later in the book. Irsa gets sassy when she meets and talks with Khalid. “Really? Irsa blinked, astounded.”Goodness, but you’re odd? Has anyone ever told you that?” I love it. Irsa is this meek, quiet character at the beginning of the book, but by the time Khalid shows up in the encampment, she is this little firecracker talking back to the caliph of Khorasan. It is also a testament to Khalid’s growth in the story that he is does not fire back at her in anger.
There is also a really beautiful line between Rahim, Tariq’s servant and friend, and Rahim’s love interest where Rahim says, “Because when I kiss you, I want yours to be the first. . . and last lips I ever kiss.” I just swooned when he said this. Lines like this are the reason we readers have book boyfriends, and often like characters in books better than real people.
The last 150 pages of The Rose and the Dagger were some of the most fast-paced pages I have read this summer. They were also full of so much emotion that I cried multiple times. Renee Ahdieh did a beautiful job wrapping up this story. I wasn’t left wanting more or feeling as though something was missing. It was beautifully ended.
Reason For Rating
So, The Rose and the Dagger is getting a B+ simply because the beginning was hard to get into. The last two-thirds of the book drastically made up for that, which is why it isn’t getting a B or a C. And it was so beautifully ended that I was more than pleased with the book overall.
I’d love to hear what you thought of The Rose and the Dagger, if you’ve read it.