The Rose and the Dagger

Renée Ahdieh’s The Rose and the Dagger, her follow-up to The Wrath and the Dawn, does not disappoint. There’s adventure, betrayal, magic, and love.

Overview:

More than anything, Shahrzad wants to break the curse that has bound Khalid—and the capital city, Khorasan—to a soul-destroying path. But it’s going to require magic, help, and the greatest power of all: love. Meanwhile, Khalid’s kingdom is under attack from both old and new enemies. Can the young caliph break the curse, save his kingdom, and protect his queen?

Thoughts:

This book was more than its predecessor: bigger problems, more complex plot, and greater risks. I loved it.

The Characters.

Shahrzad has found peace with her new life. She’s no longer torn between vengeance and justice, a living Khalid and the memory of Shiva, and two loves. However, this doesn’t mean that she’s not tormented by outside forces every bit as strong as the inner ones. In this book, she finds an inner strength she didn’t know she had.

Khalid must open his mind up to a world of possibilities and accept the healing power of love. He’s no longer alone in the world, but being alone can be a hard habit to break.

Shahrzad’s father has his own torments, one of which is knowledge of his failures and the other is his desire for power. Will his love for his daughters be stronger than his demons?

Tariq is a good man, and this means changing his opinion of a man who took his cousin and his love.

The Storyline.

The plot in this book develops to be more than just a curse. In fact, breaking the curse is relatively easy when compared to protecting a country against discontent from within and invaders from without. I do wish that the magic aspect lingered to the book’s climax (it felt too easily resolved), but the storyline was very satisfying.

The Writing.

Ahdieh doesn’t disappoint:

“In the end, there is only time for love.”

Such true words. And these deep words:

“The rose’s rarest essence lives in the thorns.”

And these:

“A boy who’d thrived in the shadows.
Now he had to live in the light.
To live . . . fiercely.
To fight for every breath.”

Final Musings:

This book—and the series—was deeply satisfying. The writing and plot deepened, causing Shahrzad and Khalid’s story to capture my heart. It was a story of exotic fantasy and love, love between a man and his wife, between a king and his people, between two souls, between friends, and between family members.

Rating: 5/5

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