The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

3 out of 5 stars.  Here’s the thing I thought this duo logy was magical and beautiful. I adored that it was set in a different place within a different culture than I usually read. The descriptions down to the clothes and weapons and food were really well done and I feel like I learned a lot. Which made this a really fun read.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

My Experience:

I enjoyed the overall story, it was interesting and got me through the books quickly.

But….I found, especially in this second book, that many plot lines just got tossed to the side. There were so many times in this book that there could have been really great parts added into the story line and they just went no where. For example Shazi’s magic… Artan was such an enjoyable character, I really liked him. I’d have loved to see more of them working together to train Shazi on her magic abilities. But that whole part of the story was dropped, nothing came of her magic. Until the end when it was very briefly brought up again for one paragraph to serve as a closing to that story line.

Then there was just the total let down of the stories ending. Look away for spoilers coming up!! But we all knew a war was coming..it started in the first book..and then all we got was some arrows and fire and a sultan who then surrendered after NO FIGHT!?! Could be just me but I was extremely let down by the anti climatic ending.

I enjoyed the characters and the culture and just the general story enough though that these were good reads to me. Not amazing but definitely fun and quick!

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