Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh


Title: The Rose & the Dagger
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #2
Author:  Renee Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 26, 2016




The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as "a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance."
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.


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I was nervous and excited to read this book. I didn't want to see Shazi and Khalid separated, but I was so excited to see them finally reunite. I was disappointed that the reunion between Shazi and Khalid took as long as it did. That made it so hard for me to get into this book. I wanted less of Tariq and more Khalid! Tariq was so annoying and frustrating in this book. I COULD NOT STAND HIM. He also made me feel extremely uncomfortable. I understood his motive for the things he did, but I never liked him. I was annoyed each time he spoke or did anything. I was not amused.



Thankfully, there were romantic moments between Shazi and Khalid to kind of make up for the annoyance that was Tariq. I was practically pulling my hair out with frustration and stress waiting for Shazi and Khalid to reunite. When they finally reunited, it was perfect. Shazi and Khalid were so wonderful together that hurt my heart. They made me feel things that most YA couples never make me feel. Their romance was so genuine, believable, and undeniable. The relationship between Shazi and Khalid is hands down one of my favorite YA romances. I honestly could go on and on about how perfect they are together.


“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.”

“I’ve missed the silence of you listening to me.” Shahrzad attempted a weak smile. “No one listens to me as you do.”
His expression turned quizzical.
“You don’t wait to speak,” she clarified. “You truly listen.”
“Only to you,” Khalid replied gently.” 



All of the moments between Khalid and Shazi were perfect. I will cherish those moments forever. However, I do wish there would have been more moments between them. 


As individual characters, Shazi and Khalid were amazing. I loved how strong and caring Shazi was. She stayed true to herself, and I was so happy to see that. Khalid is my precious child and I will love him forever. He was so misunderstood by everyone but Shazi. I loved him and will continue to love him with every fiber of my being.

The beginning of this book really dragged for me. I felt like it didn't pick up until Khalid and Shazi reunited. After that, the book was a lot more enjoyable, especially the last couple chapters. The ending of this book killed me, and I am so happy Ahdieh ended the book the way she did.

The war and magic aspect in this book was interesting, but it had a hard time holding my attention in the beginning of the book. I was expecting to love that part of the book, but I really didn't. I enjoyed it much better once Shazi and Khalid were together. The last part of the book was fantastic! Basically, this book was much more enjoyable when Shazi and Khalid were together. Their bond was so unique and powerful that any moment where they were together was just outstanding. I know that sounds cliche, but I don't care.


Overall, I didn't like this book as much as the previous book. The romance between Shazi and Khalid was perfect, but I wish I could have seen more of it. However, I am just glad that the moments that they had were extremely swoon worthy. It is undeniable that Ahdieh knows how to write a killer romance. Ahdieh's writing style was as beautiful as it was in the previous book, even during the slow moments. Even though this book wasn't as good as it's predecessor, it was still a good book! I will cherish this series forever. I am so excited to see what Ahdieh comes up with next!

4 / 5 Fangs




I was blown away with the Rose and the Dagger. Usually, sequels can be the downfall to a great beginning. I was very pleased that this book was the opposite. I liked it much more than the Wrath and the Dawn. The flow and the development of the characters were flawless. 

Shahrzad and Khalid both behaved in a more mature way. They both make sure their tempers didn't overrule their brains. Their romance was also much more believable.

“I want to live. You are where I live.”

At the beginning of the Rose and the Dagger, the city of Rey has burned. Khalid is dealing with the Shahrzad's departure with Tariq and at the same time, trying to rebuild what has been lost.  His only comfort is thinking Shazi is safe. 

“I’ve missed the silence of you listening to me.” Shahrzad attempted a weak smile. “No one listens to me as you do.”
His expression turned quizzical.
“You don’t wait to speak,” she clarified. “You truly listen.”
“Only to you,” Khalid replied gently.”

Shazi has only one purpose in mind: To break the curse and to return to the man she fell in love with. To achieve this objective, she goes in search of help.  No one can help her better than Musa Zaragoza. He, in turn, takes her to Artan Temujin to begin her training and to learn the way to break the curse.

One thing I was happy to see was Irsa's maturity. She blossomed right in front of my eyes. She wasn't a kid anymore. She spent her time trying to help Shazi and her father too. I love seeing how strong the sister's relationship became. Together, these sisters could rule the world. 



She also has developed feelings for Rahim. Some of the most beautiful phrases came from them. I love this one:

“You’re better than beautiful.” Rahim took a careful breath. “You’re interesting. Never forget that.” 
and
“Because when I kiss you, I want yours to be the first . . . and last lips I ever kiss.”

Renee Ahdieh had a great way of spinning the story to a great end. I don't think she left anything out that needed to be answered. She did break my heart with a certain scene and I wanted to be wrong so bad. 

I truly hope this is not the end of this series. 

“Since you can’t say it, will you at least tell me how much you love me?”
...“From the stars, to the stars.”

Cliffhanger: No

4.5/ 5 Fangs


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