Saturday, October 7, 2017

Review: The Rose & the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

Book: The Rose & The Dagger
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Series: The Rose & The Dagger #2 (final)
Genre: YA fantasy
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Pages: 416
Release: April 26th, 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.

Where do I even start with this book? Everything was illustrious, from the character dynamics to the descriptions to the plot lines. I so desperately want to join Shahrzad and Khalid in Rey, to experience the exquisite food and culture. 

This book picks up days after the disaster that struck Rey. Without giving too much away, Shazi and Khalid have been separated. But whereas Khalid must turn his focus to protecting his city, Shazi finds herself in the company of those would would do anything to harm Khalid. And so begins a dangerous game to save him while keeping her family safe...

Did I mention I loved Shazi? I loved Shazi! She was just as fierce and strong in this book as the last one. I had been afraid she wouldn't have been nearly as headstrong in this book, as she lacked the bitterness in her personality that came from hating Khalid, but she was 100% amazing in this one. She risked her life continuously, whether others knew it or not, to find ways to help Khalid and Rey. She remained a true Calipha, regardless of her apparent stripping of title!

Khalid, oh my baby, Khalid. I just...WHY AREN'T YOU REAL??? He went through so much, and he continued to go through a lot of pain (mainly through social isolation). But he always acted with his city and people's safety first. Yes, he was devastated that Shazi was taken from him, but no, he did not send anyone to find her because a) he loved her too much to drag her back into this mess b) his city needed him more c) he knew that if she wanted to come back, she would do it herself. God, I just loved how time and time again he showed everyone that Shazi wasn't a possession, that she was her own person and equally capable of making her own decisions. He fully believed in her abilities to get out of bad situations, knowing not once did she ever need to be rescued. LOVE HIM.

The side characters also were really interesting. We got different faces of different people, some expected, some unexpected. This book truly complimented the first one, completing the characterization of all characters. 

And the world! Just as elaborately described as the last one. From the foods to the palaces to the clothes, I was literally begging to be transported into the book just to experience all the rich culture!

So, with all my praising, why didn't it get the full five stars? As much as I loved this book, there were a few things I would have liked to have seen more of. Shazi's magic was one of them; we were introduced to it, but she never quite honed it and used it. Another was Tariq--I wanted to make a tragedy of him, but his ending didn't seem quite as befitting as I would have liked. There were also some new characters that were introduced that I wanted to see and understand more of; they kind of seemed more like a means to an end, and I would have enjoyed it more if they had been a bit more fleshed out. But all in all, this was an excellent book and series! I 100% would reread this over and over again, and probably will in the future!


  1. Yaaaaaayy you finished it!!! Shazi was amazing in Rose & the Dagger, I admire her strength so much.
    Also Khalid? Can we just take a minute to swoon? He was an incredible love interest and it's so refreshing to see him show that belief in the female MC, he knew she could take care of herself and make her way back to him.
    Completely agree with your thoughts on the magic aspect, I was a little disappointed as I was expecting a lot more.
    So happy you liked this, amazing review as always!!

    Cody @ Literary-ly Obsessed

    1. YES, I was totally down with Khalid and his belief in Shazi. Complete, 100% faith she was okay, that if she wanted out, she would get out herself and didn't need rescuing! SWOOOON <3

  2. Replies
    1. It's really good! I hope you'll get to read it soon :)