ARC Review: The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

ARC

Written by: Renee Ahdieh
Release Date: April 26th 2016
Pages: 420, hardcover
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn, #2
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Book

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.

LetsTalk

 

This was THE book I wanted from TLA. The one single book that I wanted more than any other. And it was only because it was one week before I could read it as it was published. But that one week was still so important to me because lord knew I needed it.

The Wrath and the Dawn was one of my top favorites from 2015, it blew me out of the water, especially as a debut. It wasn’t just the story either, it was everything and in every way that it all worked together to create this masterpiece. But then that ending happened. That cursed ending.

I already knew this was going to become one of my favorite series and I just couldn’t handle waiting to see more of it, so even if it was only three days early, lord I needed it three days early.

We’re also gonna ignore how late I am posting this review okay? Okay. Good. Y’all are the best readers ever.

 

Didn'tWork

I think that there was so much going on in this book, some of it seemed like it was handled so easily that there could’ve been more build up, but again I feel if there was more build up it would’ve lead to this being a trilogy….which really I wouldn’t have minded… But I just feel like some of the pacing could’ve been handled a little bit differently than it was.

DidWork

This damn OTP. Because that’s what these two are. Really. I have few true OTPs, and they fall into that category hard. I don’t know how to even express how hard I ship this couple. I cannot.

Both the Wrath and the Dawn, and now the Rose and the Dagger, are written with this amazingly elegant hand. I felt like I was submersed in the world. I could feel the story come alive around me and it was an experience reading the book, outside of the actual plot of the book.

Characters in this book man! Like c’mon. How can I start to talk here. They all grew and changed, and yet they stayed true to who they really were inside. They grew together and sometimes apart, but most times closer together and it just made me really happy.

Overall the book made me really happy okay? And I already know it’s gonna be one of those books that I reread and reread and reread and reread.

Pickup

The Wrath and the Dawn is one of my FAVORITE series. Period. So yes, yes go read this series and love it as much as I do.

Sondra

ARC Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Written by: Renee Ahdieh
Release Date: May 12th 2015
Pages: 395, Hardback
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn, #1
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Thanks to TXLA for the chance to meet Renee and get an ARC of this book!

Book

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

 

LetsTalk

So this book was one that had been on my radar for a while, and I’d heard nothing but people who adored it or people who DNF’d within the first few chapters. But after my best friend and mother read it and raved to me I decided to dive in. I am so thrilled that I did.

The Wrath and the Dawn is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. Now I haven’t read the original tale, but it’s hard pressed to find people who don’t know it. One of the largest things I was worried about was how Ahdieh was going to deal with the murderous prince. In YA, the men have to be worthy of the crushing, and, well, a psychopathic murderer doesn’t exactly fit that category. Well, fear not. Not only does he have a reason, but the seeds of the reason and quite a bit of mystery are pulled right out in the prologue.

The writing in this book is absolutely amazing. The way that Ahdieh strings together words is something of an art. I do believe her writing is the reason that some people DNF this book. She uses honorifics that are native to the language of our characters which is something I love, but it did also lead me to flipping to the glossary often. As someone who loves beautiful writing and loves language I ate The Wrath and the Dawn up like nothing else.

Didn'tWork

In my ARC the glossary was on the page after the final page. So there were spoilers sitting right there whenever I had to go check what a word was it was a fun game of covering while I read. Now note I haven’t looked at a finished copy yet so this could likely be changed. (Update: I’ve looked at a finished copy and it’s still right on the final page.)

What? That doesn’t count? Drat. All right, fine.

I really wished that more of the past had been explained. There were a few stories here and there, but I really would have liked to know more about Shazi and Shiva. We know that she’s important to Shazi. But I would have liked to have gotten to know her myself.

DidWork

Now it’s time for the gushing……more than I already did…. heh. I mentioned a lot of the basic things that were wonderful about this book but I think some of the best things that worked in this story was the actual pacing of the plot. Yes, Khalid got on my nerves sometimes because I wanted him to just come clean already and he wasn’t. But the story flowed in such a way that it fit with his character, it fit with him getting to know Shazi, and it fit with the pacing of the entire book.

I really loved the slow burn romance of this book. It flowed so nicely and easily through the story and it took the reader through as many emotions as the characters and it created a wonderful reading experience. So few YA books keep with a slow burn instead of insta-love, which is to say if you know of more slow burn romances you should send them to me.

I loved seeing the changes in Shazi too: her anger melting away, her feelings changing as the story progressed. All of it was so beautifully done that as the reader your feelings change too, which is always the most masterful of writing I feel.

Pickup

Just go get this book. Seriously. Go get it. And read it. And love it. If the writing seems hard to you at first give it a bit longer to sink into the story, because you will.

Sondra