Monday, March 6, 2017

The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh | Book Review

The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
First Published: 2016
Young Adult, romance
I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad 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 them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken 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. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.
While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad 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, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.
Reading this book was an absolute joy, and a wonderful finale to Shazi and Khalid's story. It's been a long time since I breathed such a satisfied sigh at the end of a series. Although... I don't feel like we are nearly done with this world. There are so many aspects and stories left to explore that I am filled with hope that Ahdieh will expand on this world and give me more!

The Wrath & The Dawn ended on a somewhat dire note for our heroine, so I was a bit worried for Shazi, but it seems like I forgot who I was dealing with here. Shazi is as strong and stubborn as ever, and a mere curse is not going to be what stops her from helping her loved ones! 

Now Khalid... if you had told me last week that I would fall head over heels in love with a murdering king, I would have laughed in your face. Joke's on me, because I fell, and fell hard. This guy is so precious and needs to be protected and loved openly and freely to heal his broken soul! Luckily, Shazi is very open to doing exactly that.

Together, these two are #relationshipgoals. Seriously, they just... understand each other. There is no unnecessary trust issues or misunderstandings between them. They don't rely on words to send their message across. And they would never, ever do anything to hurt the other... even emotionally. And if that means forgiving your wife's ex... so be it.

Speaking of said ex... I finally love the guy! Tariq had to work in order to win me over, but I'm happy with the outcome. A guy I didn't have to work hard to love? Tariq's bestie, Rahim! He's a total book-boyfriend, and an instant fave with his laid back and funny commentary, combined with his unwavering loyalty. The way he was with Irsa? Total perfection!

On the point of Irsa, what a pleasant surprise she was! As different from her older sister as the sea is to the dessert, yet just as fierce and formidable in her own way. She both delighted me and broke my heart, and I cannot express how happy I am that this series dishes out so many incredible female characters.

The one thing I was really kind of bummed about with this novel is Jalal and Despina. I left The Wrath & the Dawn looking forward to seeing more of these two, especially in regards to their relationship, because I shipped it way before I knew she was pregnant with his baby. And then you go and give me a book with nearly no Despina or Jalal (who is a favorite on par with Rahim)??

And to add insult to injury, you put Jalal and Khalid at odds because of it? Bringing my two favorite cousins to blows?? STOP MESSING WITH MY BROTP, WORLD!

I highly, highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves beautiful storytelling and stories.


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