Review: The Rose and the Dagger, Renee Ahdieh

If there is one series that I am grateful I found out about this year – read, in 2016 because I read the first book last year -, it’s this one. I followed popular opinion once again for this and tried to read The Wrath and The Dawn, a bit unsure about the world, the story, and whether or not I would like it, and boy, was I surprised to completely fall in love with it. Almost a year after reading its predecessor, I finally managed to get to the second book, and, well…I loved it just as much, if not more.



β€œCut the strings, Shazi. Fly.”

Directly following the events of The Wrath and The Dawn, The Rose and the Dagger takes us directly into another world, literally. This is something I really appreciated in the first book, and came to love even more in this one: how diverse and absolutely stunning the world-building is. Not to delve too much on the author’s writing, which is gorgeous, for a lack of a better word, the world-building is just as well-done. Renee Ahdieh pulls us into a world with its own rules, its own language, clothing, traditions, way of speaking…and we can feel it from the very first page. In terms of world-building, this series, for me, is one of these that hit the jackpot. It’s deliciously diverse and stunning to read about. As much as I felt compelled into the story and the characters’ ups, downs and plot twists happening all over again, I felt even more compelled by the world I was pulled into with every word. The writing depicts us the world in vivid colors, throwing us right in the middle of the story. It was beautiful, and definitely one of the strong suits of this series.



β€œDestiny was for fools. Shahrzad would not wait for her life to happen . She would make it happen.”

In the massive family of fierce characters in young adult books, Shazi definitely deserves one of the golden medals. Determined from the start, she’s one character you can root for and definitely understand more in this sequel, with her motives, her struggles, and most importantly, how she feels inside. One thing I loved in this story is how you get to explore more of the sister’s relationship between her and Irsa. Having a sister, this wasn’t too hard to relate to, obviously, but it was also so refreshing to see more of what bonded them, and what made them so different from each other. Where Shazi is fierce, confident and determined, Irsa is all the more hesitant and nervous, and I quickly grew attached to her. I was thrilled to explore more of these family bounds in this story.

β€œIt was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone. It was about belonging together.”

The Rose and the Dagger has its share of relationships to root for, which I loved. I can safely say that Shazi and Khalid are one of my ultimate otp. They complete each other so well, understand each other and just, every single interaction they had made me feel like, they fit. They are home with each other, which is the ultimate feeling we all should have while reading about couples, if you ask me. I loved that we got introduced to other couples to root for here. I won’t say more because spoilers, but there are some heavy loads of emotions in this book, ups and downs and my heart wouldn’t stop doing some kind of yo-yo.


The Rose and the Dagger reminded me why I wanted to read more fantasy, and even more, reminded me of why that genre is so, so good. From magic flying carpets to magical powers, from stunning moments to betrayals, from plot twists to slower moments where the tension builts up slowly on the side… there is just so much that compelled me to read more, and if I could, I think I would have read this in one sitting. I think this author might be close to becoming one of my favorite, her next release coming soon, which I’m already way too excited about, will probably settle the deal.


Did you read The Rose and The Dagger? Did you enjoy it? Do you want to read this series?

Share your thoughts in comments!

Renne Ahdieh, The Rose and The Dagger (The Wrath and The Dawn #2), Β Published by G.P Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers, April 26th 2016.

Β goodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monsterβ€”a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and painβ€”but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalidβ€”a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

43 thoughts on “Review: The Rose and the Dagger, Renee Ahdieh

  1. Ugh, I feel so bad for not liking these books as much, since everyone really loved them, and objectively they’re good, but I don’t like this series as much. I’m glad you loved it though! I do like the focus on family this series has. ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am starting to think I really need to pick up these books!

    I have quite a cautious relationship with fantasy in general. So often they are just badly disguised romance novels, which is fine sometimes, but I am at a moment in my life where I really need more than that. Buuut everyone has such good things to say about this series, and the blogging community did give me the gift of The Raven Cycle so… I think I’m going to add this to the TBR, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I understand your feeling about this. So many times you think you’re going to be astonished by the world-building and taken away in a whole other world, but it’s just a bit of world-building and a lot of romance. If, in that book, the romance is there, I really appreciated how immersed I felt into the world, how magical and unique it was. I hope you’ll love it when you read it! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally understand your feelings on this one, Marie! This duology was so well done and entertaining (even though I held some reservations towards book two). I really cannot wait for Ahdieh’s next work. I’m sure it’ll be just as fab. And yes! Khalid and Shazi. πŸ’• /swoons/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I LOVE the relationship between Khalid and Shazi. They don’t belong to one another, but rather with one another and that is so, so very beautiful. Great review, Marie! (Also, if you want to read more fantasy, I am always here for suggestions ;))

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great review for this book Marie, The Rose and the Dagger was a favourite of mine as well and I agree I loved it even more than The Wrath and the Dawn. There was so much happening but there was still time to create a wonderful world and introduce so many amazing characters as well. πŸ™‚
    Do you plan to pick up Renee Ahdieh’s new release when it’s out?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I pretty much say every half year that I think there are so many amazing books being released the next six months, and it’s always true as well.
        I’ve definitely become more aware of books being released thanks to WordPress, kind of makes up for the time struggles in a way I guess! πŸ™‚

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  6. OHHH I’m so happy you loved this because I did too! πŸ˜€ Khalid and Shazi are also my OTP they’re just so sweet together!! They’re so different but like you said, they complete each other perfectly hahaha I think TR&TD was more magical than TW&TD though I feel like there was so much more to this book than just about Khalid and Shazi hahaha I’m also super excited for Flame in the Mist! Hope it lives up to our expectation ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. What did bother you in The Wrath and The Dawn ? I thought that this sequel was very good in terms of fantasy, I thought the world was still well-developed in terms of diversity (you really get the culture, clothing and foodish things) but also in terms of, well, magic and powers and everything. I really enjoyed this. Also it explores more of the family bounds here, which was good to see as well πŸ™‚


  7. Great review Marie! I just read this book a few weeks ago (finally) and absolutely loved it! I was worried it was too long since reading The Wrath and the Dawn, but I was immediately sucked back into the story thank to the amazing worldbuilding, gorgeous writing and lovable characters. I loved the sister dynamics between Shazi and Irsa. And though I was ok, but not in love with Shazi/Khalid in book one, I fell absolutely in love with them in The Rose and the Dagger. Definitely an OTP right there πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Marie, I finished TWATD a couple of weeks ago and it was sooo good! I was immediately captivated by the language, the world-building, and the characters. Was not a fan of the problematic romance…but everything else was great. haha x) I already own the sequel, but am not sure when I’ll get around to it. Hopefully it won’t be a year from now!
    I’m glad Irsa and Shazi’s relationship is explored further. Another small issue I had with TWATD was how few female characters with important roles there were in the story. Hopefully there are more prominent female characters in book 2!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I understand, and it took me a bit of time to get used to this romance as well. It was problematic indeed haha. I’m glad you enjoyed it though, and I hope you’ll manage to read the sequel soon! I was glad to explore more of the female characters and their relationships in this sequel πŸ˜€


  9. Omg THIS BOOK. (Also hi again! It’s me.) I loved this book so much, and Renee Ahdieh is such a talented writer. I absolutely cannot wait to read anything that she puts out next. Also YESSS Shazi and Khalid are so so so perfect for eachother and ahkdjfpsfjsefljewf. I can’t. This review reminds me of all the amazing feels I had reading this book! ❀ I'm so glad you enjoyed it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Glad to hear that the sequel maintained your love for the series! It does sound like the characters were done quite well, at least to your liking in this one. Being able to relate to them does also make this an even better reading experience, that’s for sure! πŸ˜› Great review, Marie! πŸ™‚

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

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