The Beautiful came out a little over a month ago and I still haven’t gotten my hands on it. *double-checks library hold list* Yep, still waiting. If you, like me, are impatiently awaiting your turn to dive into Ahdieh’s newest creation, here’s a look back at her past YA works that made us oooh and ahh.
The Wrath & the Dawn
(The Wrath & the Dawn #1)
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
❝ Almost from the first sentence, I was hooked on Ahdieh’s writing . . . Her prose drew me in to the historical region of Khorasan and the fantastic elements twisted into the novel . . . The plot dwindled a bit for me in parts . . . I was full on into Shazi and Khalid’s story, about 80% invested in Tariq’s, and maybe 20% into Jahander’s magicking to save his daughter . . . The romance was a slo-o-o-w build. Five crowns because this book is amaze. ❞ FULL REVIEW.
The Rose & the Dagger
(The Wrath & the Dawn #2)
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.
❝ Ahdieh did not let up with the crazy twists in this sequel . . . [Shazi] remained true to herself . . . I got emotional in this book. Like, I almost shed a tear at one point (and I’m a notorious no-cry Nellie) . . . I want to go on and on about the absolute sweetness that is the relationship between Khalid and Shazi though, because seriously, I was heart-eyeing that love all over the place . . . Five crowns. ❞ FULL REVIEW.
NOVELLAS: The Moth & the Flame, The Crown & the Arrow, The Mirror & the Maze
Flame in the Mist
(Flame in the Mist #1)
The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace. Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.
❝ Mariko’s character was a two-sided coin for me: I loved her moments of cunning but quickly grew frustrated with her indecisiveness . . . [Mariko’s] compassion for the people around her, regardless of circumstance, made her quickly likeable . . . There’s a slow build to the romance and the pair hover between antagonistic and sparring friends before acknowledging their mutual attraction. It was perhaps a bit too antagonistic at times . . . While I really enjoyed this, I am expecting a bit more from the sequel. 4.5 crowns.❞ FULL REVIEW.
Smoke in the Sun
(Flame in the Mist #2)
Set against the backdrop of feudal Japan, Smoke in the Sun is the breathless, romantic, not-to-be-missed fiery conclusion to a spell-binding adventure.
In preparation for The Beautiful, I finished Smoke in the Sun not four days ago. That means this, RIGHT HERE, is going to be my full (very condensed) review!
❝ Anything I disliked in book one was resolved in this sequel . . . Mariko is my ideal heroine! Basically how I would love to be in a fantasy novel . . . The romance between Okami and Mariko is complete heart eyes . . . Yumi got more page time in this book and thank GOD because she stole every scene . . . I didn’t ASK for every female character to be wickedly brilliantly but you DID THAT Ahdieh! Five crowns.❞
NOVELLAS: Okami, Yumi
What Can We Expect from “The Beautiful”?
The Wrath & the Dawn and Flame in the Mist featured two different kinds of heroines. Shazi is characterized by her physicality, sharp tongue, and bullheadedness. Meanwhile, Mariko is an intellectual. She aspires to be like water, shifting her outward personality to match the expectations of those around her to gain the upper-hand. She is inventive and clever.
Who will our heroine Celine be? Something unseen before? A blend of the two girls before her?
And when Renée Ahdieh pens a book, you know there’s bound to be romance. Each of her previous duologies featured couples that challenged each other to demonstrate the best of their abilities, while still respecting boundaries (y’know, minus the assassination attempt bits). Will we be getting more of that slow burn love in The Beautiful?
*rubs hands together in glee*
That’s it from me today, but if you can’t wait for more deets on The Beautiful, Mandy already dropped a review. Which I’m avoiding, because when I really, really want to read something, even hearing, “It’s good!” is a spoiler. So, catch me return to my cave of anti-spoiler content.
Have you read The Beautiful yet? Are you aware I send daily “this is completely unfair” texts to Mandy because she read it before me?