The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

Totally should’ve done a review on this days ago but when you’re laptop is down and in need of repairs, what can you do? Better late than never, right?

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— BLURB —

The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

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 monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—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 Khalid—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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— MY REVIEW —

I’m just going to go straight into it and say I was a little underwhelmed and disappointed with this book. I found it to be such a slow read, the story wasn’t moving as fast I hoped it would. 😞

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I’ll come out and say it..some of the characters straight out annoyed the heck out me. If I could enter a book and become one of the characters for a day, I would be Shazi and I wouldn’t waste time telling Tariq and her family to leave me (aka Shazi) alone! They are such nosey life-ruiners… (lol I’m sorry but they are).

I think being annoyed with some of the characters is one of the reasons why I wasn’t loving reading this book. I found myself not reading no more that 1-2 chapters at a time because I felt the story was at a stop. Nothing was happening except for the fact the Shazi was stuck at some crappy ‘camp’ with a bunch of strangers who hate her and Khalid and want nothing more than to kill him. Her father was useless, her sister was always trying to make her feel bad for keeping secrets from her, but if Shazi was to tell her the truth, she went running off to tell Rahim! Grrr! And finally, there was Tariq who can’t seem to grasp the fact that Shazi didn’t choose him. Like c’mon man, get a clue… she doesn’t want you!

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I know this review is sounding more like a rant, but I gotta let out what I think, and this is what I think. The book was a little over 400 pages but the story didn’t pick up until halfway through (which in my opinion is wayyyyy too late and if it was any other book I probably wouldn’t have bothered finishing it but I liked TWATD and needed to know how the story ended).

The second half of the book saved it for me and the reason why I ended up rating the book 3/5. It’s definitely more action-packed and the story was finally moving along. Shazi finally got some answers, had a plan to fix everything and a way to save Khalid from the curse. I felt the story didn’t start until this point. I won’t spoil it but I liked the ending. I’m glad the story came back around and ended this duology on a thumbs up!

It’s a still a nice read, I prefer the first book (TWATD) in this duology. I might reread this one later in the year to see if my opinion is still as strong. To be honest, I read this book after having a major book hangover from another book and I think it affected my having a connection with this one.

I know TWATD is a popular read and there’s a lot of positive reviews on it and I’ve read a lot of positive reviews on this one too so I hope my review doesn’t put anyone off from reading it. 😉

RATING: ♥♥♥/5


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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next time! Xo

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