Note: this post contains spoilers
I took a very long time to finish this book. I do apologize for my delay because I was trying to catch up on the webtoon Noblesse 노블레스. At this time, it seems to be an impossible feat because I’m only on chapter 164 and this webtoon has just released its 407th chapter. I also got hooked on reading My Hero Academia 僕のヒーローアカデミア and for some reason my manga list keeps growing. Pretty soon it’s going to match my TBR list on Goodreads.
To get it out of the way, I was extremely happy with the ending of Renee Ahdieh’s duology. Everything that needed to happen happened. The bad people got what they deserved and the good people got what they deserved.
I even tabbed my book on the parts I adored and lines I love to reread again. I should have used different colored tabs to differentiate sections of text from a sentence but I was past the halfway point when I made the realization. I became too lazy to go back and change them.
The second book picks up after the catastrophe of Rey and after Shahrzad was whisked away to safety from the handsomely flawed caliph. While the city is being rebuilt, I love that Khalid sneaks off into the city of Rey incognito to help his citizens. I love a king who does stuff like this but I do understand why Jalal is so angry with him since Khalid doesn’t have very many fans.
Shahrzad had a lot of issues to deal with on her own. She was in a camp full of people plotting to overthrow and kill her beloved husband. Her father casted an extremely dangerous spell and was obsessed with the power this ancient tome possessed. There was a part dealing with Shahrzad and this fool named Teymur that surprised me since it’s not usually in YA. My awesome friend Alex and I talked about it before. Shahrzad came very close to being raped by Teymur and thankfully rescued by the smarts of Irsa and Rahim. I like the magic carpet riding tidbits. I kept singing ‘A Whole New World’ in my head.
May I say, I’ve never been so happy to read a couple getting back together. I was stressing out when will Shahrzad will reunite with Khalid because they’re so perfect for each other.
I really appreciated the fact that we, as the readers, get to read from Jahandar’s point of view. It made me feel so sorry for him. The feelings of guilt and failure plagued this poor father and drove him to seek power from a dangerous source. His redemption was heart-wrenching. *winks*
Isra, the lovely Isra. I just adore Irsa. She is just as strong and brilliant as her older sister thankfully not as temperamental as Shahrzad. I really like how she gets a chance at character development. In the beginning she was a timid little thing but was able to develop a voice and declare her love for Rahim (the feels are still very raw. I’m still mad at Renee for it). Isra brings up the fact that she’s always wanted an older brother and I think it’s so sweet that Khalid is able to be one for her.
What I always get extremely ecstatic about in fantasy books is the addition of dragons. European dragons are cool and all but we all know that Asian dragons are better (yes, I am saying this from a biased view). The person who rides this majestic creature is named Artan Temujin who wields fire. Thankfully he’s not like Prince Zuko since he has a sliver-tongue that can even best Shahrzad. He wouldn’t have been able to put up with her at all.
Tariq’s resolve was something I was most happy about. I’m glad things turned out well for him.
Now, Despina…the betrayal was strong and I kept thinking “anyone can betray anyone” only to realize that line was Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series. But it’s good now. Despina has redeemed herself.
Since this is a duology, the pacing of the story was much quicker compared to what I was used to. It was a nice change. I think I’ve mentioned this before but there are times I hate reading series that are go on to have five or six books. It’s like watching a Korean drama with twenty-two episodes that should have ended at episode sixteen. However, due to it being a duology, a few details aren’t explored and to me the ending felt a bit rushed. I honestly was hoping for something more…epic. Not quite sure what entails as epic but I was left wanting more.
Sometimes we get characters who are so irritatingly 2D but these characters are so flawed it makes them real and relatable. I believe that Renee did a phenomenal job with the characters of this series. I found a little bit of myself in each of these characters.
I’m looking forward to more works by Renee Ahdieh!! I loved this retelling of the Arabian Night stories.
Since I finally finished The Rose & the Dagger, I’ll be starting on Roshani Chokshi’s The Star-touched Queen next~
Note: I do not own any of the photos I use unless stated otherwise. Credit to Goodreads for the book cover and book summary.