It’s been a while since I read these two, but I’ve tried to present my thoughts here as accurately as possible. As a duology, The Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh are fantastic and complement each other perfectly. I gave five stars to both books on Goodreads. The story was inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, and I love books that incorporate different elements of old legends or myths. It heightens the “magical” atmosphere.
Ahdieh’s writing is breathtaking – both in the novel and in the tales Shazi tells to Khalid. Ahdieh’s prose style is so distinct and her descriptions so lush. I remember picking up another book after finishing this duology, and the other author’s writing seemed so bland compared to Ahdieh’s! Her descriptions of food are especially mouth-watering. On the nights where Shazi tells King Khalid short snippets of a tale, I, too, was eager to turn the pages to “listen” and find out what would happen next. Ahdieh’s stories are well-paced, with a good balance between action and romance.
Shazi and Khalid were awesome together! The third-person POV didn’t bother me. I still felt a deep emotional connection to both of the main characters. At the beginning of the first book, Shazi is filled with deep hatred for Khalid, blaming him for the death of her friend. But by the second book, their love for each other has grown into something that is able to overcome the hatred and lives lost. There are plenty of romantic scenes with sizzling tension. Shazi becomes determined to find a solution to Khalid’s illness, the result of a curse placed upon him. Her magical skills really blossom in the second book as well, and I loved the magic carpet!
Meeting the Author
Last year, I had the opportunity to meet Renee Ahdieh at an author event held at Politics and Prose. After glancing back over my notes from the talk, I thought some of my notes might complement this post nicely.
It’s always exciting when we get to meet an author in person! It reminds us that they’re not just a name on the cover of a book! When I met Ahdieh, she seemed really relaxed and funny. It was fascinating to hear her talk about the “research” that she did for her books. For her first duology, she said she studied weaponry a little bit. She learned about falconry and even tried mounted archery!
Ahdieh even gave some advice for aspiring writers. People-watching is important, because you will see how people interact in real life and be able to incorporate this into your writing – even if you write fiction. It can aid in the development of characters’ relationships and interactions with each other. If you have writer’s block, Renee also suggested getting inspiration by trying new foods and traveling whenever possible. I think all of the advice points listed above are great for struggling writers. Any additional thoughts or comments?