The Rose and The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and The Dawn
Published April 26th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: fantasy, romance, young adult, fairytale, retelling, magic, historical fiction
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.
To start the review, The Rose and The Dagger was such an amazing concluding book, there were so many topics that are discussed in just 400 pages amongst the chaos that ensued after The Wrath and The Dawn. However, I didn’t enjoy TRATD as much as I did with TWATD. A reason might be that the romance took a backseat in the second book, and I absolutely loveeeed the romance in TWATD.
There were topics on friendships, relationships, family and enemies in this intricately crafted story. That fleeting romance that I witnessed touch my heart, it showed the unlimited love one can feel for another is indescribable and precious. I enjoyed the family aspect especially the sisters – Shazi and Irsa – when they finally worked together because initially, I didn’t really like Irsa.
Though it was in brief moments, Khalid’s compassion, his love for his people and city, and his heart and soul of a ruler shone through his stoic and seemingly heartless self. The way he did things without asking or wanting a reward or recognition, he just wanted to do it out of his own will and not entirely because of the curse.
Shahrzad is still feisty, but her protective side was her strongest throughout the book. Seeing her trying to piece everything together, trying to juggle breaking the curse and staying on the down-low was amazing, and I really love her personality.
I was actively seeking out for the romance than anything else in the story. It doesn’t mean that the plot was undermined or anything in that sense, the plot was engaging though a little slow at some part of the story. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed TRATD, the writing beautifully weaved the story together. It was such a remarkable duology, and so it has become one of my favourite series ever.
SPOILER SECTION COMING RIGHT OUT, I SUGGEST YOU READ THE BOOK FIRST BEFORE COMING BACK HERE!!
to be honest, i initially didn’t like irsa, not a single bit because it felt like she’s a hindrance and she simply just doesn’t trust shazi even though she said she does. it seemed like the people who knew shazi recently (artan and khalid) trust her more than people who knew her their whole life (irsa and tariq), which irritates me because it shouldn’t be that way at all.
despite the initial dislike, i came to accept her when she genuinely wanted to work with shazi to destroy the book and break khalid’s curse. and also, when she found out about rahim’s death, i was so heartbroken for her. their momentarily romance was so cute yet easily broken. i was actually shipping irsa and rahim together when that shit happened in the palace of parthia.
oh, speaking of tariq, i still don’t like him. for knowing shazi so long, and reading the bloody letter that khalid wrote for her, shouldn’t tariq know that the love between shazi and khalid is genuine?! all the times that he saw them together…… tariq still went ahead to shoot the arrow at khalid, did he not think that shazi would scarifice herself (for all the years you’ve known her). i felt like punching him the whole time when he’s being delusional and until the point he finally realized that shazi and khalid really love each other, it was too late. and i was just like ughhhhhh, the whole time.
the part where aunt isuke gave khalid the instructions to stab the dark magic book with the dagger gave me harry potter’s diary flashback, and when khalid stabbed it and all the negative feelings that came out reminded me of the locket scene in harry potter.
oh, and this part of the book:
“If you ever touch me again, I’ll rip your sorry excuse for manhood and feed it to the falcon.” Then she stepped closer, brandishing her unsheathed dagger. “But if you even look at my sister again. I’ll kill you outright.”
oh my, this part fantastically portrayed shazi so well. she’s so quick with her words and so fiercely protective of her loved ones. it’s amazing. also, i really appreciate that she’s not the wishy-washy kind of girl who will make unnecessary actions that might cause the guy to misunderstand her intentions. i would have gone insane if that happened.. the confrontation with tariq was so long overdue, i was so relieved when that happened because i want them to have a clean break so that tariq can move on and so that my ship can officially sail off.
OH, and when despina was revealed as the princess of parthia, i was SHOOOOK. my mind was like this ” no. no. no no no no no. this is not happening to me. this is not happening to shazi. she needs despina, she needs a friend! not a friend turned princess of parthia who betrayed her. pleaseee no.” oh my god.
and, the part where jalal goes crazy on khalid because khalid accidentally sent despina off when JALAL DIDN’T EVEN SAY THAT THE WOMAN HE WAS TALKING ABOUT WAS DESPINA. WTF. ugh, that irritated me so much.
all in all, it was a wonderful ending. the plot, the magic carpet, musa and artan were amazing inclusion, the people, the desert, everything was so good.
that’s the end of my review!
LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE ROSE AND THE DAGGER IN THE COMMENTS!!
“It does not take courage to kill. It takes courage to live.”
(my aesthetics for the rose and the dagger)