Book Reviews: The Wrath & the Dawn and The Rose & the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

The Wrath & the Dawn

Rating: 3.5/5

“Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”

After reading so many raving reviews for this novel, I was really excited to start it and a little disappointed when it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. I loved the exotic, Middle Eastern setting and intricate plot, but the story felt too predictable and I the-wrath-and-the-dawndidn’t like the heroine – Shahrzad – as much as I wanted to. I felt as though, considering the gravity of her mission, Shazi was too impulsive and forgiving with Khalid. Although I loved Khalid, I also found it a little unbelievable that Shahrzad was willing to give him another chance instead of actin upon blind rage; however, I suppose this displays one of Shazi’s greatest assets – her patience, which can be seen especially in The Rose & the Dagger (keep reading for review!). I also found it odd that Khalid was so enthralled with Shazi’s tales, as I didn’t find them particularly captivating. They were interesting, yes, but were they jaw-dropping and life-changing enough to sway a “monster” into sparing one’s life? I think not. I also felt as though Ahdieh dropped too many hints throughout the story (regarding Jahandar’s powers and Tariq’s plan), so many that there were really no plots twists or surprises (and I always love a great plot twist!). Overall, The Wrath & the Dawn was definitely dull for me, but hilarious, witty side characters like Jalal – Khalid’s cousin – and Despina – Shahrzad’s handmaiden – made the story enjoyable.

The Rose & the Dagger

Rating: 4.5/5

“From the stars, to the stars.”

I took my time starting this one – I had doubts after having such mixed feelings regarding The Wrath & the Dawn. After the first few chapters, though, I was hooked. The Rose & the Dagger engaged me in a way that The Wrath & the Dawn failed to do, as Shahrzad finally became the courageous, capable protagonist I’d always wanted her to be. The element of girl power is prominent in this novel, and I love how Ahdieh crafts not one the-rose-and-the-daggerbut multiple amazing female characters. The plot was also breathtakingly alive, filled with horrifying surprises and delicious twists. The Rose & the Dagger was everything The Wrath & the Dawn was not, and I’m grateful that Ahdieh decided to end the series with a sequel, as infinite series seems to be a trend in young adult literature; it’s truly a challenge to find a novel that isn’t a standalone or a trilogy or longer. I also loved the character development in this novel, as readers discover more about characters that were brushed aside in The Wrath & the Dawn – Irsa, Rahim, Despina, Yasmine, and the Rajput. Irsa and Rahim were portrayed in such a tender, sweet manner, and I found myself looking forward to scenes with them as much as those with Khalid and Shazi. All in all, The Rose & the Dagger is a must read, and I’d recommend this series to lovers of fantasies and spin-offs, as this book is loosely based on Aladdin and One Thousand and One Nights. I’ve come to adore spin-offs (check out my reviews for the Beauty and the Beast spin-off series, A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury, for evidence!), as one of my most anticipated, upcoming releases is Marissa Meyer’s Heartless, a spin-off on Alice in Wonderland.

~Niraja

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26 thoughts on “Book Reviews: The Wrath & the Dawn and The Rose & the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh

  1. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy TWATD as much as I did 😦 I loved it!! ❤ Unlike you, I started reading TWATD without having any particular expectation because I read it early on and there wasn't that much review about it. It was surprisingly good and so enchanting for me ❤ but I agree, why Khalid found Shazi's tale that enticing, it's beyond me. I guess it's just derived from the original story haha but I'm glad you enjor TRATD better! This is one of my favorite series of ever 😛

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  2. I agree, plot twists are so important, I love it when something happens in a book that you really didn’t see coming. The best books are the ones that keep you guessing too, so you come up with loads of theories and can’t wait for the author to reveal everything!! 🙂

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  3. I recently picked up a copy of A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnson, which is also a Scherezade retelling, but a standalone novel. I’ve been so into retellings lately! I wonder how these two will stand up to each other…

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  4. Going into a book with lots of expectations and being disappointed is never fun, I’m sad it was a bit the case here 😦 but I’m glad to hear that you still enjoyed the story. I absolutely LOVED Jalal, he was so much fun and I couldn’t stop smiling. I haven’t read the sequel yet, but your review makes me really impatient to buy it! I’m especially thrilled to hear there’s room for more character development, especially for some of the side characters. I can’t wait! Great reviews 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much, Marie! Yes, it never is fun, but I’m going to start trying to read all books with an open mind instead of setting high expectations so I can make the most out of my experience. 🙂 Jalal was one of my favorite characters, and there’s more of him (and everyone else) in TR&TD. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it once you get it!❤

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  5. I can see how you didn’t like TWAD very much. I didn’t have too many expectations for TRAD, so I liked the book well enough. Shazi was actually one of my favorite characters alongside Jalal and Despina, but I was having trouble falling in love Khalid. TRAD fixed that right up for me, though. The second was far more entertaining plot-wise and the first was great for romance. Great reviews! 😀

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  6. I’m late to this party, but: I’m always excited to meet someone else who isn’t 1000% in love with TWatD. Honestly, I disliked Wrath so much that I was pretty certain I’d never read Rose–but you’re the second or third person I’ve seen who didn’t totally love Wrath, and still enjoyed Rose. So maybe I’ll pick the sequel up eventually, myself. Thanks for the great reviews, and making me more hopeful about Rose! =)

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