“Cut the strings, Shazi. Fly.”
As a person who generally cannot stand sappy, romance novels, Ahdieh’s first book, The Wrath and The Dawn was surprisingly enjoyable. The Wrath and The Dawn turned out to be an addictive and believable romance, and also contained a fantastic female character, which should be credited to Ahdieh’s writing talent.
The series is based on A Thousand and One Nights, and its sequel, The Rose and The Dagger was just as entertaining as the first.
The Rose and The Dagger begins immediately where The Wrath and The Dawn left off. Shahrzad, the Calipha of Khorasan, has been reunited with her family and her childhood sweetheart in the desert. Her husband, Khalid, is left behind to rule over his ruined city. Throughout the story, Shahrzad and Khalid must use their friends and magical resources to break the curse that hangs over Khalid and his land. They have to face a multitude of enemies, which include some characters we thought that we could trust. The Rose and The Dagger manages to combines magic, adventure, and romance in a beautiful blend.
The sequel was most definitely worthy of its predecessor. Despite a slow start, the book managed to stay true to its original origins and eventually, it got to the explosive action promised at the end of the first book. Old characters that were reintroduced from The Wrath and The Dawn felt like lost friends, while new characters never felt unnecessary or bothersome. It was great to see the author take underdeveloped characters from the first book, like Shahrzad’s sister Irsa, and give them a larger role in the story. Irsa’s character growth was impressive and she was one of the most relatable character’s in the series.
Throughout the book, Shahrzad is unrelenting, fierce, and brave, and there needs to be more female role models like her in the books we read. She is unapologetic about her actions and does what she believes is right. She remains my favourite character in the series.
It was pleasing to see how well the sequel turned out and fans of the first book will find it enjoyable also. Despite it being such a great story, it is good the author only planned it as a duology since it ends on a perfect note and managed to wrap everything up in a golden bow.
Her next book, Flame in the Mist, will be released this May.