The Rose & the Dagger – Renée Ahdieh (Review)

Title: The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam Sons Books for Young Readers, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy, YA Fairy Tale Retellings, YA Retellings

This review can be found on my BlogTeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page

My Review

This series…wow. I will say the second wasn’t as exciting as the first, but it was definitely a worthy read. I enjoyed it and I am sad to see it come to an end. Honestly, I was expecting a trilogy, lol!

So this is the second book in The Wrath & the Dawn series. You know what that means, right?

Yes, spoilers are possible, and they are quite unavoidable when doing a book review for a sequel. So I can try to dance around certain events that happen in this particular book, but the first book might get spoiled for you if you haven’t read it yet. So please proceed at your own peril…or just skim to the bottom and tell me how awesome my review is. Cause you know it is.  😂

All right. Fully ready? Here we go…

So Shahrzad (or Shazi as she will be referred to in hopes of making my typing much less strenuous) has fled from the palace. This happened previously in TW&TD. She is staying with her father (Baba) and her sister, Irsa, as well as Tariq, her childhood love. They all think they have saved her from a murderous monster. Which makes sense: until Shazi, the Caliph of Khoresan had been killing his brides at dawn for no apparent reason. But Shazi knows the truth; Khalid had been cursed by a former wife’s father for not loving her enough, which led to her suicide (I’m not going to go into details about the curse bc you need to read it yourself, foo’!). He stopped killing after Shazi, and the effects are immediate. Shazi and Khalid both think this is why Khoresan was attacked by lightning strikes…they don’t realize that Shazi’s father is to blame, and he has been playing with some very dark magic. 

To break the curse, Shazi sneaks away from the camp in the desert to go see the Fire mage, Musa. She hopes she can spare an impending war that Tariq has started, with the help of a nomadic badawi tribe as extra muscle. If they knew the real cause of all the deaths of the daughters of Rey…well, they might understand a little better. Or they might think Khalid is weak. So Shazi keeps her mouth shut and hopes Musa can help. 

This book focuses on gathering factions, impending war, and double-crosses. Shazi stays as fiery as ever, trying to save the King she loves so deeply. I won’t drop more spoilers…I’ll only say that Shazi’s father becomes an impediment more than a contribution. And black magic is involved. (Perfect for Halloween, right?)

Is It Classroom-Appropriate?

Yes. Once again this book is very good for classroom exploration. The original story can be compared to the modern adaptation. The culture is rich and ready to be explored. Classic dishes from the book (yes, the book constantly made me hungry…except for lamb. I don’t eat baby anything. Just was raised that way) could be prepared, and the language and practices discussed. It’s lacking any offensive material and would make for a good lesson plan, as long as it’s used in conjunction with the first book. You can’t use this book as a stand-alone; it requires the previous text to understand the events that transpire. 

Age Range:

This book is rated the same as the first one on HL690L. Once again, this just means that younger people will understand the words, but the concepts are mature. I, however, think the concepts aren’t that mature. Intimacy once again is only implied, and there is no swearing. Lexile recommends 14-17 (its almost always used age range), but I think 13 year olds could handle it. Once again, I would not feel troubled letting my 12 year old niece read this: it is a retelling of a famous story, and it is not gory or obscene. It sheds light on a culture that gets a bad rep, and while there is a serious fear of Arabic people nowadays, this book shows that there is so much beauty in the history of the region. I liked seeing a part of the world and its customs. 

End Result:

I only gave this one ★★★★☆. I’m not saying it’s bad, but it became a little predictable. Everything wraps up nicely for the most part. One shocking event but I won’t divulge. I’ll say that it took me longer to read this one than the first because I wasn’t as absorbed. Quick fixes were evident to many problems. But I do think that it warrants four stars, as it followed up and ended the series nicely. I do think there could have been more, but maybe I’m just greedy. Still a lovely book, and I would recommend it to anyone who read the first one. 

**New thing…I’m going to make my rating a little more obvious in my reviews now, so here’s my rating…**

Happy Reading! 😘

34 thoughts on “The Rose & the Dagger – Renée Ahdieh (Review)

  1. It’s funny – I haven’t read the series, but I read a review of this book earlier that said the exact opposite – that this was way more exciting for them than the first part 😀 It’s interesting how much opinions can differ, really! But that’s where the fun is 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know…I was expecting this one to blow me away…but I was like, eh. It was all right. It was like the first book, so it was good, but there were no stunning revelations or anything. The outcome was predictable. And that’s not necessarily bad: but with the first book, you never knew what was going to happen.
      So I’m in camp Book One! Lol. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Annie

    “I only gave this one ★★★★☆.” haha to me that’s super high! I even like books I only give *** 😛

    Oh, I’m glad you liked this but it’s a pity you didn’t enjoy it as much as the previous one 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know, it is still pretty high! Lol,
      I was just expecting to be blown away again…most of the time, each book in a series is better than the last. Maybe it was because it was part two, and everything got solved, and the stuff that got resolved was a little effortless.
      I guess it would’ve been fine for me if the two were combined,,,then it might’ve seemed a little more unexpected? Maybe? I don’t know! 🤔


  3. Great review, I’m really glad you enjoyed this book Stephanie though sorry it wasn’t as good for you as the first one was. I really loved this book, more than the first actually. I was really shocked by the ending, I didn’t see what Shazi’s father did actually coming, but I thought the ending tied up all the loose ends of Khalid and Shazi’s story quite nicely. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s kind of why I wasn’t AS impressed. I mean, still good, don’t get me wrong…it tied everything up nicely. But I was expecting a little more surprise.
      But all in all, I think the series is a good one, and would recommend and read again!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. No, that’s good! With sequels, and especially this one, since it’s the last one, it’s really hard to not spoil the first one for people. So I wanted to keep people who haven’t read the first book at bay. Once you read the first book, I think it’s safe.
      I just didn’t want to ruin it for those that hadn’t read The Wrath & The Dawn yet.
      I do hope you read it and like it! 😉


    1. Omg, I know! Too many books, so little time. I’ve had this checked out for two months! I’m so behind, lol!
      Next I’m reading Spindle, a book from Netgalley, and then I’ll return back to the library book pile!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You don’t eat baby anything? What about eggs? They could be counted for babies, no? 😀 hahaha…
    Great review as always, Teach! 🙂 I know enough about the story now I don’t need to read the books 😛 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, snap! You got me there, Boss! Damn! Now I feel like a hypocrite.
      My mom raised us not to eat lamb or veal, so we didn’t. She said baby animals were not for eating, but now that you mention it, eggs are babies that haven’t developed! I don’t know if I’ll look at eggs the same way again!
      🍳🍳🍳🍳🍳 Nm, I changed my mind. I was hungry. 😂
      Yeah, there’s nothing that would surprise you about the book now, I don’t blame you for passing on it! 😂

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Crikey! Love it! 😂 You never hear that here!
      Nah, I’m going to embrace my embryo eating. I ❤️ eggs. I think I’d rather be forced to eat veal and lamb than to stop eating eggs. Man, that shit is good!


    1. You are totally welcome!
      It’s really for those who haven’t read the first book…because the second goes right after the events of the first, and I don’t want to ruin the mystery of the first book. There’s a twist I don’t want to spoil for anyone!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bless you for announcing the spoilers! I scrolled right to the “Is it classroom appropriate?” part. I’m thinking now that some of my comments really weren’t here on your blog, so pardonnez-moi for that! I’m glad you mentioned the fear of Arabic people in here because people get so xenophobic about it that they will never discover the wonderful culture and hidden gems behind all of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate any comments you leave, Cappie!
      I’m not a fan of xenophobic people: I hate the problems with Muslims and the Middle East right now, just as much as I hate the problems with Jews there, too. Both have rich cultural heritage. I found these books mesmerizing with the culture and practices. I’m all for diversity in books, though I will admit I don’t purposely seek them out. If they come to me, then I’m happy to oblige and read them! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ❤ I know right, can't we all just get along?! Hahaha, is that an open invitation for people to start sending you diverse books? If so, that's a brilliant move. SEND ME SOME AS WELL GUYS!!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I was in the same frame of mind, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first! It felt like a different author wrote this as compared to The Wrath and the Dawn. It was so disappointing, at least for me. Great review though! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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