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The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh is the sequel to the luscious Thousand Nights retelling, The Wrath and the Dawn. I listened to both on audiobook and enjoyed them, though the focus of this story is clearly more on the romantic relationship and less on the awesome magic for my taste ;-).

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Rose and the Dagger from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh Audiobook {3.5 Stars}

The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Narrated by Ariana Delawari
(The Wrath and the Dawn #2)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on April 26th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Page Length: 420 pages
Audio Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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.

3.5 Stars


  • I was so happy to see a lot more magic in this sequel. My main complaint with book one was that the magic was hinted at, but only barely addressed by the end of the book. I really wanted to see all of the magic that this world contained, and was happy that Shahzi got to find out a lot about her own magic.
  • I feel like a lot more time was given to secondary characters this time around. Various characters get their own chapters, which was nice for letting us find out about their motivations and thoughts. Particularly it was nice to get to know Shahzi’s sister since she didn’t appear much in the previous book.
  • The narration of these two stories is pretty good. The female narrator is able to convey the voices of the male characters well and has a variety of voices she uses for the different characters.
  • I didn’t actually realize that this was only a duology until of course things ended quite clearly. I found the ending satisfying and am glad that this was kept to two books since that seems the right amount of pages to tell this story.


  • I have just never felt connected to this romance. They are like the couple that I’m aware of in my friend group but not really close to either of them and therefore don’t really care how their relationship is going. The pull of this story is definitely the fraught romance, so that kept me from feeling all that involved.
  • Given the focus on the romance, the magic wasn’t explored as much as I wanted it to be. There seemed to be several different types of magic and I have no idea how they relate to one another or what the limits of Shahzi’s power are. I just want to know everything about it!
  • There were some plot devices that felt a bit gimmicky to me. I can’t get into them without majorly spoiling things, so I won’t, but I was not surprised by any of the main plot developments since they are rather tried-and-true events in fantasy.


The Rose and the Dagger is an enjoyable audiobook for fans of romantic fantasy. If you enjoyed book one, you’ll obviously love book two, especially if you just wanted a bit more magic ;-).

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Nice! I still need to read this one myself! I’ve been hearing lots of good things about it. Sad to hear the magic takes a backseat to the story. I still can’t wait to read this one though! As well as the prequel novellas! Those are piled up on my kindle as well! LOL! Again, very nice review!
    Jessica @ a GREAT read recently posted…It’s Monday! What are You Reading?My Profile

  2. Ooooh, very curious about this one. The magic was one of the few things I didn’t like about the first book; it’s existence was hinted at, but it also didn’t feel like part of the world, and so when it did come up, it felt very abrupt. I do like the idea of seeing more duologies rather than just trilogies; a lot of the time there’s “second book syndrome” with trilogies.
    Grace Troxel recently posted…It’s that time again… Mini-Reviews!My Profile

  3. I made some of the same points in my review of The Rose & The Dagger (which posts tomorrow at the blog but is already up at Goodreads). The magic was wonderfully addressed in the first half, then only an afterthought in the second half. And after reading this book, I’ve realized that romance-centric fantasy really isn’t my thing. I mean, I love a good love story, but there needs to be more to the rest of the book besides that. :/
    Sara L. recently posted…Looking for Suggestions for This Year’s BlogoversaryMy Profile

  4. It’s funny because usually, you know (or I think you do heh) that I’m exactly like you when it comes to romance heavy stories. Reading your reviews for book 1 & 2 I’m nodding like: yep, this could easily be me! I don’t know why the first book ended up working so well for me, and since I haven’t read this one^^ yet, I’m wondering if it’ll hold true! Loved reading your thoughts beforehand :)
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Once Was A TimeMy Profile

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