Friday, May 6, 2016

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

Summary from Goodreads:
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.
This book was wonderful. It’s the kind of book I wanted to read in one setting, yet at the same time, read slowly over a long period of time. I needed to know what would happen. Yet, it was written so poetically, I needed to savor every single second.
Shahrzad is a force in this. Seriously, she is so strong. She’s a good sister, a doting daughter, and friend, and ally. But, also, she knows what she wants and will fight against everything to go for it. I love her flaws (aka: her temper). I love that her temper matches Khalid’s and that they really, genuinely seem to be a perfect match for each other. Even in the most dangerous of circumstances, she was so brave in achieving what she knew was the right thing, in fighting for her love.
I am also eternally grateful that I did not have to wait too long before Shahrzad reunited with Khalid. Thank goodness for magic carpets, magic lessons, and journeys to break curses. There’s a lot more fantasy/magic in this book than there was in the first. And I loved every second of this. The new, magical characters and creatures added even more layers to the story.
I also loved that there were still short, beautiful stories woven in amongst the plot. Khalid evens asks her to tell him a story when they first reunite. Ah. So much love there.
I like how things resolve in regards to the war that is happening. I like how the curse is fought head-on. I like how things wind up between Khalid and Sahrzad’s family. I love the feminist twists this author brings to everything. The women own the show in this book, and seriously, nothing good would have happened without every single one of their actions.
I haven’t even mentioned the writing. It is just beautiful. It flows with the story and gives this poetic feel to the desert setting. It’s so good, it’s the kind of book I’d love to share with people hesitant about the quality of writing in YA novels.  I want live in these words. Seriously, I want to go back and re-read the book again and savor the words even more than I could have in my first read. I read this book in less than 24 hours, despite my need to savor…It was too hard to stop reading.
As I said on Goodreads: This book is at such a high level of awesome for me. Seriously, if all books could aspire to be even half as good as this book, the world would be a better place. I'm so glad I found this series. It owns a piece of my heart. I give it a 10/10.


  1. I still haven't forgiven myself for not pre-ordering this one. I was hoping to get an ARC to match my Wrath&Dawn ARC but we didn't get ANY in Canada O.O Anyway, your review here made my day ♥ It sounds like the sequel has everything I was hoping it would :D I can not wait to experience it all first hand - and that glorious prose^^

  2. I read The Wrath of the Dawn based on your review. Then, I couldn't help but devour the sequel the following day. This is definitely my go-to recommendation book for family and friends. :)