Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Wrath and the Dawn #2

The Rose & the Dagger

Rate this 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.

416 pages, Hardcover

First published April 26, 2016

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Renée Ahdieh

24 books17.4k followers
THE WRATH & THE DAWN and its sequel THE ROSE & THE DAGGER are available wherever books are sold.

FLAME IN THE MIST will be released on 5.16.17.

** Please note that requests for Advanced Reader Copies should be made through Penguin, and all other requests should be submitted through the author's website. **

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
33,398 (36%)
4 stars
35,432 (38%)
3 stars
16,861 (18%)
2 stars
4,118 (4%)
1 star
1,242 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 10,965 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,987 reviews298k followers
May 1, 2016
No. He was not here to wreak revenge.
For revenge was trifling and hollow.
No. He was not here to retrieve his wife.
For his wife was not a thing to be retrieved.
No. He was not here to negotiate a truce.
For a truce suggested he wished to compromise.

He was here to burn something to the ground.

A very worthy sequel and conclusion to this magical, romantic story.

I said in my review of The Wrath & the Dawn that I'm just not much of a romantic person. I hate instalove, most love triangles, and generally prefer romance to come behind more dangerous and exciting things. That being said, there is something about this world, its curses and its magic, that completely melts my heart.

The Rose & the Dagger has the same evocative, beautiful writing as the first installment, but it is less about the romance. Don't worry, though, Shahrzad/Khalid shippers still have plenty to swoon over, but the relationship is more mature, less angsty, but no less emotional in this book. The time for flirtations is over - a curse must be broken and a kingdom must be saved.

From magical books to flying carpets to giant serpents, this rich fantasy takes us on a rollercoaster ride. Many relationships and friendships are tested, challenged and broken apart as we discover more about Khalid's curse and the characters we think we know.

There is much betrayal and many surprises (some real jaw-droppers!) over the course of The Rose & the Dagger. The writing flows with gorgeous description and the perfectly-told drama and action scenes propel the novel along at a fantastic pace.

I particularly liked the introduction of Irsa - Shazi's younger sister. She is a very different kind of character. More nervous, not quite as comfortable in her own strength and ability, but this made it all the more satisfying when she was able to overcome her hesitations when it was required of her. It is infinitely more impressive to see a woman overcome her fears and decide to be strong, rather than simply being born that way.

Perhaps most of all, I love the final rise of "girl power" at the novel's climax. 1,001 Nights is a sexist story at its heart, and I was a little concerned about the way The Wrath & the Dawn simply turned it into a lusty romance. The novel ends on a high, powerful note for the strong, flawed, complex women of the novel. And I appreciated that touch a lot.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Store
Profile Image for Sabaa Tahir.
Author 23 books32.2k followers
August 14, 2015
This book is everything I wanted in a sequel. EVERYTHING. I don't know how Renee Ahdieh managed to make it even more amazing than the already amazing WRATH AND THE DAWN. Black magic, perhaps? Or maybe she's just insanely talented. Whatever the case, I adore this book. It's suspenseful, thoughtful, beautiful and sexy, a perfect follow-up to WRATH.

In fact, I think I'm going to go reread it.
Profile Image for Natalie.
565 reviews3,195 followers
June 5, 2020
“Cut the strings, Shazi. Fly.”

This review contains *spoilers*.

The Rose & the Dagger follows the aftermath of the burning in the city of Rey that occured only a week ago. Rey—and its ruler—are vulnerable. Shahrzad and Khalid are separated from one another, yet longing to reunite.
Going into this the only thing I was certain of was that I wanted a lot more of Khalid and a lot less of Tariq.

And it took some time to get to it, which I didn’t quite enjoy because Tariq continued to frustrate me in this book. He just made me feel extremely uncomfortable whenever he showed up:

“Shahrzad pushed away from him. “It isn’t your place. I’ve already spoken to Teymur. He won’t pursue the matter further.”
Tariq’s eyes flashed. “My place?”
“I’ve handled the matter, Tariq. Do nothing, as it would serve no purpose, save to shed more blood. And I’ve had enough of that.” She shouldered her way past him.
He cut her off, his jaw jutting forward, his fists at his sides. “Would you shackle the boy-king in such a manner?”
“Don’t compare yourself to Khalid. It’s childish and beneath you.”

Yes exactly, thank you, Shazi.

“You will not seek revenge on my behalf, Tariq Imran al-Ziyad. I forbid—”
He grabbed her by the shoulders. “I will do as I damned well please, Shahrzad al-Khayzuran!” His voice was raw in its torment. “I denied myself what I wanted once out of principle, and not a day goes by that I don’t regret that decision with every fiber of my being!”

Every word and touch of his was nearly unbearable to read.


I mean even he agreed towards the end that he was a fool.
“Tariq knew then—as he’d known when he’d read the letter Shahrzad kept tucked in her cloak—that this was not an ordinary love born of a passing fancy.
In truth, Tariq had known even then that he could not win. That this was not a battle to be won.
Only a fool would have continued to think otherwise.
Yet Tariq had chosen to be a fool.”


But thank the stars for Khalid because once it got to the good stuff, I was smiling and happy.

“Are you truly not going to bring her back?” the Rajput asked.
“What’s this?” Khalid finally grinned, though it was with a heavy heart. “After all your early protestations?”
“Despite all, I find I . . . miss the little troublemaker. And how she made you smile.”
As did Khalid. More than he cared to admit to anyone.”

Right there with you, Khalid

But the story only started to pick up for me when Shazi met with Artan Temujin because it meant that she was getting one step closer to finding out about her magic and the curse bestowed on Khalid.

“Trust is an interesting matter when it comes to Artan. He will not give it to those who do not offer it first.”

And my enthusiasm fully returned when Shazi told him the story of ‘The Girl Who Grasped the Moon’—her storytelling skills are extremely captivating.

“You wanted to know why I agreed to help you. It’s mostly because Musa-abagha asked me to. And because I am bound by my ancestor’s foolishness. Bound to be a trapped granter of wishes. Musa-abagha has kept me safe these many years. Safe from those who would enslave me. Make of me a dragon who does nothing but bring gold necklaces to thankless little girls.”

Oh, and then one of my most anticipated moment in this book was finally happening:

“As her thumb brushed over the etchings carved into the jade, Shahrzad tried her best to ignore the undeniable weight settling around her heart.
The weight of realization.
And the thrill of certainty.
I’m going home.”

I was so thrilled and ecstatic. I had to calm my heart because my favorites were reuniting after all this time

“How much time had she wasted being afraid on the balcony?
Squaring her shoulders, Shahrzad started for the screens—
And they slid open.
She halted in her tracks, refusing to look up.
Shahrzad knew it was Khalid. She sensed rather than saw him.
As always. As ever. As a rose to the sun.”

YES yes yes

“His eyes gleamed molten gold. And they said all without a word.
Shahrzad drew her sodden waves to one side, splashing water by his feet.
“I’m sorry!” She wrinkled her nose. “That was—”
He pulled her in to his chest, a hand tangling through her hair. The beat of his heart rang loud and true against her cheek. The only measure of time that mattered.
She exhaled fast only to inhale deep. To breathe in his scent. The scent of sandalwood and sunshine. Her fingers moved across his skin, making memories of their own. The hands of a master swordsman. The lips of her greatest love. The heart of a king.

Damn, I could not have asked for a better reaction.

“Khalid stared up at her, his features inscrutable—
His eyes inciting her heart to riot.
“I’ve missed the silence of you listening to me.” Shahrzad attempted a weak smile. “No one listens to me as you do.”
His expression turned quizzical.
“You don’t wait to speak,” she clarified. “You truly listen.”
“Only to you,” Khalid replied gently.”

His words were slowly killing me. Khalid and Shazi’s relationship is an unforgettable (and hot) romance.


But there weren’t enough moments between Shazi and Khalid to keep me satisfied. I feel like the major focus was on Tariq and the oncoming war. And I was really disappointed when Khalid got so close to killing off Tariq (twice) and then didn't.

“Is she dead?” Tariq’s grief caused his voice to crack through the blue darkness. “Just answer that question, you bastard, and you may do as you please with me.”
“Why would I do anything for you?” the caliph replied, low and vicious.
“Because if she’s dead, I don’t care what happens to me!”
“Then we agree on at least two things.” With that, the caliph shifted his attention toward Rahim, his swords glinting on a moonbeam.”

“Do you worry about me, Khalid Ibn al-Rashid?”
The caliph hesitated, and that said more than words ever could. “There was a time I did. But the fact that you waited until Shahrzad slept to touch her shows me you know she would not approve. You will not disrespect her in such a manner again. Nor will you disrespect me.”

Yes! Finally someone called him out on it. The hate I have for Tariq is similar to how Khalid described his love for Shazi, “from the stars, to the stars.” I’m seriously curious as to why Tariq wasn't killed off.


And just as I was thinking of writing down in my notes, “Where’s Despina?”— she finally showed up:
“Eyes the color of a cerulean sky sparkled down at her.
Shahrzad’s chin struck her collarbone in horror.
“Hello, Brat Calipha.”

“A crown.
The bitterness swelled within Shahrzad.
Despina had been many things to Shahrzad once. She’d been a friend when Shahrzad had most needed it. A confidante where Shahrzad had had none. But it was clear everything Shahrzad had known about Despina had been cloaked in lies. For it was beyond evident she was even more things now. The secret daughter of Salim Ali el-Sharif. A princess of Parthia. A spy and a deceiver.
Above all things, it was clear Despina had never been Shahrzad’s friend.”

I was truly shocked, and I didn’t get how she did a complete 180. Even in her short story The Moth and the Flame she sounded really genuine and not so bitter.

“How could you do this to Jalal?” Shahrzad asked, her nails digging into her palms as she tried in vain to suppress her seething outrage.
Her expression unnervingly apathetic, Despina spooned some pomegranate-and-pistachio rice onto her plate. “Alas, Jalal al-Khoury’s sentiments are no longer my concern.” Then she smirked at Shahrzad, and the feigned sympathy behind it made Shahrzad want to tear the band of shining stones from her crown of curls. “But rest assured. The captain of the guard will have no trouble finding a willing girl to soothe his injured pride, of that I am certain.” The last words savored strangely of bitterness.”

“How does it feel, Shahrzad al-Khayzuran?” Despina said in a melodious voice. “To be treated as a slave? To be the servant of people who see themselves as above you, when you know in your heart that you are the same?”
“Ask your father,” Shahrzad retorted.
“I’d rather ask your husband. When I next see him . . . kneeling at my feet.”

Without hesitation, Shahrzad splashed the remainder of her wine in Despina’s face.”
I love drama.


But then it turns out that she’s actually on Shazi’s side and I was so confused but also glad.

“Shahrzad resisted the urge to scream. “I’m not going anywhere with you, Despina el-Sharif. First you are one thing, then you are another. At this point, my neck hurts from spinning about so fast. Just tell me this: Why have you been lying to me this entire time?”

“Then why did you come back at all?”
“To preserve our family.” Despina squeezed her hand. “No matter the cost.”
Though a part of Shahrzad wanted to throw off Despina’s touch—to deny the touch of a girl tied in any way to Salim Ali el-Sharif—Shahrzad did not.
For it was the touch of a friend. Beneath it lay the strength of family.
“You deliberately provoked me at dinner, did you not?” Shahrzad asked quietly.
Despina tilted her head in rueful fashion. “Well, I did have to get you down into the palace prison somehow.”

And then I got to see her reunite with Jalal, which was magical.

“A familiar, melodic laugh froze him in his tracks.
Without thought, Jalal began to run. He didn’t care if he left the fool in the dust behind him. At that moment, he didn’t care if he left all else in the dust behind him.
It wasn’t possible. His mind was playing tricks on him. As it was apt to do of late.
Jalal turned the corner. And skidded to a stop, nearly tumbling into the sand.
Just like that. She was there.
He saw no one else save her.
All else could go to the devil save her.


But even though the last few chapters picked up the pace of the book, I felt a little underwhelmed with the majority of the story, especially when comparing it to The Wrath & the Dawn— in TWTD we got incredible friendships, family, and love. And I feel that The Rose & the Dagger lacked those important traits.

All in all, I feel as if the sequel wasn't as strong as its predecessor, the only parts that made me fall for the story (and not count the pages left in a chapter) were when Shazi and Khalid were together, which unfortunately wasn't enough.
The magic and the war were a background story in The Wrath & the Dawn and I was really intrigued and willing to explore it in the sequel, yet it didn't compel me as much as the romance. Renée Ahdieh definitely has a special talent for swoon-worthy romances, so I can't wait to read more of her writing in the future, but in this case the romance didn't really save the story for me.

3.5 stars

*Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying The Rose & the Dagger, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!*

This review and more can be found on my blog.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.4k followers
June 26, 2022
this duology is its own magic carpet ride - full of magical lands, daring adventure, and romantic moments. just as obsessed with this the second time around.


YAS QUEEN! everyone bow down to the calipha of khorasan!

ahhhhh. this was so amazing! while i saw ‘the wrath and the dawn’ as a clever love story intertwined with nuances of folklore legend and mystery, ‘the rose and the dagger’ is a daring tale of adventure and reckless abandonment. two perfect halves to one incredible story. and this second half elevated the story to a whole new level. so beautiful, so empowering, so heartbreaking, and so so unbelievable.

i am in awe at ahdiehs storytelling ability. she has mastered the art of duologies - by not stretching out a story past its limits, but also delivering enough so the reader doesnt feel cheated. this book (and series) delivered on all fronts. and it has definitely made me interested in looking into the tales of a thousand and one nights and experiencing the magic at its source.

so sad, and yet so satisfied, this story is over. <3

5 stars
Profile Image for Andreea Pop.
321 reviews2,226 followers
June 20, 2016
4.5 Stars

The rose’s rarest essence lives in the thorns.

The Rose and The Dagger is an exquisite, superb, satisfying and clever finale. It will render you speechless with its intensity. Crush your heart a bit every few pages. Transform you into an addict of its gorgeous prose. But its true beauty lies in the fact that, somehow, you welcome it all with open arms.

If you don't get along with romance, shy away. Seriously, shoo. I'm just putting it like it is -- the romance and love story are what make these books great, the dominant ethos, the insanely good aspect. Sure, it has elements of magic, politics, self-discovery, but its core is represented by the power of love. And for a love-hungry sap like me, THAT'S AWESOMENESS INCARNATE.

“It was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone. It was about belonging together.”

There were two equally amazing things I absolutely loved. First, there's the fact that, thanks to the multiple POVs, it's not just Khalid and Shazi's dreamy love that has readers all hot and bothered and ethereally happy. Nope. Surprisingly, it's also Rahim and Irsa. And, of course, Jalal and Despina. All three relationships wonderfully developed, made with the intention of pulling on your heartstrings.

Secondly, there's a certain KICKASS aspect. Women. Empowering, badass, strong, young women. The truth is that, in this universe, the women are put on a gold pedestal (rightfully so). They are revered, respected and treated as queens. There were so many instances were women had a role in the novels, starting with Khalid's mother's death that changed him forever, then the cruel curse unraveled because of a woman, 100 women doomed to die and a freaking war started because of a woman (insert Shazi here), the plot evolved thanks to these glorious characters and so they became the axis of the world and girls continued to omen the legacy in TRaTD. Marvelous Shazi, with her awe-inspiring backbone and infinite determination. Sweet Irsa, with her fair perspective on life and kind heart (who also reminded me so much of Prim from HG). Sneaky Despina, with her snark and cunning mind. And even Yasmine, who completed the set with a surprisingly emphatic behavior.

Coming back to the essential though -- Khalid and Shazi. These two are like magnets, soul mates, whatever you want to call them. There was a particular scene that ripped me to shreds where they were fighting to protect each other in the face of imminent and immediate danger. I think that visual captured the couple perfectly -- Khalid is not painted like a knight in shining armor, neither is Shazi painted like a damsel in distress. Far from it, actually. They are pictured as they should be -- a king and a queen that would rather die than see their loved one suffer. They are menacing, commanding and hella sexy, royalty coursing into every inch of their veins.

"Cut the strings, Shazi. Fly.”

Our spunky heroine did not change much, besides the short-lived interactions with her magical tendencies. She's still stubborn, feisty, arrogant and silver-tongued, but fierce, caring and astoundingly determined as well. What surprised me was her optimism, I didn't previously perceive her as the one to bring it forward, yet in comparison with the brooding, sulking caliph she was like a minion from Despicable Me.

Like the yang to the yin, Khalid completed Shazi in a regal manner. A strategist, an intelligent engineer and a terrifying swordsman, but this boy-king is still a boy and a romantic one at that. Holy intense, a goddamn poet that could turn us all enraptured girls into husks of die-hard fangirls and a devoted husband (that's putting it lightly). I've said back in my Wrath review, this man worships his wife and it was astounding to see how easily she can bring him to his knees. Yet he transforms. He starts to bear hope for a bright future with his love, in which they are together, with him healthy and 100% alive. And he starts fighting for it, making sacrifices and walking over his ego and colossal pride to ensure such happiness will be attained.

“No. He was not here to wreak revenge.
For revenge was trifling and hollow.
No. He was not here to retrieve his wife.
For his wife was not a thing to be retrieved.
No. He was not here to negotiate a truce.
For a truce suggested he wished to compromise.

He was here to burn something to the ground.”

On top of that, he really did mature. For once, you could say he forgives. His relationship with Tariq (yeah, there is one) had me nearly in tears and their interactions were so consuming. I loved his sincere attempts of creating bonds with Irsa and his sadness and helplessness at the situation with Jalal was hard to see. Also, his turmoil about the fate of Khorasan was awful, with self-loathing and doubt shadowing his thoughts. But he slowly crumbled his walls and lets everyone witness the thoughtful and passionate young man lurking beneath his stoic facade. He became a true leader.

A wish of mine that turned true this installment was the deeper delving into the magic business. However, it was not as developed as I expected it to be. Regardless, I enjoyed the unique light upon Artan's legacy (a new and very interesting character) that added to the genius of the author's retelling. It was honestly brilliant.

Other characters have changed the plotline numerous times. Jahandar, for instance, was horrendous. I loathed the guy. Greedy and power-hungry and with no sense of a moral compass, he continued to toy with the lives of others like he did in the prequel. On the other hand, Tariq, who is usually an amazingly lovable boy, possessed a recklessness and impulsiveness that had me preparing for every ill-fated new development with an "Oh boy".

And so there were many such instances. I cried a bit at a particular scene in the end that had me internally screaming "IT'S NOT FAIR". My heart stopped soon after. And I picked up my jaw off the ground at some HOLY SHIT discoveries, the kind of twists that turn you stupid. Nonetheless, I smiled and laughed a lot.

Vikram needs to be mentioned: he was awesome. There was not nearly enough Jalal and Despina, but seeing Jalal so heartbroken and lovesick messed with my brains. And Jalal and Khalid's friendship had a rough phase which was sad to witness. To compensate, we got more of Tariq and Rahim's bromance which inserted a light-tone every here and there, although they are indeed a true force to be reckoned with if together.

The epilogue was so fitting and wonderful in all shades known to humankind. I mean -- that name eeeep!! I was so euphoric and grateful for this heartwarming closure. One thing's for sure -- this duology will remain one of my favorite series because it's no easy feat to trigger the whole emotional palette in me, yet these books succeeded in doing so -- I was happy, sad, angry, frustrated, bewildered, amused, in love. And thankful for the thrills, romance and adventures.

"It’s late,” Khalid said. “You should sleep.”
“What are you talking about? I’m not doing anything.”
“Stop smiling and go to sleep.”
“How do you know I’m smiling? You’re not even looking at me.”
“I can feel you smiling, Shazi.”

I wouldn't necessarily say this is better than Wrath (because honestly, in my view, it isn't), but I think I missed the mystery surrounding Khalid's killings the most. Since all was revealed, the slow burning intrigue and countless questions did not make an appearance in the sequel. However, that is not the reason I minimized the full rating by half a star -- the sole motive for that was that sometimes I simply felt my mind wandering off. Might have been my sleep deprived mind telling me to close the freaking book, might have been not.

Renee Ahdieh has established herself as a thorough, original and downright amazing author. There was big pressure on her shoulders due to the overwhelming and well deserved popularity of the first book, but she did not succumb to the nerves in order to give readers a meh book. No, she managed to take the world of Khorasan to greater heights. She managed to captivate her readers with developed characters, an engaging plot and swoons. Most importantly, she managed to prove that she's a kickass writer and the first book wasn't a fluke. Her style is different and compelling and I declare myself a definite fan.

The Rose and The Dagger is an empowering, achingly beautiful sequel to one of the loveliest books ever. Soul-wrenching, yet uplifting all the same, this book has it all, from political vibes, Arabian spins on a famous story, doses of humor, gorgeous love stories interwoven with thrills of action, magic and a kaleidoscopic turn of events. It delivers the perfect kind of tale -- one side dished with great amount of heartbreak. Even so, you want more, and that's what makes it best.

“As always. As ever. As a rose to the sun.”

Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.9k followers
December 24, 2016
This review is about The Rose & the Dagger, but I can't help but dedicate a few lines to the tragedy that hit Turkey last night. A couple of hours ago, my cheeks were stained with hot tears, because this book was gut-wrenching. But even more gut-wrenching were the minutes I spent later watching the news and shedding more tears, this time mourning the innocent victims and the fate of humankind. Humanity is a strange species, capable of hatred, and capable of love. It saddens me that we mostly embrace the former, and unleash mayhem and brutality instead of compassion and kindness. I want to believe that there is more in us. I need to believe it. And I pray for the people who perished because some of us chose savagery, and all those dark feelings that poison our souls. May they rest in peace.
“Cut the strings, Shazi. Fly.”

And she did fly. Shahrzad crossed deserts and visited Temples of Fire and fought fiercely, for her future and her loved ones were worthy of every sacrifice, every drop of blood and sweat, every threat and promise and suffering. This awful and wonderful girl would not cower against mercenaries and greedy sultans, she would never bow her head nor stop having faith in Khalid. Her beautiful monster. The monster that bled for his people, that trusted her judgement and valued her opinion and saw his equal in her. Their home was broken. Their enemy, ruthless. The war, inevitable. But Khalid and Shahrzad, the Caliph and Calipha of Khorasan, found the purest and most powerful magic of all. A magic worth dying for.
“In the end, there is only time for love.”

The conclusion of this beguiling story based on The Arabian Nights pierced my heart like a dagger, inflicting searing pain and tremendous agony. But it also healed my wounded heart, which blossomed like a rose, and filled me with hope, peace, and, most importantly, love.

“The power behind words lies with the person.”

And Renee Ahdieh is a person of unlimited power, who weaves an intricate path towards your soul with her eloquence and the sheer emotion she pours into her words. There is something I can only describe as gentlessness in her writing, something that resembles a soft caress even when she is killing you. It is true that the first chapters were a little underwhelming, which was the effect of Khalid and Shahrzad's separation, but when their paths were aligned once more, everything fell back into place.
I was once more ensnared.

“It was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone. It was about belonging together.”

The relationship between Khalid and Shahrzad was beautiful. Their understanding and faith in each other were so touching they made my blood sing. They were lovers, friends, husband and wife, allies, equals. Khalid struggled to find his way back to light, but he never shied away from all the ugly things he did. He acknowledged them. And tried to atone for them. Shahrzad, stubborn and ill-tempered, never stopped fighting to make her wishes come true, to prevent a war and save everyone she held dear. Irsa, sweet and fragile Irsa, she was forged into a strong woman. Tariq and Rahim proved how honorable they were, despite the occassional lapses in judgement and blind hatred that led Tariq to fatal mistakes. Every character was flawed in his own way, but all of them were deeply endearing.
“From the stars, to the stars.”

That's how much I loved The Rose & the Dagger.
From the stars, to the stars.
Profile Image for Mikee (ReadWithMikee).
203 reviews1,308 followers
April 14, 2017

Find me on Instagram & Twitter!

❝She belonged in a palace of marble and stone. A queen, in her own right. With a boy-king who loved her, as she loved him.❞

Rating: {★ ★ ★★★}
This was such a beautiful ending to a magical story. The Rose and the Dagger did not disappoint one bit. Although I felt that this book was not as great as the first, it was still every bit as majestic as The Wrath and the Dawn.

The Rose and the Dagger is filled with many twists and turns, swooning (mostly over Khalid), and most of all... Heartbreak. This book will tug your heart in more ways than one. We will gain new friends and allies, same as we will lose our old ones. Some chapters were paced a bit slow, but I was NOT bored at all during any part of this book.

It was great to see our characters finally find peace with themselves and others. Shahrzad was as fierce of a heroine as she always was in the first book. And if you thought Khalid was swoon-worthy in The Wrath and the Dawn, wait until you see him in The Rose and the Dagger.

I found that the ending felt a little rushed but it was still bittersweet nonetheless. I wish I could have more of this world and these characters because I'm in no way ready to let go of this wonderful world of love, magic, and storytelling that Renée has created for us.

Thank you for this shining, shimmering, splendid magic carpet ride.
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
316 reviews115k followers
February 13, 2018
The Rose & the Dagger was definitely a satisfying sequel to one of my favorite reads of 2015! It was so nice to be back in this beautiful world with some of my favorite characters. I do prefer The Wrath & the Dawn but I'm happy with the conclusion to this duology!

I chose to listen to the audiobook of this novel, which I think was a mistake on my part. This series can require extra attention when being read physically for me due to the flowing prose, so the detachment I sometimes get from listening to an audiobook was not helpful. Especially considering it had been a year and a half since I had read the first book, it was EXTREMELY hard to jump into. I really did not retain the first few hours of the audiobook because of those factors. If you are an audiobook listener who multitasks and sometimes does not retain all the information, I may stray away from this one. That being said, I LOVED the audiobook! The narrator was fantastic and it was super enjoyable. It was also really nice to finally have correct pronunciation for all the (I believe it may be Persian?) names and locations. Despite the trouble I had getting into the story, I'm really glad I picked it up.

Everything about The Rose & the Dagger is what you could have wanted. It's the same flawlessly elegant writing, the superbly constructed characters and relationships, and the exciting storyline. I especially felt like there was more action/intense scenes in the sequel, which I particularly enjoyed. The only other slightly underwhelming part of this book was the ended; it felt very abrupt and unfinished. I felt there should have been another few chapters before the epilogue, or at least an expansion of the scenes leading up to the end.

I really enjoyed this read and will continue to recommend > The Wrath & the Dawn duology!
Profile Image for Reynita ★ The Night Reader ★.
123 reviews943 followers
August 29, 2018

Love gave life to the lifeless. It was the greatest of all living

I honestly don't know what to talk about because this book fucking ruined me and left me without any words to utter from my mouth. I'm not complaining though. It's such a best feeling when books destroy me and hurt me emotionally and this book also lived up to my expectations. I swear I was so terrified when I started reading this book because I liked the first book but I nearly did not finish the first book because it was so freaking boring at first, that's why I was terrified when I started reading this book. I was afraid that this book might bored me or I might did not finish it but thank God, none of that happened. I relished every single day I spent with this book.


The Plot and the Pacing

The plot was so much better than the first book. It was so fucking awesome and such an action-packed book. LIKE THAT WAS WHAT I HAD BEEN WAITING FOR AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED AT ALL. Ms. Ahdieh is a great author and I love her books and her writing style is so beautiful and amazing. Her books always manage to make me sob in happiness or pain. This book never bored me. Not even once. I always got shocked when I looked at the clock while I was reading it because time seemed flied so fast when I read this book. I did not even realize that I read the book for 4 hours straight!

For the pacing of the book, well it was rather slow at first but I already expected that would happen and even though, it was slow, it was not boring at all and some things also happened. So if you read this book and then you find it really slow at first, please don't stop reading it because the the book was slow at first but it was pretty fast-paced when the book was nearing the ending AND IT WAS SO WORTH IT AND I LOVE THIS BOOK AAAAAAAAA

and this book! I can't even. One moment I was laughing and the next moment I was sad and then after that I was angry and then after that I cried, I laughed and smiled. I LOVE THIS BOOK! NO I HATE THIS BOOK BUT I ALSO LOVE IT AAAAA


The Characters and the Romance

I loved all the characters in this book, well except some people though because they got on my nerves and they made me wish bad things upon them. So, in the first book I totally hated this certain character so much and I even wished for this person to just disappear and I did keep hating this person in this book but it did not last long and then after that all the hatred I felt toward this person vanished all at once. Yes, I did not agree with this person with so many things but then after that I sort of understood and I just felt like I wanted to give this person a warm hug and I just wanted to tell you again that this book made me cry ... a lot because of so many different reasons. I rarely cry these days but Ms. Ahdieh's books always make cry and just like I said that I loved all the characters in this book. Shahrzad was such a strong heroine and honestly, she was like my inspiration and Khalid, I have nothing to say about him except that I have this huge crush on him and I like him so much OH AND JALAL AND DESPINA, I LOVE THEM SOOOOOOO MUCH and the romance!! IT WAS SOOO SWEET. These characters brought so much happiness to me.


But even though, I liked this book very much, there was still something that I did not like about it and it was the love triangle. I hate love triangle so much but the love triangle in this book was tolerable for me but I still did not like it at all. In my opinion, this book would be so much better without the love triangle. But again, the love triangle was not really bad, it was rather tolerable and the girl only loved one love interest.

I will surely miss all of these characters and I even felt sad when I finished reading this book because I enjoyed reading it and I still wanted to be with my friends and the people that I really liked but I was also happy when I finished it. Overall, it was such a great read for me and I enjoyed reading it immensely.

Thank you for reading and liking this review! I appreciate it so much guys and I hope you all have a fabulous day. Bye!


Tonight, I can sleep with happiness in my heart. REVIEW TO COME TOMORROW.

I literally hugged the book and squealed in delight when I got the book and if this book disappoints me, I'm sure I will just lay on the floor and cry 🙂🙂
Profile Image for Simona B.
898 reviews3,009 followers
April 26, 2022
“I’ve missed the silence of you listening to me.” Shahrzad attempted a weak smile. “No one listens to me as you do." His expression turned quizzical. “You don’t wait to speak,” she clarified. “You truly listen.”

To make matters clear: if you loved or, anyway, truly enjoyed The Wrath and the Dawn, then you'll love this too. It is everything a devoted fan could ask of a series conclusion.
My problem was -is- that Shahrzad and Khalid's relationship never spoke to me; actually, I think my appreciation of the above-mentioned couple is fundamentally undermined by 1) the insta-love (don't try to deny it; seriously, don't) and 2) the fact that, in The Wrath and the Dawn, .

•So, first issue: I never felt the slightest involvement in this ship, because of the reasons above. I knew what I was getting into, I didn't rely on that to begin with, It didn't particularly influenced my rating because I had taken that into account from the start.

•I'm still not a fan of Shahrzad. In Italy, we have a saying that more or less goes, "you can't even dare tell her how beautiful her eyes are," meaning that she's one of those people that, if you so much as raise a hand to greet them, they are likely to spit in your face and possibly throw a dagger at you for no reason at all. That's not called being badass, that's called being hysterical.

New characters whose utility is rather debatable (why, this very much seems to be an issue with all the books I've read of late). You understand that their utility really was debatable when, at the end of the story, you realize all they had to do was . How deliciously professional. A pity that someone forgot to actually work on the part "make the reader care".

The curse- I mean, it wasn't completely bad, at least it had some logic, but: that's it? A whole book focused on this thing, and then the plot gets rid of it and veers like this, as if this curse had had no importance to begin with? It was so brusque and ungraceful I'm still suffering from whiplash after-effects.

•I remembered liking the writing in The Wrath and the Dawn, but I certainly despised it here. Declamatory, pompous, histrionic, high-sounding and fastidiously so. I lost count of how many sentences began with "For" instead of "Because", but I'm sure once I found at least five in less than two pages. Alas! (Yes, another abundant presence. Ugh.)

Tariq was annoying. And I'm not going to say another word on the matter, because, all the tropes related to a love-triangle you can think about? They're here.

Da Powah To Luuurve. Please. Do I look like a five-year old to you?

•I thought I needed to control my blood glucose after that epilogue. I may have also faked a gag. Sorry, but that level of gushiness was beyond human comprehension.

➽ Basically, the main perk of this book is that it puts an end to this series rather nicely, and, even though I didn't care for these characters and wasn't particularly captivated by the plot, it didn't bore me. I did have a good time and was able to enjoy some hours of sweet doing nothing, with my brain temporarily shut. And that was just what I wanted: nothing more, nothing less.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews841 followers
May 20, 2016
4.5 stars. Trying to decide if I want to round up or down, so I'll round down for now. VERY worthy sequel/conclusion novel.


***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Book Two of The Wrath & The Dawn series
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Preordered copy

Summary (from Goodreads):

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

What I Liked:

I already know that I have no idea how to review this book. It was utterly beautiful, just as breathtaking as one would expect. I knew I would love it, and I did. It's getting four stars from me, but my true rating is 4.5 stars. I am so in love with this duology! The story is definitely a favorite of mine. So don't mind too much if this review is short or vague or a bunch of fangirling!

At the end of The Wrath & The Dawn, Shahrzad left Khorasan - and Khalid - and went to the desert, where her family had taken refuge. Her father was badly burned by a book of his (if you read book one, you know why). Irsa, Shahrzad's sister, has grown in Shahrzad's absence. And Tariq is distant, no longer the friend Shahrzad remembers. Shazi is determined to find a way to break Khalid's curse, and with the help of an ally, she may have found a way. Back at Khorasan. Khalid has been helping his city rebuild. He mourns the disappearance of his love, but a greater danger is looming. While Shazi is in the desert, learning her dormant powers and hunting for a way to help Khalid, Khalid is determined not to sacrifice any more girls, and to help his city recover.

One of the best things that Ahdieh did was reunite Shazi and Khalid *fairly* quickly. It was about 150 pages into the book, so you could look at that as quickly or not quickly. I thought it was pretty quick. A LOT happens in the first 150 pages though, mostly on Shazi's side.

Shazi is steadfast in her love for Khalid. Though she is in the desert and surrounded by her family that does not know the depth of her feelings for the "monster boy-king", she never wavers. She protects herself and defends herself and never stops trying to find a way back to Khalid. She isn't trapped in the desert (hello, flying carpet!), but she wants to return with good news for him.

We are introduced to some secondary characters that I adore. Irsa, Shazi's younger sister, is only fourteen (going on fifteen) but she is tough and strong and totally underestimated. Rahim is a soldier and Tariq's best friend. I like Rahim and Irsa's budding romance. I don't like Tariq and never will. Same with Shazi's father. We don't see too much of Jalal, or Despina, or the Rajput, but we learn more about them on personal levels, and they all play a huge role in the book. I didn't love Jalal like I did in book one, but he has good reason for being the jerk he was in this book.

Khalid. Khalid deserves his own paragraph. I love this man of few words, with few expressions and few weaknesses. He is misjudged though not underestimated, and he carries a heavy burden that most do not know of or understand. I love his fierce protectiveness over Shazi, and how he lets her be and doesn't try to control her. I love how he loves her. I love how she loves him.

I love the romance. Looking back, I don't even know how I was worried about a love triangle. Tariq had no chance with Khalid in existence. Even with Khalid not in existence... Shazi loved Tariq as a friend. I felt a little bad for Tariq, but also I didn't, because he is a huge idiot and deserves terrible things that never came his way. There were many unforgivable things he did, especially in this book. Anyway, I loved the romance between Khalid and Shazi. I love how it blossoms, how they lean on each other and trust each other. I love how their relationship never wavers, only strengthens.

The big-picture issue in the series goes beyond Khalid's curse - there are masses that want to destroy Khalid's empire. I like how the author intersects these two important points of the story - Khalid's curse, and the impending war.

So, characters were amazing. Khalid was my favorite, Shahrzad in close second. The character development was well-written. The writing was absolutely beautiful. The romance was wonderful. This conclusion novel was all kinds of stunning!

The ending is a rollercoaster! But so, so satisfying (except for one thing, which I will mention next). I am in love with this story! I adore how the author ends the series - it seemed pretty wonderful to me. And you know how much I love a good HEA!

What I Did Not Like:

Khalid and Jalal have a sort of, um, disagreement, in this book. And Jalal says some pretty harsh things and turns his back on Khalid. Given the epilogue, from what I can indirectly infer, this fight is very much in the past, by the end of the book. But I wish the author would have shown the reconciliation between the two cousins, explicitly. In fact, Jalal all but disappears from the story, after this argument. I wanted to see the men patch things up, do the bromance thing. This is my one complaint about this book - their relationship needed to be addressed, at the end of the book, when all was said and done.

Would I Recommend It:

I highly highly HIGHLY recommend this book. And the first book. Haven't read The Wrath & The Dawn? Fix that. There is no reason not to, now that the series is complete! Plus there are a few short stories on Amazon that are free (and one Jalal/Despina novella that is $1.99) to enjoy as well - not that you *need* to read any of those. This series, overall, is easily a favorite. I don't throw around the word "favorite" often!


4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars. While this book isn't one of my rarely dubbed favorites, this series in general definitely is. Thank you, Renee Ahdieh, for blessing the world with your beautifully written story of Khalid and Shahrzad.

My WRATH collection!


Pre-publication squees:


Kinda hoping this series is just a duology and nothing longer... less painful waiting and whatnot ;)


EDIT: 10/02/2015 -- COVER COVER COVER WE HAVE A COVER!!!! It is amazing! THANK YOU, Penguin, for sticking with that same design. Check out the official cover reveal on Bustle!

Profile Image for Mohammed Arabey.
709 reviews5,722 followers
February 15, 2017
Arabian Nights are fast thrilling epic stories mixing with a passionate love story, that really takes you a whole new world...

And this different retelling still one of the kind that worth your time..complete with Love, curse, Black Magic...

BUT it didn't live up to the epic that start building up in book one and its grand ending..
For a duology it could've been faster, more focused. yet book two's missing sparks..less magical stories..less fiery love.

The biggest reason of enjoying this book was that I loved the characters and the atmosphere of book one much that I was glad to revisit one more time, To see how can the epic started by the end of book one would ends. Some characters got good conclusion for their stories...some just got weaker or shallow or went totally missing.
So, if I rated book one 3.5 : 4, the sequel is just 3 : 3.5..

But let's start with the..
The Story

Though it picks up right after the epic finale of book one… the first half of the book lacks thriller or any new "important" events.
Some good drama scenes was here but lost in many filler ones.
The story mainly about Shahrazad searching for a way to stop the curse on her Beloved Khaled..and the spell of the dark book with her father.. using the Magic Carpet she reach the fire template to have some answers..

Also the Bedouin idling the attack to overthrow the Caliph. Two third of the book till any plan took action.
Even Shazy stories -just two actually- was good but I didn't get the point of it. Didn't have the effect to the story as in book one.

There's a good setting for an epic conflict, I must admit that I hate reading prolonged war sequence, but also I don't enjoy disappointing waste of a chance to bring an epic one.
Yes , good talk can solve everything...but not always makes a good story..
The Love Story Stories

Stronger & as very convenient as book one.
It's more and took larger part, and though I am not love stories fan but still Renee Ahdieh convinced me to fall in love with her beloved character and convenient way to draw her story beautifully and make it living.
We finally reach the very well written conclusion to the Love triangle.
I really enjoyed it, it may look impossible to have a peaceful ending but the author really good in making it smoothly.

I didn't like a scene at the beginning between Tariq and Shazy since I am so in love with the love between Shazy and Khaled... and in this part it's really in its best..

“Despina and Jalal”

I adore Despina, there's good story here full of surprises and twists. I may be not 100% convenience by a certain twist but still I love reading it.
By the way the only “worthy” prequel to read for me was “The Moth & The Flame” that revolves around them. And adding depth into the 2 beloved characters.
The Review
“Irsa & Rahim”

It was a filler for me.. it serves little to the story anyway but I like Irsa character so much specially her relation with her sister.
But clearly it's just a filler served to
The Rest of the Characters

I was interested to see more of this mystical world and his family, alas it only served as quick solving to ends two curses in one strike.. I kinda felt cheated.
He really could been used better and more magical and serve more epic scenes.

“Sheikh Omar”
Though his role wasn't big I liked his obsession with good love stories. The author make sure I feel like him with her beautifully illustrated Khaled and Shazy love.

God, is he really that stupid? Till the end?
The father of Shazy really gets more stupid each new chapter...May be the attempt he made by the end and how it solved effects more in my decision to rate.
And this book got more parts from other characters’ perspective than in book one.
Yet there were more characters thatcould have been better if they used well than this.

The writing style is easy and enjoyable.
Enjoyable but can easily be boring sometimes.
Sometimes when there's lots of repeats.
Repats just what I do here.
Here in this paragraph.
Got it?
It's really still one of the best YA deals with romance in a good way, food in a very delicious way -it really makes my mouth watering..-not many feasts like book one but still delicious enough-
It has some awesome dramatic scenes..

I loved the use of some arabian words -But still Calipha is for man not woman- and I didn't know Nabulsi is a famous soap.

I may be a bit disappointed because I needed more, and sure the plot could have handled more magical epics..more fairy stories..The epic was reduced to pass a message that good talk can solve anything...
Yet I will wait to read more by Renee. who made me fly a good length into one really good love story... Arabian Nights story

And will search for more Arabian Nights retelling.

Mohammmed Arabey
From 6 July 2016
To 10 July 2016

Next stop; A Thousand Nights.
Profile Image for Angyy.
303 reviews66 followers
May 21, 2016
I just found out this is a duology. Good! My heart can't take another cliffhanger like that.

Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,184 followers
May 1, 2016
Possibly more of a 4.5/5 stars
I really loved this, but I don't think I loved it as much as TWATD.
The world building and plot and characters were still ON POINT and FAB, but things felt like they moved a little too fast and jumped around a bit too much.
Regardless, I thought this was a really solid sequel and I enjoyed it so much. Definitely cried a few times.
The writing was as beautiful as ever, SO GORG. I want to take quotes from this book and write them and frame them everYWHERE.
Solid solid duology - 10/10 would recommend.
Profile Image for Jillian .
441 reviews1,813 followers
May 30, 2016

this book gave me aladdin feels

10/10 would recommend

but seriously SUCH AN AMAZING CONCLUSION HOLY CRAP. I think this is my absolute favorite duology ever.
Profile Image for Heather.
403 reviews16.9k followers
February 9, 2017
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,736 reviews711 followers
March 1, 2016
This was absolutely stunning.

It is different from Wrath, but I loved it just as much. It's filled with swoons and action and heartbreak and twists and I loved every single page of it.

Perhaps I'll write a coherent review when release gets closer.
Profile Image for Joelle (Throne of books) .
193 reviews67 followers
June 2, 2016
Another one bites the dust.
To say I'm disappointed, is a huge understatement. Last year, THE WRATH & THE DAWN was one of my favorite reads of the year. This year however, with this sequel, it is being added to my disappointing sequels list.

Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it. But I did not love it. Once again Renée's writing is absolutely mesmerizing. But the story? Slow and a little boring. It wasn't until about the last 130 pages that the pace picked up and I started enjoying it a bit more.

I loved Shazi and Khalid, serious heart eyes. Shazi's sass and quick mouth is so me to be frankly honest. I LOVED the relationship between her sister and Rahim. And there were the characters I still don't like. Tariq, ever the annoying love sick puppy who makes stupid stupid decisions and is even more stubborn than a frog who refuses to move from where he's sitting. Shazi's father (also very effing stubborn.), basically every other character.

As a conclusion to a duology, I did not like it. Everything was resolved too simply and easily, too conveniently. The revelations and plot twists did surprise me and the ending was heart eyes and heart throbs and rainbow stained tears but overall I simply wish this hadn't been a duology, I wish more events had gotten in the way of the characters, and for that, I personally like to have that all build up between a book or two. Duologies just make everything feel very rushed and lacking in certain areas.
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,045 reviews1,050 followers
May 31, 2017

No, The Rose and the Dagger is far from being perfect but the prose is such a brilliant, beautiful narrative making this series an unforgettable, thrilling, adventurous, fantasy- romance. I savored every remarkable moment, every dazzling word and every stirring emotion in the story. It makes me want to sing Disney songs and twirl. It’s true, this series can be considered sappy, cheesy and even melodramatic but it’s just so beautifully written that it seems to have this disabling effect on me making my knees wobbly, my eyes sparkling in complete awe leaving me into an un-salvageable, swooning puddle.

The plot started off right where The Wrath and the Dawn ended and it brought back all the wonderful memories instantly transporting me to this magical world. It didn’t take long for me to be once again trapped in a flurry of emotions for these characters that captivated me from the very start.

I do not usually approve of love triangles but in this story, it’s not only beautiful but it also seems necessary as it is the plot’s very core uniting the two heroes in their mission because of their love for the same, strong-spirited woman who is not only beautiful (I admit I was a bit annoyed at the countless times her beauty was mentioned) but brilliant, smart, snarky and selfless as well. I admire Ms. Renee Ahdieh’s wise decision to do away with war and bloodbath usually found in fantasies’ finale and instead resorted to witty plot twists involving smart and beautiful women. Applause!

It’s true some wars can be won before they even get started just like this series winning my heart over without a fight.
Profile Image for Maditales.
580 reviews23.6k followers
January 18, 2022
Holy mf fuck. I am still trying to recover from this roller coaster since I just bawled my eyes out while reading the last 50 pages. Yes, the book has a happy ending but damn, that one chapter was sad as hell.
First of all, I already fell in love with the characters in the first book but this just made it better. KHALID was amazing in here and I also loved how his relationship with Sharzard developed even more and their scenes were absolutely adorable.
My favorite part is still the magic in this book and I just kept singing the song “ I can show you the world” while reading this book over and over again.
Next, I loved the side characters. Irsa, Tariq and Despina were amazing same as Rahim.
I loved them all and I also loved the switch of 3rd person pov so we were able to see their perspective during the book.
I really liked the ending and loved how we ended where we started.
I am just sad that this duology is over now since I fell in love with the world, the characters, the writing and the magic in this story but I guess I’ll have to reread it soon.
Profile Image for Sarah DiMento.
187 reviews514 followers
May 15, 2016
"Where is your heart, Sharzad al-Khayzuran?" His voice was course in its insistence.
In an alley by the souk. In a night of oblivion.
In the promise of tomorrow."

Initial reaction: Well, I finally finished this after weeks of reading slump. I'm giving this a generous four stars because I had some problems with it, but really really wanted to love it the way I loved the first book. Renee Ahdieh is an amazing romance writer, but a not so amazing fantasy writer, in my opinion. Nevertheless, this book was beautifully written and overall a satisfactory end to the story. Full review to come!

"Love was something that did much to change a person. It brought joy as it brought suffering, and in turn brought about those moments that defined one's character.
Love gave life to the lifeless. It was the greatest of all living powers."

I wrote my review in list format, it seemed the best way to convey my thoughts:

Things I Loved About The First Book:
1. The romance- Shazi and Khalid OTP OTP OTP!!
2. The subtle and mysterious nature of magic (granted, magic did not play a major role in the first book)
3. The beautiful writing
4. The descriptions of food (yea, I said it. I was perpetually hungry throughout the first book.)
5. The characters and their development

"Why don't you start by saying aloud what it is you wish for?"
Could she even dare say such a thing? After all the death and bloodshed and senseless destruction, it seemed like the worst kind of selfishness.
To build her world upon a bower of bones.
"So tiresome." Shiva nudged her in jest. "This is your dream, you goose! If you cannot say what it is you desire in your own dream, then where can you dare to say it?"

What I Expected From The Second Book:
1. More Shazi and Khalid. Maybe more Despina and Jalal?
2. An explanation and exploration of the way magic works.
3. An exciting and action packed story in which our protagonists utilize magic to break this curse!
4. More beautiful writing
5. More descriptions of food
6. More characters and their development

"Your future is not set in stone, my dearest star. A coin turns on itself a number of times before it lands."

What I Got From The Second Book:
1. Not so much Shazi and Khalid, and certainly not Despina and Jalal. This would not necessarily be a bad thing, I don't need romance to enjoy a book, BUT:
2. No world-building, no explanation of magic, messy and pointless elements of plot, everything resolved waaaaaaay too easily And why doesn't Khalid know more about magic? I mean.. he's the king.. you think he'd want to know. To do some research on curses and how to break them? Especially considering how easily resolved this whole thing was. Honestly, this book made me question Khalid a little. How could you accept your curse so easily? Did you even try to find a way out?! Whew.. Ok /end rant
3. Beautiful writing. The writing alone will compel me to read anything Renee Ahdieh writes.
4. Very little description of food... Waaaaaah :(
5. Introduction of a couple interesting characters... Namely, Irsa and Artan. I wish Artan's character had been explored more. That whole part of the story left a lot of questions for me and was a missed opportunity for world-building and explaining the magic system, in my opinion.

"This makes the second- no, wait- third night in a row you've arrived at the temple and ruined my evening with the moon."
She unfurled to her feet, dusting off her palms. "Pardon me for ruining what would have been an otherwise productive evening."

Was this a bad book? No no no no. I love these characters, I love Renee Ahdieh's writing, and I was happy with the way the story ended. I was just a little let down and expected a bit mooooore. I loved the overall theme of the book: becoming the person you want to be (Khalid becoming the king he wants to be, Irsa becoming braver and less like a mouse [as she would say]) and creating your own destiny. Shazi was a bit arrogant to me at times, but I've always appreciated her bold and strong nature. Overall, this duology belongs in my favorites and I would recommend to anyone who enjoys YA romance, fantasy, historical fiction. You won't regret it :)

"But, if you ask me, the best way to go about flying is to cut the strings tying you down... Cut the strings, Shazi. Fly."
Profile Image for Jenna.
277 reviews77 followers
April 24, 2017
“Give me a meaningful love or a beautiful death!”
Simply exquisite. A book of dreams,

This book utterly takes my breath away. The writing is beautiful and the story has depth. Characters are developped, there is sadness and despair, there is tragedy. There is also love, magic and hope. This is a tale as old as time that will always be timeless.

“It was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone. It was about belonging together.”

I praise Renee Ahdieh for this duology and her attention to details. The story almost feels as though it comes alive with magic. I can't wait for more books written by her! I highly encourage anyone who has not read the wrath and the dawn (the first book) to pick it up. If you are like me and read the wrath and the dawn but neglected to pick up the rose & the dagger for a long time, stop neglecting it. I don't know why I put it off for so long, it was a fantastic read.

The rest of my review will contain spoilers as I discuss the events/plot of the book!
WOWZA. What a finish.

I honestly did not know this series was a duology until I started reading it. I wondered how this book would wrap everything up. It rose to the challenge.

“For nothing, not the sun, not the rain, not even the brightest star in the darkest sky, could begin to compare to the wonder of you. Khalid”

I was really happy to see Isra meet somebody, but then felt so much sympathy for when Rahim died. Speaking of Rahim’s death..it was totally Tariq’s fault. As readers know, Khalid was not going to attack, he held himself back because he knew what would happen. Tariq did not have that control. Provoked and angry he attacked, not able to evaluate the consequences. If he hadn’t Rahim would most likely still be alive. YET KHALID TOOK THE BLAME. Yes Tariq said it was his own fault but Khalid disagreed, explained it was only his fault and took the guilt. Ughhhhhh Tariq was so frustrating during this book. Most of the time he was not frustrating and absolutely his actions were understandable. BUT when he began the attack on Salim, also when he shot Shazi (aiming for Khalid) was extremely irritating. By the end of the book he had learned and sided with Khalid *finally*

“if you ask me, the best way to go about flying is to cut the strings tying you down ”
I really enjoyed Artan and Omar as characters. I thought they were good additions to the book.
Jahandar pissed me off.

Jahandar has literally ruined everything. He launched a storm killing innocent lives and destroying a city. He kidnapped his daughter against her will for something he thought was best. HE ASSINATES (sort of) THE LOVE OF HIS DAUGHTERS LIFE.
That second last chapter had me DYING. I knew Jahandar was killing himself in the end of that chapter but I didn’t know that he did that while saving Khalid. So when the next chapter or ‘epilogue’ came around, I thought this was someone’s dream. Until they mentioned his scar, then I was like OHHHHH I SEE WHAT HE DID.
I thought the last chapter/epilogue was really cute and pleased me to see how the characters were living. ALSO YASMINE AND TARIQ! I SHIP IT!
I also loved when Yasmine, Despina and Shazi worked together because that was one of things I wanted to see comign out of the first book. I think they'd work well as friends. That made me really excited.
Despina took me on a rollar coaster ride. First I was like ohh she’s running away from Jalal because she doesn’t think he loves her or will marry her. So she thought she’d marry the Rajput instead. I was sympathetic. THEN AT THAT DINNER PARTY I WAS FUMMING LIKE OH NO, NO YOU DIDN’T! THEN SHE TRIED TO HELP?????????? AM I SUPPOSED TO TRUST DESPINA ORR???? But then in the epilogue, the baby was born and all was forgiven.
I am still reeling from the ride and that the series is done so soon. So I shall leave you with one more beautiful quote from this lovely story.

“In the end, there is only time for love.”

THIS BOOK HAD MY EYES FILLING WITH TEARS NEAR THE END THEN BOOM NEXT CHAPTER, tears were turned into bliss at a somewhat happy ending.
Full review to come.

Profile Image for theburqaavenger➹.
126 reviews565 followers
September 16, 2022
(I only rant. I don't write reviews)

And it's over. And Kermit (me) is in love.

This was so good. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me swoon. And now i am asking myself WHAT DO I DO WITH MY LIFE NOW?There were betrayals and woman power and my son. . .my baby..
And throughout the whole book i was like:

While reading the book i was constantly telling myself not to cry.Not to cry. Not to cry. NOT TO CRY.
We get to see Khalid show his awesome sword fighting moves, Shazi with her girl power and that little weird girl whom i didn't like (meh) and Tariq (meh^2) and DESPINA!!!
My son is the best thing to ever happen to me. He is awesome. And just so you know i am NOT going to make anyone of you my daughter-in-law/son-in-law. My wife agrees too. He loves Shazi and i will protect them with my life.

Spoilers Ahead!

Let's do this thing
● Remember how she began the previous book?
"I once had a thousand desires,
But in my one desire to know you,
all else melted away"
- Jalal al-Din Rumi

● I still think that was the most beautiful beginning EVER of a book but this was a close second:
"The rose’s rarest essence lives in the thorns.
- Jalal al-Din Rumi"

● And by the end of the first chapter i was crying. Because Rey is my home too.
● Why? WHY? Why did her name have to be Shiva?
● they are not together. Nope.
● and Tariq ate my brain. Whole. I hate him.
A trickle of blood slid down his arm.
He felt nothing. He only saw it.
Because nothing hurt like missing her.

● My heart is not working
● and Irsa darling just stfu
● aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Khalid bowed deeply, touching his fingertips to his brow. “I wish you happiness, Vikram Singh.”
“And I you, meraa dost—my greatest friend.”

● no no no no no no no no
● and fuck you Jalal. No literally fuck you.
“And now, so do I. Keep watch over your shadow, Khalid-jan. Because, for the first time in eighteen years, I won’t be there to watch it for you.”

● you idiot. i was kidding. come back!
● it's like the author wants me to die.
● and the magical system. and ARTAN! I love him.
● and when they finally meet again.
Shahrzad knew it was Khalid. She sensed rather than saw him.
As always. As ever. As a rose to the sun.
Her knees shook. A chill ran from the nape of her neck to the soles of her feet.
Low and unassuming. Unmistakable. When Shahrzad met his gaze, everything around her melted away. Even the driving rain came to a sudden standstill.
A moment suspended in time. A pair of amber eyes across a balcony.
And there was no more fear. No more worry. No more judgment.
Her knees no longer shook. Her heart steadied in her chest.
In that moment of perfect balance, she understood. This peace? These worries silenced without effort?
It was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone.
It was about belonging together.

● i died.

● I just want to add the whole book in my review
● I love them
● so much
● it hurts
● and when Tariq shoots the mf arrow
● o m g

● omggggggggggggggggg
● that scene
● and then Jahandar does that!
● and DESPINA! YOU *************************************
● and they send her to the jail/whatever place
● and Jalal and Khalid
● interacting
● for Shazi' sake
● my heart
● I am so proud of my baby

● Oh my
● oh my
● and then Despina does that^2
● f
The last thing he saw was her face.
In the end, there was only love.
So much more than he deserved.

● baby
● my baby you deserve all the love
● that epilogue
“I’ve missed the silence of you listening to me.” Shahrzad attempted a weak smile. “No one listens to me as you do.” His expression turned quizzical. “You don’t wait to speak,” she clarified. “You truly listen.” “Only to you,” Khalid replied gently.”

● heart be still
● i will love this series forever
● 5ever
From the stars, to the stars.
● Thank you Renée Ahdieh
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
425 reviews1,637 followers
August 14, 2017
3.5 Stars


“It was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone. It was about belonging together.”

Just like the first book, I’m conflicted. There were parts I loved and parts I thought were very unnecessary.


Surprisingly, I really loved the relationship between Shazi and Khalid. In the first book, I had a lot of issues with it ethically, and while those issues are still kind of there, their relationship as a whole seems much more mature. They both love with this intensity and it was kind of beautiful how fiercely protective they both were.

The fantasy element was explored in more depth here, and was a lot of fun!

Familial relationships are often one of my favorites, and I loved the focus on Shazi’s sister, Irsa. Especially since her strength is quieter (but no less important!) than Shazi’s.

I just really enjoyed the writing style? It seemed more balanced-- painting beautiful scenes, while still progressing the narrative. Pacing worked well, as there's a fine thread of tension weaved throughout the entire story.

There’s something really impactful about three completely different women coming together for an ending that utilized their unique strengths.


I don’t like the way things wrapped up for Shazi’s dad. That was a lot of drama in the last ten pages that didn’t amount to much.

Resolution for Khalid’s curse was really underwhelming? The plot shifted and focused instead on the impending war, which was interesting, but the entire first book was about this curse?

Though I liked it more this round, I still feel there are some weird undertones in Shazi/Khalid’s whole relationship (which are addressed) and I often wondered why they fell for each other in the first place.

In Conclusion:

Idk man. I definitely enjoyed it, but I didn't love it. 🌹🗡
Displaying 1 - 30 of 10,965 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.