Thursday, October 20, 2016

Book Review: The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath & the Dawn #2)

The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath & the Dawn, #2)About the Book:
Title: The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath & the Dawn #2)
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Pub. Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 416
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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.


"Your future is not set in stone, my dearest star. A coin turns on itself a number of times before it lands.” 

This was the most amazing sequel to an even more amazingly magical series. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect ending to this duology, and Renee Ahdieh is definitely an author that should go on everyone's TBR list immediately. Her writing is absolutely brilliant and every line in this book is so beautifully written. There is something about this world that Ms. Ahdieh has created that never makes me want to leave, and honestly I could have re-read this book as soon as I finished. The Rose & the Dagger has a much different feel than the previous installment, as it does not focus so much on romance. However, don't worry, because that romance, while still very present, is not as necessary when compared to everything else that goes on in this story. There is so much to love about this novel, and if you haven't checked this out yet, you need to now!

“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.” 

Renee Ahdieh has this way of writing that just evokes so much emotion from both the reader and the characters alike. As soon as you start reading this novel, you are instantly transported back into Shahrzad and Khalid's world, and you never want to stop reading. You want to devour every single word of this book because you know it will be utterly amazing. While the romance does take a bit of a backseat, there are plenty of action-packed scenes that will more than appease readers. But don't you worry, because there are still plenty of swoonworthy moments that will leave you breathless. Their relationship has matured a great deal in the short time since the events of the last book, and because of this, it is much less angsty and fragile, and much more solid and unwavering. The lengths they will go to for each other prove just how dedicated they are to their love. But there is a curse to break and a kingdom that must be saved, and in order to do so lives must be lost and sacrifices must be made.

“Sometimes," he gasped, "the family you stronger than blood.” 

There are a lot of twists and turns that I never saw coming in this story. Packed with betrayals and shocking surprises, Renee Ahdieh keeps you on the very edge of your seat until the very end. I can honestly say that I wasn't sure how everything was going to turn out. The fantasy elements that were mentioned in the first novel are expanded upon much more, and it made for many exciting moments. Shazi learns more about the powers she has, and we learn more about Khalid's curse. Ms. Ahdieh packs a lot of information into the story, however it never feels overwhelming. The pacing of this story is perfect, and everything that is revealed comes at a natural time in the story.

“The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.” 

Friendships are tested and not everyone is who they appear to be. With betrayals around every corner, even the reader has no idea who to trust. The one character that I was excited to see in this story was Shazi's sister, Irsa. She is very different from her sister, and this difference provided a nice dynamic between the sisters. I loved reading how they interacted with each other, and each provided a nice balance to the other. But the thing that truly made her stand out was how she overcame her hesitations and fears to become a strong woman in her own right, and very much like her sister. We all know how strong Shazi is on her own, but it was nice to see the inspiration she was to Irsa. Together, the sisters possess a strong bond that allows both of them to empower each other. 

“If you ask me, the best way to go about flying is to cut the strings tying you down." 

The ending of this novel was even more amazing than the rest of this book. There was definitely a heart-stopping (and jaw-dropping) moment, and I was close to tears. But trust me when I say that the ending that Ms. Ahdieh delivers is worth every second of that worry over how everything will turn out. The best part of this story (and this duology in general) is the strong female characters that while flawed, are complex and characters that girls everywhere can look up to. 

“It was easy to be good and kind in times of plenty. The trying times were the moments that defined a man.
And love? Love was something that did much to change a person. It brought joy as it brought suffering, and in turn brought about those moments that defined one’s character. Love gave life to the lifeless. It was the greatest of all living powers.
But, as with all things, love had a dark side to it.” 

Renee Ahdieh has cemented her place as an author that is here to stay. I think it's easy to say that she had a lot to live up to given the popularity of the first novel, and she has proven that she can deliver, and will deliver in the best way possible. Was this as amazing as the first story, in my opinion no, however this came very, very close to being just as amazing as the first. I will say that I am happy that this is only a duology as this was the perfect way to end the series. The story wasn't dragged out and it was just enough. There is a power in knowing when a story has been told, and Renee Ahdieh knew exactly what she was doing, which shows even more how amazing an author she is. This is an absolutely beautiful, empowering novel that weaves magic, love, and action into a perfect tale for all ages. Go read this now!

Happy reading :)



  1. OOoh nice! I STILL need to read this one! And I want to read all those prequel novellas as well! Really need to get through some review books for a bit and then I can go back to deciding what TBR book I want to read the most! Which is a lot! I loved TW&TD and am super excited to see how it all comes to an end here! Great review!

    1. Thanks!! I seriously want to read all the prequel novellas too, but there's just not enough time in the day (especially with work lol). But hopefully I can get to them soon!


  2. I don't know why I still haven't read this book! I mean I've read the first one, why not the second? Your review only made me want to pick it up right away!

    Aeriko @ The Reading Armchair

    1. Thanks! I hope you can read it soon!! As you can tell from my review, you really need to read it haha ;)