My hope with this book was, that it would draw me into the luxuriousness of the Orient. No doubt, this novel is written in a wonderful flowery style and shows a world of secrets, danger, and power. After reading the first book, it was somehow clear to me, that I wanted to read this second book too. My hope was, that it might change my feelings for the author´s writing style. Well …

The Rose And The Dagger*
by Renée Ahdieh
The Wrath And The Dawn #2
Publisher G.P. Putnam´s Sons on April 26, 2016
Genre Novel
Pages 432
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust. In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse – one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid´s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan. While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn´t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.
Shahrzad wants to do everything in her power, to free Khalid from the curse that is threatening her love. But the only way to achieve that is to destroy what her father holds dear since the fire that destroyed almost all of Ray. And with her enemies nearby Shahrzad and Khalid have not only to fight for their love but also to stop a war that would do no good to the land.

I admit it open and honest that Renée Ahdieh has, without any doubt, a very poetic language. She creates a scenery that brings you closer to the heat of the desert, lets you feel the cold of ice and snow, and brings you down to the wet and dark of a dungeon. But I also have to admit, that her style is probably not mine. 

Too opulent and too long.

Don´t get me wrong here. I liked some scenes very much and enjoyed the way they were displayed. But most of the time I was literally struggling to get this book done. And the fact that there was a lot of hate to feel wasn´t making things better. Sometimes I thought why is that person feeling like this again? Or how in the world can a person be that annoying?

Holy heck, Irsa, you are a real pain in the ass. I was so dang close to take you and throw you against the next wall, jeeez. How can a figure be so obtrusive, so brat and still believe that it is for the good of her family? 

Not sure if the author wanted her figures to be like that, or what she really intended to show. But in the end, I only felt some kind of respect for Shahrzad because of her courage, her strength, and the will to do everything in her power to get her happy end.

Despite all the grandeur and melodic language the author showed, this novel wasn´t really for me. Sad to say it, but I can´t feel for this story all the excitement other readers have. Yes, I liked the pages where the love between Shahrzad and Khalid was to see and I was one second shocked while reading that scene at the end. But nonetheless, this is not what I call a page-turner. Sorry, only a bit more above average for me.

Happy reading

*I read the German edition Rache und Rosenblüte published by One on March 16, 2017 

Renée Ahdieh
Renée Ahdieh ©Chuck Eaton Photography

Renée Ahdieh is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; consequently, Renée enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charleston, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog. She is the author of The Wrath and the Dawn. 



  1. I love the idea of Ahdieh's poetic language and grandeur, but I understand what you mean about plodding through too much of it! I've got the first book to read soon hopefully so will see how that one goes

    1. The author has a wonderful writing style, no question. Her novels are just not really for me. Sometimes the time for a book must be right, maybe it was the wrong time for me to read them. But for you it might be the perfect book. Hope you´ll enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by.


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