This review contains some spoilers.
The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #2
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Retellings
Release Date: April 26th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Find it here: Goodreads || Book Depository
First, I’d like to admit I didn’t enjoy this as much as I did the first book, because the first book had that build of romance that I always enjoy seeing in my literature consumption. That being said … this one had more magic in it than the first one did, so it was hard not to love it more than. Magic is always a very high “yes please” factor when it comes to gauging my enjoyment, buuuuut. Slow burn romance is like my number one thing. I’m such a sucker for it.
This second book is great, though, and there’s none of that second-book-slump junk happening. (Is that only a thing in trilogies? That might only be a thing in trilogies. I’ve only been reading books for most of my life, how would I know.)
So, the last book granted us with a pretty big cliffhanger, and, thankfully, I was able to dive right into the second book immediately after and see what was going to happen. I had kind of wished for a bit more detail on the event we had previously left, but, hey, what can you do. The rest of the book has, much like the first one, a good helping of detail when it comes to events the characters are experiencing as you’re reading, so I can forgive extreme detail of past events. (You do get some detail, just maybe not the super detail you get of in-the-moment bits.) This was great when you were being told Shazi’s stories, and when she was learning how to hone and understand her magic. It was also just a little tedious when going through scenes I didn’t particularly care for (no offense to Tariq, but I just didn’t care about him at all), but, eh. It was great elsewhere.
My absolute favorite part of this book, however, and the reason I have a spoiler warning on this review, was Despina. I admit I was shocked when she showed up again, in a place I hadn’t been expecting her to be, but then she banded together with Jasmine and Shahrzad and all my dreams were realized. I actually kind of wish there had been more to the trio when we were granted the scenes where they were together and fighting to get Shahrzad back to Khalid, because that was, by far, my favorite part of the whole book.
I also liked Artan. So much. I wanted more of Artan, badly, and I hope one day Ahdieh will come out with a Novella or short or something about him. I just want more! He was funny and seemed much more complex than I was expecting him to be, from the reactions he would have depending on the scene and what was happening. (Trying to keep from TOO many spoilers, just in case.)
I could probably go on about this more, but I don’t particularly enjoy writing long-winded reviews, so I’m going to leave this one here.
Thanks for reading!