Hello Humans! I’m back with yet another book review! (A book review, on a book review blog? Who would’ve thought?) You may remember my review of The Wrath and the Dawn many moons ago? Well I grabbed a copy of The Rose and the Dagger at YALC this year and I’m finally ready to share my thoughts with you.
Consider this your warning, there will be spoilers for book #1 in this blog post.
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.
This book is similar to The Wrath and the Dawn and The Flame in the Mist in that it has the feel of a romance novel wrapped up in a fantasy setting. So if it was the romance element you didn’t like about The Wrath and the Dawn I wouldn’t bother reading this one as the romance becomes even more key.
The fantasy element also increases however, so the balance feels sort of similar to book #1. This isn’t the most fleshed out magic system I’ve encountered of late but, broadly speaking, it still makes sense. Ahdieh sort of operates on a need to know basis where detailed world building is concerned which might bother some people but for me it was fine.
I also enjoyed how many more characters there were in this book. Book #1 is somewhat limited in it’s scope since so much is focused on Shazi in the palace. In contrast, we get to do a bit more exploring both geographically and in terms of characters in this book. That’s a double edged sword in a way as it’s wonderful to get to flesh out the world a little bit more but some of the characters just drive me bananas (I’m looking at you Shazi’s Dad. You are a pain.)
As a sequel, I think this is on par with book #1, I imagine if you’re not as into the romance plot or if you don’t buy this particular romance you’ll find the book a lot worse than book #1. In my opinion, a sequel should enhance the first book and also compliment it and I think that’s achieved here.
My rating: 5/5 stars (but I don’t think that rating will be universal by any means)
All opinions are my own.
What say you? Let me know what you think about this hyped-up book in the comments below!