Wednesday, April 13, 2016

ARC Review: The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

Title: The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I thought nothing could compare to the beauty that is The Wrath and the Dawn... but I was wrong. Renée Ahdieh managed to completely outdo herself with The Rose and the Dagger, everything was a thousand times more overwhelming and more amazing and just more. I honestly just sobbed my way through this book and not because it was super sad, but due to the fact that everything was so glorious that I couldn't react any other way. My heart was so full of everything that I just needed to release all those feels (it was either cry or laugh hysterically).

I didn't think it was possible but I fell even more in love with Shahrzad in The Rose and the Dagger, her personality was the same but there were also signs of change in her. She was so brave and so sassy that I was tempted to bow down to her (#queen). But in all seriousness, Shahrzad's journey in this book was so filled with love and selfless, there was never a moment in the book that she every thought about herself, she was either thinking about Khalid, Irsa, Tariq and pretty much everyone else. She had so many difficult decisions to make and being the intelligent girl she was, she was able to navigate properly and find the right path. I really enjoyed all the scenes wherein she was working on getting to know more about herself and her gifts, it was such a treat to read about her experience (also, the carpet!). From the beginning to the end of this book, Shahrzad embodied exactly what she was, a queen.

I don't think there will ever be a couple in YA that will surpass Shahrzad and Khalid's love, in my opinion. This whole series is basically about their passion and longing for each other and you will literally feel it pouring out of the pages. It was so surreal to have experienced such a completely profound love that didn't need words to be expressed; actions really do speak louder than words. Shahrzad and Khalid's love is the type of feeling that would probably give world peace, it's the type that songwriters write about, exactly the type readers love to read about -- it was a complete blast to the senses.

Everyone in The Rose and the Dagger had their own journey, there were multiple points-of-view and they were executed perfectly (again). There were times wherein some scenes would get too much of something and the POV gets shifted in the next scene and I really appreciated that because it was a reprieve from that something and even more than that, it was an opportunity to get to know the characters in the novel. I absolutely loved reading Irsa's POV, her coming of age and finding herself was a beautiful sight to see unfold. All the characters each had a distinct role to play that will surprise anyone and everyone. Speaking of surprises...

I seriously could not take all the twists in this book. Like, give my heart a break, Renée Ahdieh! Everything was so shocking that I had to take moments to myself to absorb and process what the hell just happened (did that seriously really happen?!?!?!). A friend of mine told me to guard my heart and that is also my advice to anyone who is going to devour this book because you are NOT prepared for all the crazy and incredible and gut-wrenching things Renée Ahdieh has in store for you, I kid you not.

I love that The Wrath and the Dawn is a duology because for me, it really says a lot about an author who can control the pace of his/her writing. Reading the books has been such an interactive process because Renée Ahdieh really includes the reader in her writing, she invites whoever is reading to come up with predictions, conclusions and even world-building. It was such a fascinating thing to experience. And can I just say? The end of this book and the series was perfect. Completely and absolutely perfect. You'll know what I mean when you read this phenomenal book.

Just an aside, I remember fangirling about Renée Ahdieh and her awesome, awesome details and food and I can guarantee to you that you will experience all of that and more in this novel. The food. Oh Lord. I was so tempted to munch on the pages because everything looked, smelled and sounded so good! Renée Ahdieh really has a talent for exceptional details and gorgeous writing.

If I could pick out every single star in the sky to give to this book as a rating, I would. And even then, they would not be enough because The Rose and the Dagger is everything anyone could ever want in a book: unbelievably gorgeous writing, a headstrong heroine, minor characters who shine and a stunning and unexpected ending. I just want to thank Renée Ahdieh for gifting the world with her extraordinary duology, it has been such a pleasure and honour to read and I am so freaking glad that I picked it up. Everyone need to experience this stunning series.


1 comment:

  1. OOoh nice! I cannot wait to read this one! Still in a bit of shock that it's a duology! For some reason I didn't remembering hearing that last year. Unless I'm blocking my memory! LOL! Totally possible too! Great review!