My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Actual Rating: 4.5
THIS WAS BEAUTIFUL. AND HEARTBREAKING.
Whew, okay. Anyways.
The Rose and the Dagger continues where The Wrath & the Dawn left off and follows Shahrzad as she is forced away from Rey and away from the man she loves. And the curse is a menace that continues to loom over them, threatening to pull Shazi and Khalid apart forever.
But now Shazi is back with her family, and back with Tariq, her childhood sweetheart – who is also dead set on destroying Khalid and his empire. And Shazi has no choice but to act.
What a fantastic ending to the series. I’d just like to say that I’m very glad Ahdieh decided to make this a duology – although I’m kind of sad that the series has already ended, the fact that this was a two-book series and not a trilogy (or more) allowed the pacing to be controlled very well.
As usual, the writing was magnificent and there were some scenes that really tore my heart out.
Speaking in terms of plot, this book was definitely more confusing than its prequel (just like most sequels that take place out of their original setting). There were so many subplots that tied into one another – but Ahdieh’s writing style did make it easier to follow.
Honestly though, I feel like I liked the plot of The Wrath and the Dawn better simply because it was easier to see what the main plotline was and there was less blurring.
Now for some of the characters:
Tariq: I’ve never liked Tariq to be honest with you. and throughout the books he’s always been painted as someone who was jealous and stuck in the past, but in The Rose and the Dagger I feel like we really get a much better idea of who he is. First of all, there are some scenes that are written in his perspective, which really made him seem more three-dimensional and human, rather than just a side-antagonist who was only there for the purpose of enmity.
Irsa: I love Irsa – but she’s always been spoken of as the sister who was left behind while Shazi did her thing. However, I love her because it is this book that really reveals her true potential.
Despina and Jalal: Okay, so I know that I really shouldn’t group these two characters together, but here I feel like I must. I absolutely adored these two in The Wrath and the Dawn and I was really anxious to see how their relationship would play out. Unfortunately, we didn’t see much of either character and it felt a little like there was so much significance put into these two in the first book, but they were just thrusted aside in the second. Still, I did love the scenes that they were included in.
Artan: Something similar could be said for Artan – true, he didn’t appear in the first book, but in The Rose and the Dagger I wished he played a larger role, rather than just the mentor. It felt like he had such great potential, and I just didn’t see enough of him.
Khalid: Speaking in terms of character development, Khalid was definitely one of the characters that showed the most throughout the entire series – his transition from a seemingly cold and harsh caliph to a man that was willing to do anything for Shazi was such a beautiful journey.
And finally, our heroine.
Shazi: she is absolutely amazing – throughout these two books, we as readers definitely see her transition from a small girl looking for revenge to one who understands her own power, understands the power of love, and understand what the world needs.
What an amazing journey – I really can’t believe it’s over.