May 16th

Review of The Rose and the Dagger

Posted in Reviews
The Rose and the Dagger

Title: The Rose and the Dagger
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam Sons Books for Young Readers
Date Published: April 26, 2016
Where I got the book: Public Library
Synopsis 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.

This book was incredible! I am in awe of Renee Ahdieh’s talent. Her prose is lyrical, her description lush, and the storyline is absolutely thrilling. The Wrath and the Dawn focused mainly on Shazi and Khalid, but The Rose and the Dagger involves so much more!

I cannot get over how amazing the writing is in this book. Reading it is like what I assume watching a master painter would be like. It is so descriptive, but never in a boring way. The scenery is described with lush provocative language. Little details really bring the story to life, like the powder Shazi uses to freshen her breath in the morning, the clothing, weapons, and the heat of the desert. It’s so beautiful! Just the way in which she tells the story is magical. I got absolutely sucked in by her prose, the poetic style of it. Renee Ahdieh is a Shahrzad in her own right, a master storyteller adept at the art of stringing words together to create a masterpiece.

“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.”


Arabian Nights is a story I am pretty familiar with, but the amazing amount of world-building it took to take this legend and turn it into a fantastical tale of mystical curses, beasts, and special people possessing powers is astonishing. As I already said this book is so detailed, and Ahdieh had to create all those little details, including a setting and a form of magic that resembles nothing I’ve read about before. I can’t even imagine the work, the hours she put in to have it turn out so exceptionally. I was not only impressed by the quality of the world-building but also by the sheer scope of what she accomplished with it. Not many can take on the task of reimagining a fairytale and have it become something so successful and, in my opinion, so much better than the original and any other adaptation! Add to that a sequel?! It’s an astounding accomplishment!

While Shazi and Khalid have already expressed their love, the romance is not over. The Rose and the Dagger is still filled with plenty of swoon! Khalid and Shazi are not done on their journey, there is still much they must do and learn, but it is the secondary characters that really surprised me. There are other romances happening!!! I got really excited about that! Some characters, like Tariq, Jahandar, and Irsa take on a larger part of the story. I love Irsa so much! She really changed the tone of this book. Mustafa-effendi, Sheikh Omar, and some new friends also deepen and change the story. It’s about more than just Shazi and Khalid and their forbidden, cursed love. It’s about truth, desire, real love, and responsibility. There are so many twists and turns and so many characters surprise you! I really can’t express how much I was moved by The Rose and the Dagger, you just need to read it and find out for yourselves!

The Rose and the Dagger

Title: The Rose and the Dagger
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam Sons Books for Young Readers
Date Published: April 26, 2016
Where I got the book: Public Library
Synopsis 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.

This book was incredible! I am in awe of Renee Ahdieh’s talent. Her prose is lyrical, her description lush, and the storyline is absolutely thrilling. The Wrath and the Dawn focused mainly on Shazi and Khalid, but The Rose and the Dagger involves so much more!

I cannot get over how amazing the writing is in this book. Reading it is like what I assume watching a master painter would be like. It is so descriptive, but never in a boring way. The scenery is described with lush provocative language. Little details really bring the story to life, like the powder Shazi uses to freshen her breath in the morning, the clothing, weapons, and the heat of the desert. It’s so beautiful! Just the way in which she tells the story is magical. I got absolutely sucked in by her prose, the poetic style of it. Renee Ahdieh is a Shahrzad in her own right, a master storyteller adept at the art of stringing words together to create a masterpiece.

“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.”


Arabian Nights is a story I am pretty familiar with, but the amazing amount of world-building it took to take this legend and turn it into a fantastical tale of mystical curses, beasts, and special people possessing powers is astonishing. As I already said this book is so detailed, and Ahdieh had to create all those little details, including a setting and a form of magic that resembles nothing I’ve read about before. I can’t even imagine the work, the hours she put in to have it turn out so exceptionally. I was not only impressed by the quality of the world-building but also by the sheer scope of what she accomplished with it. Not many can take on the task of reimagining a fairytale and have it become something so successful and, in my opinion, so much better than the original and any other adaptation! Add to that a sequel?! It’s an astounding accomplishment!

While Shazi and Khalid have already expressed their love, the romance is not over. The Rose and the Dagger is still filled with plenty of swoon! Khalid and Shazi are not done on their journey, there is still much they must do and learn, but it is the secondary characters that really surprised me. There are other romances happening!!! I got really excited about that! Some characters, like Tariq, Jahandar, and Irsa take on a larger part of the story. I love Irsa so much! She really changed the tone of this book. Mustafa-effendi, Sheikh Omar, and some new friends also deepen and change the story. It’s about more than just Shazi and Khalid and their forbidden, cursed love. It’s about truth, desire, real love, and responsibility. There are so many twists and turns and so many characters surprise you! I really can’t express how much I was moved by The Rose and the Dagger, you just need to read it and find out for yourselves!

By Kate Woods

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