Title: The Rose & The Dagger
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath & The Dawn Series #2
Genre: Fantasy, Young adult fiction, Romance
Publication Date: April 26th, 2016
Page Count: 416
Hello! Today I’ll be talking about The Rose and The Dagger, the sequel to The Wrath and The Dawn.
This review has been long overdue. I have been so busy trying to complete my reading challenge before school starts that I have put off my reviews. Big mistake. Now, I have around five reviews to write. Anyway, let’s get to it!
I loved The Wrath and The Dawn! I fell in love with the writing and the characters. Therefore, when I learned that there was a sequel I was beyond thrilled. I received this book as a birthday gift, but I didn’t pick it up until August. I think this was a mistake on my part because by the time I read I had forgotten a lot of the details from TWATD.
This story is a retelling of Arabian Nights. I have to say that even though I own the nice Barnes & Noble copy of it. I have never ready of the tales; therefore, I can not critique the quality of the retelling method. I do, however, love retellings and this is not the first one I have read.
The dust jacket for this book is as beautiful as the first one. It doesn’t really show the person, yet it features one. I find this fascinating because it is a cover within a cover. The girl appears to be hiding behind a curtain and when you open the book you see her standing in the middle of a desert wearing a gorgeous, flowing red/orange dress. Quite stunning. The actual book is a reddish color and the letters on the spine are gold, it looks amazing.
The Rose and The Dagger continues where we left off in The Wrath and The Dawn, for the most part, the story takes place in the desert.
TRATD follows Shahrzad once again as she tries to untangle the mess created in the first book. With her returns Khalid, but we do not get all the characters from the past book. Instead, we follow Tariq, Irsa, and her father.
Shahrzad is still stubborn, caring and a bit reckless. She is looking for a way to save her beloved and her father. I really like her, she is outspoken which I love because some of Khalid’s actions are not the most open-minded ones. As for him, I find Khalid a bit overprotective for my taste, but I love the dynamic between Shazi and him.
One of the characters I enjoyed the most was Irsa, she really grew in the course of the book. I did not think I would like her at first, first impressions aren’t always the best. Yet, as the time passed I found myself looking forward to her journey.
As for Tariq, I could not have cared less for him. I’m sorry if you really liked him, I really am. I tried to like him to no avail. I just wanted him to move on and not interfere.
Another character that I liked was Artan. I wanted more of him, can he get his own series? I wanted to know more about his life!
The villain or villains weren’t all that threatening or interesting. The story doesn’t focus too much on them and if it does it wasn’t something that stood out to me.
Overall, I liked the characters. The romance was still amazing and the dynamic between the lovers was nice. As for the other characters, I could have used less of Tariq and more of Artan. These characters are not perfect, they are flawed which made me like them more.
The plot carried a nice and steady pace. The beginning of the story was a bit boring and I didn’t feel it pick up until I was 100 pages in. After that the story picked up, I was able to navigate through it smoothly. The events that transpired in the middle of the story were fast paced and they helped the story progress nicely but maybe too quickly. The story travels to a lot of places in short periods of time to the point that it felt rushed. There were some plot points that needed more attention or more time to develop. As for the ending, I can say that I was satisfied, nothing about it surprised me but I was happy with the outcome. There was only one thing that took me by surprise and I was glad it did!
I mentioned that the story felt rushed, this is because I felt like things were resolved rather quickly. It seemed almost easy, maybe some plot point should have been explored further to avoid this.
I didn’t love this book.When I read the first one I was so excited for the sequel, but I think I waited too long to do so. At points of the story, I wanted to leave it but I couldn’t because I wanted to know what became of the characters. However, I found myself skimming a lot towards the latter half of the book. My favorite parts were the Khalid and Irsa interactions as well as anything that had to do with Artan. The writing style was as magical as ever, easy to follow. I liked that I got to learn new words with the Arabic the author incorporated.
This book took me 2 days to read, considering how I wasn’t really into I’d call it a success. I do not think I would reread this book as a stand alone. I would consider re-reading the duology. I recommend this book for fans of YA retellings and anyone who enjoyed the first book.
Renee Ahdieh possesses the ability to fully transport her reader. This was a magical world that I wanted to continue exploring. Her storytelling is rich and engaging, I’m really excited to see what she writes next! I met her at SDCC and she is so nice and sweet.
I hope you enjoyed this review. Feel free to tell me what you think!
Rating: ◯ ◯ ◯ ☾