“That is not the way of it. Your future is not set in stone, my dearest star. A coin turns on itself a number of times before it lands.”
The Rose & the Dagger is a satisfying conclusion to the adventurous and romantic story of The Wrath & the Dawn duology. Starting from where the first book left off, Shahrzad is reunited with her family at a camp in the desert, surrounded by those who are planning an attack on Khalid and his kingdom. With a war on the horizon and a curse that may keep her away from Khalid forever, Shahrzad must harness her own power in an effort to put an end to it all.
The Wrath & the Dawn was such an enjoyable read and its follow up delivers a story with the same humour, sharpness, and interesting characters. What makes this such an exceptional series is the quality of the writing with which the characters, the scenery, and the action are brought to life. As was the case with the first book, I did feel the plot could have moved along a little faster at times, however it was still an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable read. There is something about the world that Ahdieh has created that is undeniably charming.
“It was easy to be good and kind in times of plenty. The trying times were the moments that defined a man. And love? Love was something that did much to change a person. It brought joy as it brought suffering, and in turn brought about those moments that defined one’s character. Love gave life to the lifeless. It was the greatest of all living powers. But, as with all things, love had a dark side to it.”
“I will live to see tomorrow’s sunset. Make no mistake. I swear. I will live to see as many sunsets as it takes. And I will kill you. With my bare hands.”
A kingdom ruled by a monster. Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan takes a new bride each night and has her executed at sunrise, leaving a devastated and shattered family every time. When her best friend becomes one of the Caliph’s victims, sixteen-year old Shahrzad volunteers to be the next bride in order to exact her revenge and put a stop to the murders. But once she enters the Caliph’s world, she realizes that there is more to the boy king than she originally thought. Struggling with the fact that she is falling in love with the person responsible for the death of her best friend, she sets out to discover his secret.
The Wrath & The Dawn is an engaging and wonderfully written debut novel. Renée Ahdieh proves herself to be a captivating storyteller, weaving a story that had my full attention from start to finish. She presents a great cast of characters, from Jalal, the Caliph’s cousin to Despina, the handmaiden. Shahrzad is a witty and strong heroine, and the romance between her and Khalid is well developed and very sweet. I found the dialogue overall to be smart, clever and thoroughly enjoyable, especially between the main characters. Although I felt at certain times the plot could have moved along a little faster, it did not take away from the quality of the story. The Wrath & The Dawn is a sweet romance and an intriguing mystery, that charms from the beginning all the way to the last page. This is the first book in what is set to be a duology, with the second book The Rose & The Dagger expected to be released in 2016.
Favourite quote: “Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”