Rating: 4 OWLS
The Rose and the Dagger is the epic conclusion in The Wrath and the Dawn duology and brings Shahrzad’s story to a close. The story picks up right where we left off at the end of The Wrath and the Dawn (review).
At its core the Rose and the Dagger, just like its prequel, is a superbly beautiful written love story. The romance between Khalid, the Caliph of Kjorasan, and Shahrzad is one of the best I have ever read. I believe the quote below perfectly sums up why this particular relationship is one of my all-time favorites. Khalid treats Sharzi as his equal. He doesn’t wish to change her and mold her into a compliant wife. He loves her for who she is, he respects her opinions and allows her to make her own decisions. Yes they sometimes disagree and their tempers flare, but at the end of the day it is a relationship that is built on mutual respect and trust.
“It 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.”
I loved that in the face of hardship, Sharzi stayed true to herself. She is a force to be reckoned with, she is feisty, fiery, strong, silver-tongued, and extremely brave. She stands up for what she believes is right, sometimes against those closest to her. Sharzi is very loyal and fair. Her relationship with her sister Irsa was one of my favorite things in this novel.
In addition to the two main characters, Sharzi and Khalid, Ahdieh further developed many characters that were previously introduced in her fantastic debut The Wrath and the Dawn, while also managing to introduce new characters there were equally well developed. The magical elements were present but it almost felt like they took a back seat to the astounding cast of characters that offered a very complex and intricate story and relationships; hearts were broken, love blossomed, friendships were built, forgiveness was granted. The connections and relationships are extremely deep and beautifully written. I was fully invested in the characters and their relationships.
Rene Ahdieh is a fantastic storyteller, with an impeccable writing style; I was lost in the world of Kjorasan every time I picked up the book. The Rose and the Dagger was an outstanding read, unique in its composition, with an amazing cast of characters that I know I will revisit again.