Review: The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

Review: The Rose and the Dagger by Renee AhdiehThe Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath & the Dawn, #2) by Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath & the Dawn #2
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on April 26th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryChapters !ndigo

The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.
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.


So I think I’m a bit of the odd one out regarding The Rose and the Dagger. I mean I did enjoy it, but it just didn’t sweep me away like I had hoped.

Don’t get me wrong, the writing in this is still lovely and the story still grand, but it took me a while to get back into the story.

At the end of The Wrath and the Dawn, Shazi was separated from Khalid, and I greatly appreciated that they didn’t stay separated for too long. I felt their relationship was better in this, less insta-love and I definitely enjoyed the sass and banter between them.

“[…]But if you force me to do it, Khalid Ibnal-Rashid, I will. And I cry beautifully.” She crossed her arms and pursed her lips.
A corner of his mouth twitched. “You do not cry beautifully.”
“I’m not lying.”He held her gaze. “I rarely lie.”

This was also a perfect description of their relationship:

Two stubborn lovers, protecting each other from the very same threat.

Khalid won me over a bit more in this book getting to see more of this mad boy-king. He was just an interesting character. Shazi, for the most part, I liked. I did find her a bit too “chosen one” at times but loved her sass and ability to put people in their place when needed.

The story is told from multiple POVs. We’re introduced to Irsa, Shazi’s younger sister, whom I adored. I love her courage and her adorable budding romance with Rahim, a solider and friend to Tariq (who if you’ll remember was sorta the other guy in the love triangle thing happening in book one). Tariq, I didn’t really like all too much, but I gotta feel bad for the guy, stuck basically forever in the friendzone, but also lots of awkwardness. Artan, the boy by the sea! I loved him, he just cracked me up and was such a damn interesting character. I loved that he loved to mess people. (He needs his own book, seriously.)

So the big action of the story is trying to break Khalid curse, all the while bad guys are plotting to overtake Khalid’s reign. This was a bit underwhelming for me. It might of been because of the large-ish gap between reading book one and this, but I just wasn’t quite as invested in the story as I had hoped.

Like I mention, it might have been due to the fact that I just wasn’t really invested in the story, but I found it a little slow and boring. It did pick up more steam throughout the book and at the end in particular, but it still didn’t really wow me. I think I was still holding out for more magic? I’m also a bit upset about a particular incident that probably didn’t need to happen either >|

Overall, while it didn’t sweep me off my feet, this was a lovely conclusion to the series and I look forward to more of Ahdieh’s stories.

Khalid’s chest rose and fell on a deep inhale. “I wish you would not be so stubborn.” He echoed her earlier words as his thumb grazed her cheek.
As his eyes rippled with unfettered emotion.
Shahrzad smiled. “Are you a genie or a fool?”
“A fool. As I’ve always been when it comes to you.”

About Renee Ahdieh

Renée Ahdieh is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; consequently, Renée enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog.


Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

10 Replies to “Review: The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh”

  1. I definitely understand where you’re coming from. I liked this book a lot but surprisingly, I think I liked book one more. Though I adored Khalid in this book a lot. I didn’t even feel bad for Tariq though – though maybe I should have. Irsa was a great character to follow. 😀 I’m so glad this series is just a duology and not more! It ended so well and that made me happy. =) I’m glad you (mostly) enjoyed the book, Cyn!

    Have a wonderful weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  2. It’s good to see another perspective on this series, since I haven’t picked it up yet. I think this makes me one of the last holdouts on Ahdieh’s books, haha. Even though you didn’t love this duology, it sounds like the characters mostly worked for you, which is the most important part of the reading experience for me. Fingers crossed I’ll enjoy these too!

  3. I have had the audio for this one since it came out and for some reason haven’t felt like picking it up. I hate to hear that it was slow/boring because that makes me want to pick it up less. Great review!

  4. I’ve been meaning to read this series, so thanks for sharing both the good and the not-so-great in the second book. Good review! (And Danya, if you’re reading this, you’re not the only “last holdout”!)

  5. I hate being the odd one out. I mean enjoy is awesome, but there are those times you just want to love smth

  6. I still need to get round to book one, the covers are fantastic but I’ve failed to get past them! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Sorry it was not quite what you expected, but at least there were parts you enjoyed.

  8. I always go back-and-forth over whether to read these or not. Maybe one day.

  9. These do sound like interesting characters! Sorry it was slow though :-/

  10. I agree, this one wasn’t quite the same level of epic as the first. But I still was glad to be back with the characters, and at least have some kind of ending to the story. The writing was still really good too! It’s so hard when a first book is SO good, the second often has trouble living up to it. Great review!

Leave a Reply