Book Review #32 : The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2) by Renee Ahdieh

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SERIES: The Wrath and the Dawn
AUTHOR: Renee Ahdieh
PAGES: 420
FORMAT: Paperback
PUBLICATION DATE: April 26, 2016
ISBN13: 9780399171628
GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
DATE READ: May 18, 2016
GOODREADS RATING: 4.01
PERSONAL RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
“True strength isn’t about sovereignty. It’s about knowing when you need help and having the courage to accept it.”
📚 Synopsis 📚
In a land on the brink of war, Sharhzad 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 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. Sharhzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and dis a plan.
While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Sharhzad 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, Sharhzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love. ©Goodreads
📖 M Y T H O U G H T S 📖
📚 Setting 📚
Khorasan is a land ruled by a cursed murderous boy-king named Khalid who is married to an audacious and fierce calipha, Sharhzad. She will do everything just to save him. The setting is as lovely as ever. You can check out my review of The Wrath and the Dawn here. The caliph’s kingdom is screaming beauty, class and elegance just like any other kingdom would look like. But here in the 2nd book, the scenes mostly took place in an encampment ruled by Tariq (Shazi’s first love and childhood buddy) where all the plans of the caliph’s execution takes place. Another place discussed in the story is the place of the sorceress who may or may not be the answer to Khalid’s freedom from the curse. All in all, every place matches with the plot and flow of the story and everything is perfectly created.
📚 Characters 📚
Sharhzad al-Khayzuran is the Calipha of Khorasan. A woman who is determined to seek revenge for what happened to her best friend, Shiva, in the first book. She did everything she can to murder the king and give justice to every female who died in the hands of Khalid. Shazi never expected that the king is not a monster after all. He is the great king that the kingdom and all people of Rey needs and deserves. If not for the merciless curse that a man bestowed upon him due to revenge. Shazi is fierce, witty and has a sharp mouth. She is not easily intimidated. She is determined and opinionated. She is willing to risk her own safety just for Khalid to be free. She is the epitome of a woman that a man dreams of and needs in his life. I admire her character, nothing stopped her from finding out if there is anything that they can do to reverse the curse. Even if she somehow left the castle and distanced herself from the king for a while, she planned and did things on her own all because of love and loyalty.
Khalid Ibn al-Rashid is the famous monstrous mad-king. Every dawn he kills his new bride. Every death sucks the life out of him. And the people doesn’t know why. All they know is that the king is a sick bastard who is cruel and selfish. He is a man of few words. He isn’t easily pleased and he doesn’t give his full trust to someone not unless that person deserves it. But he gave in to Shazi’s charm and wit. For the longest time, the caliph is determined to fulfill the curse after Shazi came into his life. He can’t keep her close anymore so at the end of the first book, the captain of the guard (Jalal al-Khoury) who happens to be his cousin decided to send and push Shazi away from him, away from Khorasan. I love Khalid’s character, he is strong and handsome. He loves deeply and is willing to fight and kill for Shazi and the people he loves. Both Khalid and Shazi complement each other. They are stubborn and very much in love. I swoon over and over with the king because he is not that hopeless and terrible after all.
Tariq Imran al-Ziyad as I have mentioned earlier, is Shazi’s precious first love and best friend. He is the one behind the group who plans to destroy the caliph. He joint forces with Reza who is just using him for his personal gain. Reza is Shiva’s father who wants to a avenge the death of her daughter. Tariq’s feelings for Shazi is incomparable. At first, he doesn’t believe in any word that she says. He thinks that she is just a young lady who is blinded by love. But after one significant yet tragic incident, things turned upside down and he discovered a lot of things about the Caliph of Khorasan.
📚 Writing Style and Plot 📚
This is the second and final installment of The Wrath and the Dawn duology. My very first ever 5 star rating for 2016 in the Fantasy category. I love Renee Ahdieh’s brilliant mind! She writes with justice and she executes every scene perfectly! At first, I got bored because the love birds are not together. But as the story goes on and new things are revealed, I became clingy to the book and I never put it down. I finished it in 2 days! I love the action scenes! I love all the twists and turn out of events! Every shocking revelation made me cringe! This story contains a lot of jaw-dropping secrets that will have you wanting and asking for more! The writing style is as amazing as the first book. This is definitely a masterpiece worth your time and money! Just when you thought things are going great, another event will take place that will leave you breathless! I only have some rants though. The 3rd person narration is really not my thing. I am not a fan of that point of view. I always have a hard time getting into the characters head whenever this POV is used. But nevertheless I enjoyed my reading experience and it didn’t stop me from falling head over heels with Khalid and Shazi. Another thing is the frequent use of very deep words. You have to use a dictionary most of the time. Maybe it’s just me? Haha! However, I could not ask for more. The ending is perfect!
📚 Overall Rating 📚
I highly recommend this book! A 5/5 rating for a job well done. I admire Miss Ahdieh’s piece of art. Ever since the first book, I knew that she would always write decently and with power. I will always look forward to her future stories! This is very addictive! I was able to read all her 3 novellas while waiting for this book to be released. The Moth and the Flame is about Despina and Jalal while The Crown and the Arrow is a short story about the young Khalid. The 3rd one is The Maze and the Mirror which is about the storm that occurred in Khorasan. Retellings always have this special place in my heart! And this one if by far one of the best.
📚 Conclusion 📚
I realized and learned a lot of things in the story such as:
1. If a person is in love, nothing and no one can stop them from being with that person. All their flaws will go unnoticed and everything that is good about that person will reign. Determination and loyalty are the major factors that played well in the story. The characters will always take a bullet for each other. It is always a nice feeling when you are able to read something as precious as Khalid and Shazi’s story. I am always a fan of happy ever after stories.
2. Family is not always by blood. Sometimes we get to choose who becomes our family. May it be friends, cousins, servants… They all became Khalid’s family. In Tariq’s case, it was a friend named Rahim. In unexpected circumstances, your true blooded family might betray you.
3. Power makes a person blind and cruel. Being hungry for power and influence will lead you nowhere. Instead, it will destroy you and cripple your heart until in the end you will be left with nothing. No family, no friends and definitely no one to follow and obey you.
📚 Favorite Lines 📚
🔖 “The moment I saw him running toward you that morning, I knew you were going to save him, just as he saved you.”
🔖 “The best way to go about flying is to cut the strings tying you down.”
🔖 “For a mistake was only a mistake if it was left to remain so.”
🔖 “We only run from things that truly scare us.”
🔖 “In magic and in life, deceit is often the best way to defeat one’s enemies.”
🌸 xoxo, JaNnA 🌸
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