The Wrath & the Dawn
“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 didn’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
“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 but 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.