The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh


“Two stubborn lovers, protecting each other from the very same threat.”


RATING: 3.5/5

BLURB: “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 the 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.

Refusing to be a pawn, 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.”

REVIEW: After thoroughly enjoying ‘The Wrath and the Dawn’, I was really excited to get started on its sequel, ‘The Rose and the Dagger’. Having been torn from her husband Khalid, Shahrzad finds herself by people whose only mission seems to be to kill him and ruin his empire, and by those who do not understand her love for him and judge her for it. Not to mention the fact that her childhood sweetheart, Tariq, is still bitter over being rejected in favour of Khalid and is still cold towards Shazi. Her relationship with her younger sister is also strained, and her father’s descent into madness as a result of meddling with magic is also difficult for her to deal with. The relationship between Shazi and Khalid, however, stays strong despite their separation and is in some ways more believable than it was in the previous novel.

I did find the novel as a whole less gripping than its predecessor, but still enjoyed the many twists and turns that occured throughout, particularly towards the ending. I also really felt the emotion in Ahdieh’s writing with the death of Rahim, lover of Shazi’s sister, which was truly heartbreaking and very well-written. Overall, however, I did not find this book as memorable nor as exciting as the first, but I enjoyed the satisfaction of the happy ending and am sad that there will not be further novels following Shazi and Khalid’s story.