The Rose and the Dagger is the sequel to The Wrath and the Dawn, a retelling of the Arabian Nights by Renee Ahdieh. It was published earlier this year.
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
The Rose and the Dagger is the second book of the duology, and brings an end to Sharzad and Khalid’s story. After the storm that destroyed most of Rhae, Khalid tries his best to rebuild his city, and Sharzad, separated from the boy she loves, desperately tries to put an end to the revolution that is on its way. Meanwhile, Despina leaves behind her a heartbroken Jalal, a curse has to be broken, and while Sharzad is reunited with her family again, she has to deal with her father’s secrets and hiding her plan from her sister Irsa.
First of all I listened to this on Audiobook, and once again, I absolutely loved Ariana Delawari’s narration (the only problem is that I will probably make mistakes in most of the characters names).
Second of all I am not a huge fan of the (kind of?) love triangle but I really like how things turned out in this one, and how Shazi is sure of her feelings. She is sure of herself and that is something I really appreciate in a character.
One thing that totally blew my mind is the amount of plot twists and crazy things that happened and I totally did not expect. Congratulations to Renee Ahdieh for taking me through such an amazing ride, and an incredible book! I personally really like the twist she took from the original story of a thousand and one night.
In comparison to The Wrath and the Dawn, I miss the fact that we didn’t get to see as much as Despina and Jalal. They are definitely complex and interesting characters. On the other hand other amazing characters were introduced such as Irsa and Hartan. We also got to know Tarek and Rahim better, and I really liked it. As I mentioned before, I am not a huge fan of Tarek. However, Rabin was definitely one of my favourite characters. To be honest, he was almost too good to be true. As much as his death broke my heart, I did feel that it was predictable.
One thing that definitely wasn’t predictable is the mystery of Despina’s origins. It’s something that I totally didn’t expect and it definitely did make this book better. I also really like that we got too see Yasmine again, and she definitely had an interesting character development. When we first saw her in The Wrath and the Dawn I wanted to believe that there was more to her than appeared at first, and I was delighted to see that I was right. Overall these books features amazing ladies, and I really liked that part.
I was also rather shocked and surprised by Sharzad’s father’s attitude, even though he did try to redeem himself in the end. I was a bit disappointed with him as a character but it also contributed to make this book an original story!
I couldn’t make this review without mentioning how much I like all the moments between Shazi and Khalid. They are really a power couple and work so well together, it was such a pleasure to read all the parts where they were together.
Finally, I just wanted to say that I know this duology is really different from the original tale (in the original tale, the sultan kills a new wife every dawn because his wife cheated on him, and he wants to take revenge on women, while here, Khalid is the victim of a curse). But I really like how original this twist was, and the universe Ahdieh described was really magical. I know that some people didn’t like it, but I did and I’m not asking for more!
Please share your opinion in the comments if you read it as I would love to discuss it! And feel free to recommend similar books!