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The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh - 3/5 Stars

I cannot begin to explain how sadden I was after reading this. It was a good book, but the standards were set so high with The Wrath and the Dawn that this just didn't have a change. The Wrath and the Dawn will be in my heart for a long time still 💗

The rose and the dagger takes up were The wrath and the dawn left off. Shahrzad and Khalid are separated from one another, and Khalid's kingdom is running the risk of being destroyed.

Tariq was an idiot. In the first book it is understandable that he acts the way he does. I felt for him. Here he is just stupid and it annoyed me to no end. At least he acknowledges his foolishness towards the end (albeit too late for me).

Jalal, a character I loved in the first book also annoyed me here. He was the more mature of the royal cousins, the more down to earth, and yet he acts like a spoiled kid. 

What saves the book is Shahrzad and Artan. Shahrzad because she continues to be the character I feel in love with in the first book: fierce troublemaker, protective and loving; and Artan because of the touch of magic and because he made me laugh to no end. He added a lightness to an otherwise very intense story. 
Renee Ahdieh storytelling skills still are a thing of wonder! Each of the tales in the book is prettier and more enchanting than the other. 

All in all I wanted a lot more of Shahrzad and Khalid and a lot less of Tariq, the war, and Shahrzad sister. The whole romance with her sister annoyed me because it took page time that could be given to Khalid. I missed him the whole book!!!!! he was there, but  nowhere near enough.

SPOILER:

“As her thumb brushed over the etchings carved into the jade, Shahrzad tried her best to ignore the undeniable weight settling around her heart.
The weight of realization.
And the thrill of certainty.
I’m going home.”

“How much time had she wasted being afraid on the balcony?
Enough.
Squaring her shoulders, Shahrzad started for the screens—
And they slid open.
She halted in her tracks, refusing to look up.
Shahrzad knew it was Khalid. She sensed rather than saw him.
As always. As ever. As a rose to the sun.”

“His eyes gleamed molten gold. And they said all without a word.
Shahrzad drew her sodden waves to one side, splashing water by his feet.
“I’m sorry!” She wrinkled her nose. “That was—”
He pulled her in to his chest, a hand tangling through her hair. The beat of his heart rang loud and true against her cheek. The only measure of time that mattered.
She exhaled fast only to inhale deep. To breathe in his scent. The scent of sandalwood and sunshine. Her fingers moved across his skin, making memories of their own. The hands of a master swordsman. The lips of her greatest love. The heart of a king.
“Khalid.”



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