Finally Finished The Rose & The Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

Magic, politic, poetic, all in one. "From the stars, to the stars," this book said.

Disclaimer: My review below will contain some spoilers for the first book, The Wrath & The Dawn by Renée Ahdieh. That being said, don't scroll down if you haven't picked it up first.

Following where we left off in the first installment, The Rose & The Dagger starts when Shahrzad is no longer living in Rey. She is now reunited with her Baba Jahandar, her sister Irsa, and also her first love Tariq who surprisingly have found refuge in the desert after a powerful storm battered the city. With everyone around her thirsting for revenge, Shahrzad realizes that she needs to do something to break Khalid's curse and save the entire kingdom immediately.

I had admittedly set my expectation a little too high, starting off. It didn't exactly end badly to tell you the truth but when I decided to level down the bar a little bit, I did find myself enjoying the plot a lot more. Albeit a bit slow, the progression was surprisingly as great as the twists, though the thing I loved the most about this duology was still the same: it's how Khalid saw Shahrzad as his equal and not less. He valued her opinions and I found their love admirably explored in a sufficient proportion here.

If The Wrath & The Dawn made the romance between Shahrzad and Khalid the important highlight, the second installment took their love to another level with political issues under the main spotlight. Shahrzad was still as brave as ever (and a little careless at times) while Khalid was still being his complex self. The fact that the other characters got the same amount of personality development excited me too. Tariq especially captured a special spot in my heart. His emotion was raw and honest. Besides genuinely wanting him to be happy, I would love to read another book dedicated to him if possible.

Rahim and Irsa's relationship was quite adorable, while Jahandar whom I didn't like was believably progressed as well. For almost all parties, the ending was pretty well-deservedquite heartbreaking but still a good onethough the conclusion seemed a little too quick. In other words, reading this book felt like a ride through emotional obstacles and thrilling political decisions. Even the setting itself was giving me goosebumps the entire time.

In conclusion, some scenes in this book might bore me a little but all in all, The Rose & The Dagger was such a beautiful read for me. Even when the edition I picked up was the translated one, I could still grasp how poetic the writing style was. As a sequel, I would say that this book is a success. The story was touching and I obviously enjoyed it more than the first book.

Actual rating: 3.9