Book Review: The Rose and The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
4 out of 5 stars
The Rose and the Dagger was the sequel to The Wrath and the Dawn. In the first book, The Wrath and the Dawn, we learn that the king, Khalid, takes a new bride every night only to kill her in the morning. When Shahrzad’s (Shazi’s) friend becomes one of his victims, Shazi decides to volunteer as the next bride so she can get revenge on the monstrous king. Shazi escapes death by telling the king an enchanting story which leaves him wanting more the next night. To everyone’s amazement Shazi survives not only the first night, but many nights after. She learns that the king doesn’t want to kill his brides but is forced to because of a curse put upon him. Because he didn’t kill Shazi, the curse has started which means war among the kingdoms. The first book ends with Shazi and Khalid falling in love but Shazi flees the palace to warn her family about the upcoming war.
The Rose and the Dagger starts with Shazi returning to her village and to her family but they are furious with her for siding with the king. She tries to explain Khalid’s curse and that he had no choice until he fell in love with her. War breaks out and Shazi is torn between her family and Khalid. As in the first book, the author’s descriptions of the culture in this world is fantastic. She weaves so much of it into the story you can’t help but think you are there. The descriptions of the food, clothing, and the palace are amazing. Khalid and Shazi are looking for a way to break the curse. At the same time, Shazi realizes she has magic in her blood. Her father has the book that could help break Khalid’s curse but he still holds bitterness for Khalid.
I love that this series is only two books. Sometimes it is frustrating to keep having to wait for the next book in a series but with that said I would love to read more about these characters. There were some free short novella’s released in ebook form before the second book came out. These books are beautifully written and I love the premise behind it. I feel there could have been more done with the magic Shazi discovers in herself. In fact, I am not sure why it was included since it didn’t affect the story line much. Shazi is a strong female character who takes control of her fate fearlessly. The covers for these books are gorgeous and I recommend this duo-logy if you love romance and fantasy.