I did a review for The Wrath and the Dawn right after I read it and The Rose and the Dagger was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I finished it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Instead of writing a review for it, (because it would contain several spoilers for the series) I decided I would compile a list of all the reasons I can think of at the top of my head on why you HAVE to read this series. (There are probably plenty more!)
- THE STORY IS SO UNIQUE! It’s a YA retelling of the story A Thousand and One Nights. There are plenty of retellings of the princess stories (I love them too!) but this was very refreshing.
- Shahrzad is a badass. I know strong independent female MCs are becoming the new norm, but I must say that I absolutely love it. Shahrzad is so selfless and ready to sacrifice herself for her family and friends, she is so brave and a great role model.
- KHALID. Asdfghjkl. He is just SO NICE. After I read the blurb, and what he did to Shiva in the first chapter, I wanted to hate him. But seeing his character go through everything that he does is heartbreaking. He is a wonderful character.
- THE ROMANCE. This isn’t a typical romance considering the fact that Shazi married him because she wanted to kill him. I love how they grow on each other through the first book, and how they’re so perfect for each other.
- The magic is so unique! The magic feels very old, reminding me a lot of Indian mythology. I’ve never read about curses in a YA book so this was great. The first book doesn’t have much magic but the second book is awesome.
- DESPINA IS EVERYTHING. She’s Shazi’s handmaiden in the castle, always there to help her into her clothes and take her places. Her wit and sarcasm is awesome. I love how she’s so snarky with everyone.
- PLOT TWIST. SO MUCH HAPPENS IN BOOK 2!! It’s full of action and magic and the world was so overwhelming I did not see ANY of the plot twists coming. This is an amazing series!
- Shazi and her sister’s relationship. They’re really close and I loved seeing them together in book 2. They have some very sweet moments.
- THE WAR. It’s bloody and gory but also very epic. I LOVED IT!!!
- The setting. Set in the fictional city of Khorasan, the descriptions made me picture a very Aladdin-esque setting.
- The writing. TWATD is Renée Ahdieh’s debut novel and the writing is amazing. She’s eloquent and descriptive without being boring or using purple prose. The dialogue is excellent. The magic is awesome. The story is beautifully written and I really enjoyed it.
- It’s a duology! It’s become a trend for books to come in threes even when not required. I like how this beautiful story was condensed into two books, without dragging on to a third one or wrapping everything too quickly in book one.
- THE FOOD. Books where the food is described well are the way to go! Shazi had such grand feasts at the palaces and they left my mouth watering.
- Diversity! I’m sure a lot more exist, but this is the first book I’ve read that has a Persian (at least, inspired by Persia) setting and characters from the middle east. I really liked reading this.
These are some reasons why I love this series! I hope I inspired you to pick this up. It’s a really nice duology and I hope everyone enjoys it! 😀