The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Aldieh

17818429_735247533303791_191657800277950464_nThe Rose & The Dagger by Renee Aldieh

I flew through The Wrath and the Dawn (check out my review here) a few months ago, and I quickly picked up the second one right after. The book ends in insanity, and I simply needed to know what happened with my beloved Shazi and Khalid next. I’m not really sure what happened after that, but someone it got lost in the shuffle of my giant TBR. And just like the magic carpet in the book, this book had a pull on me to read it and I just had to devour it as soon as possible. I also credit this book for helping me to semi-get me out of the ACOMAF book slump.

(You do need to read The Wrath and the Dawn before you read this one. They cannot be read as standalones.)

Once Upon a Time…

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.

While I did have some qualms in The Wrath and the Dawn, The Rose & The Dagger definitely made up for them. The biggest issue I had with the first book is that I didn’t feel super connected to the characters. They were just kind of there. However, in this book, I fell hard for the characters. I loved them, rooted for them, and felt all the feels with them. I loved Shazi and Khalid and even the new additions of main characters including Shazi’s sister and Tariq’s friend. Every new character I enjoyed, and I found that missing connection I had in the first one with all of the characters in this book.

Shazi was also such a great main character. She was so fierce and strong, and Mulan (hint, hint) would have been so proud of the butt-kicking she did. She loved hard and showed it through all that she did. She makes such a great calipha, and I would certainly want her ruling over my kingdom.

Aldieh’s writing only got more beautiful as well. One of the biggest thing I missed, though, was Shazi’s story. Aldieh’s storytelling abilities are magical, and while there were a few in here, I missed this aspect. Aldieh’s beautiful writing style still shines through, though.

The romance was so good, too, though. I had enjoyed Khalid and Shazi’s romance in the first book, but the ship took to new levels, though. The feels were toooo real here. The other ships were great as well, and they all sailed so well for me, too, but Khalid and Shazi were my ultimate.

The only thing, though, that took off a crown was the beginning. It took me a while to get in the book. It started off a little too slow for me, and once Khalid and Shazi starting communicating and that lovely magic carpet got back in use, it was offfff from there. I loved the twists and turns, and there was so much action. I loved it. I just wished the beginning didn’t take as long to get into, but I understand it was needed.

Four crowns and Mulan/Jasmine rating – Mulan for Shazi being an epic, fierce warrior and Jasmine since she is inspired by Arabian Nights, just like Shazi! Now, I shall just patiently wait for The Flame In the Mist…which is supposed to be a Mulan-type novel. Huh. Ironic this book got a Mulan rating?


four-starsCheck it out:

What do you think? Have you read either of these books? Have you ever connected more with a sequel than a first book? Let’s discuss in the comments below!



60 thoughts on “The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Aldieh

      1. When I read ‘only a few more weeks’ I had to do a double take! It really is coming in less than a month! It’s almost May! Where has time gone? My entire year flashed before my eyes and I realized I had done nothing! Anyway, aside from my life crisis, I am super excited for The Flame in the Mist. I have really high hopes for this one. I am in desperate need of a good book.

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      2. I know! I kept second guessing myself when I wrote that because I thought for sure that it was wrong. I seriously don’t know how it’s the 9th of April already. Didn’t time seem to take forever as we were kids? But yessssss. I keep trying to talk myself down about it and not get too excited because I’m afraid I’m going to let myself down. But I still think it’s going to be amazing as you said.

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  1. Yay more fangirling material!!! I loved this series and I totally agree with your points in the slow beginning. Shazi is amazing, I love her! Also Khalid 🔥🔥🔥🔥 I feel like that is the best emoji to describe him! You get me? 🔥🔥🔥 I wish there was more to the series as I would have loved to have known how they rebuilt themselves after the battle. Another lovely review, yay! Hopefully the next book can really push you out of your slump!

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    1. AHAHAHAHA. OMG, YES. The fire emoji is soooooo Khalid. Ugh, he was such a dreamboat, Rendz. And Shazi was amazing as you said. I definitely would have loved to see the aftermath as well and how they all got readjusted to ruling the country now there wasn’t a curse and evil uncle stopping their way. But thank you! 😀

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  2. I have t read The Wrath and the Dawn duology yet but it is on my TBR list. I met her last month and she is the sweetest. I plan on getting to this one this year!

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      1. I think so too! I think it helps understand the story and writing as well when you know the back story, and the hard work they put into to.

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  3. I ADORE these books so much. Excellent review, Mandy! I will admit that I enjoyed The Wrath and the Dawn more than The Rose and the Dagger, but they’re both STUNNING. And Flame in the Mist is coming up on my TBR. Week after next. I cannot wait!!!

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      1. Yeah, I definitely agree. I wish she could have done three books and added a more of those things into book two, because the end felt a little rushed to me. The first book is complete perfection! 😀

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      2. I super agree. I think I was talking with Rendz down there and I was saying I would have loved to see them go back and rebuild the kingdoms together. It would have been so interesting to see how they ruled the two places without the evil curse and crazy uncle. I agree that it did feel rushed and it was a blink and you missed it.Sadness. But everything shall be redeemed by Flame in the Mist XD

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      3. Hahaha! YAY Geekerella! I’m actually starting it tonight. I just got it today. I’m SO EXCITED to read it. It sounds perfect. And it’s great timing, since I’m going to YALLWEST in a couple of weeks.

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      4. Ooooooooh I’m so pumped for you!! You’re going to love it, Krysti. Well, at least I hope. BUT STILL. And ahhhhhh, you’re going to have to fangirl with her for me. XD That lineup is amazing, though, so I can’t wait to hear all your stories…and see all the pretty books and goodies!

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      5. Thank you!!! You’re the sweetest ever. I will DEFINITELY be fangirling. The lineup is crazy. I just hope I can meet all the authors I want to. The schedule is pretty intense. I will definitely be posting pics. 🙂

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      6. Awh, thankies. Right back at you. And yes!! I always think that these fests look so amazing and you can totally do it, but after reading posts I’m like, I would probably just sit there going, BOOKS. HELP. It seems so intense, so yes, I totally hope everything goes well. Who are your top 5 so far?

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      7. Luckily I have some bloggers helping me prep, or I would have been a hot mess! LOL! Top 5 that I haven’t met already are probably Leigh Bardugo, Evelyn Skye, Adam Silvera, Benjamin Alice Saenz, and Ransom Riggs.

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      8. Yes, when you come back you must tell me all the book fest wisdom. o.o I must know although book fests appear to never be happening here. XD But oooooh those are some epic names. Is Sarah or the Book Hubs going with you?

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      9. I’m totally going to do a post before I leave all about prepping for a con with all the info I’ve learned from bloggers much wiser than myself. I’ve actually roped my whole family into going, so Book Club Hubz, my mom, dad, and my little brother. They’re the best! <3<3<3

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      10. Ooooh epic. I shall be eagerly awaiting it. And oooh that’s amazing. XD Everyone can see the amazing benefits of a book fest. I’m sure there is a ton of other amazing things to do out there, too. But you know, books. XD

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  4. I loved this series !! I had dipped into fantasy a little before these books, and I really chose a bad book to dip with but these books completely redeemed the fantasy genre for me ! Although I do agree the first one is better.

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    1. Oh dear. 😦 That’s the worst when you end up with a book that kind of ruins the genre at first for you. Glad these books helped redeem, and I totally agree about the first book. I think some of the elements were missing in the second one that I loved from the first one.

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  5. I’ve been eyeing these books for a while now. And now that you written a review about it, I think I’m gonna add them to my To-Buy-Books list. (Yes I have that. XD) But is this a duology? Or are there more books coming?

    Anyway, great post Mandy! I miss reading and commenting on your posts! 😀

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  6. I LOVED this duology and read this when it was first released. I had so many sticky tabs in this book by the end of it because I loved so many parts of it. And that ending was so bittersweet! I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

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