Friday, August 5, 2016

Jen, Moriah, and Ambur's Excellent Read-a-long Adventures: THE ROSE & THE DAGGER - Review & Playlist!

Hello, hello! 

Sooo....I've been a pretty bad blogger lately, and I haven't been posting at all this summer, but today I have an extra awesome post to share!! Jen, Moriah, and I have continued our read-a-long adventures with the sequel to The Wrath & the Dawn, THE ROSE & THE DAGGER! We decided that for this one we would share our reviews and also our own fanmade playlists with however many songs we wanted that reminded us of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER!

So...let's get straight to it! 



THE ROSE & THE DAGGER
(The Wrath & The Dawn #2)
by Renée Ahdieh

Source: Borrowed from the library.
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Number of Pages: 416 (Hardcover)


Description from Goodreads:

The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.

Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.

The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.



MY REVIEW

I absolutely LOVED the first book in this duology, THE WRATH & THE DAWN, so I was extremely eager to pick up THE ROSE & THE DAGGER! I was hoping for vibrant prose, excellent characterization, and some seriously high-stake situations similar to the first book and Renée Ahdieh didn't disappoint!

THE ROSE & THE DAGGER was just as magical, and amazing as the first book⎯I really didn't want it to end! It was exactly what I could have hoped for, but I definitely wouldn't have minded if it were longer. I don't think I can ever get enough of Shazi, Khalid, Jalal, and Despina! As soon as I started reading, I didn't want to put it down and I was so glad to be back in the wonderful world that Renée Ahdieh created!

This book begins just slightly after THE WRATH & THE DAWN left off, and the rapid pace Ahdieh established in the first book just keeps going! I loved seeing both Shazi and Khalid grow in their own parts of the story, but I loved when they worked together even more. I ship those two so much! AS always, I love how feisty and strong Shazi is. She never faiths to make me grin like a madwoman with her witty and quick remarks...and I really loved seeing Khalid come into his role! I also loved seeing him interact with more of the characters. While the first book is pretty much confined to the palace in Rey, THE ROSE & THE DAGGER expands over a much larger area. Jalal and Despina are still my favourite secondary characters in this duology, but I also really loved getting to see Shazi's sister, Irsa, in THE ROSE AND THE DAGGER! She didn't have much of a role in the first book, but in this one, she really comes into her own!

Sequels are always a bit tough to review because I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm being rather vague, but just know that I loved this book! I loved the characters, the story, the magical elements, the little tie-ins with One Thousand and One Nights, and the writing itself! I absolutely adore Renée Ahdieh's writing style, and her characterization is wonderfully dynamic⎯even amidst her minor characters, there isn't a flat character in the whole bunch!

Overall, I absolutely loved both THE WRATH & THE DAWN, and THE ROSE & THE DAGGER! This is one duology where both books equally pack an absolutely epic punch, and the ending will leave you satisfied...but possibly also eager for more, just like me!


MY PLAYLIST

1. "A Whole New World" - Aladdin Soundtrack (Disney)

I just simply couldn't resist putting this song on my playlist...it's ridiculous yes, but I honestly kept singing it in my head throughout several parts of the book. Once you read it, I'm sure you'll know the parts I mean. hahah

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2. "Icarus" - Bastille (from All This Bad Blood)

I'm a HUGE Bastille fan, so I pretty much adore all of their songs. "Icarus" is a particular fave of mine, and it definitely reminded me of one of Shazi's stories, so when I was thinking of a playlist for THE ROSE & THE DAGGER, this song immediately came to mind.

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3. "Demons" - Imagine Dragons (from Night Visions - Deluxe Edition)

Imagine Dragons is another of my favourite artists, and I think "Demons" is pretty much the PERFECT song to describe Khalid and the complexities in his past which have led him to the path that he's been on before he met Shazi. Want to know more about those demons? Well, my lips are sealed, you'll have to read the books to find out. ;) haha

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4."Treacherous" - Taylor Swift (from Red - Deluxe Edition)

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a big Taylor Swift fangirl, too. haha Anytime I think of romance in books, I tend to think of T-Swift songs, but I think this song is extremely fitting for Shazi and Khalid. Their love really is treacherous...and I love that. Take out the modernizations in this song, and this song is even more perfect! :D

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5."All of the Stars" - Ed Sheeran (from x - Deluxe Edition)

Ah, Ed Sheeran. I really just CANNOT make a playlist without an Ed song, and I think that this song is another one that fits well with Shazi and Khalid.

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6. "Strange Magic" - Darren Hayes (from Ella Enchanted Soundtrack)

This is another one of my silly picks for my playlist. There's a bit of magic going on in this duology, and I thought that "Strange Magic" added a nice levity to those scenes.

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7. "Haven't Met You Yet" - Michael Bublé (from Crazy Love)

 This song totally reminds me of Jalal and Despina....I can totally picture Jalal singing this song before he met her, and after I think he would change the words to "Hadn't met you yet"...he's such a charmer that I just know he'd totally pull something like that. ;D

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8.  "Let Her Go" - Passenger (from All the Little Lights)

 Another song that reminds me of Jalal. That's all I'll say because I don't want to give away any spoilers. ;)

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9. "She Is" - The Fray (from How to Save a Life)

I feel like this song completely embodies how Khalid feels about Shazi...and just listening to this song with them in mind gives me ALL the feels!!!

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10. "Teardrop" - Newton Faulkner (from Hand Built by Robots)

This happens to be one of my absolute favourite songs about love. It's a song with simple lyrics, but it never fails to make me smile and to move me, so I'd just apply this song to all of the couples in this books, but it definitely reminds me of Irsa's storyline the most. :)

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11. "Brave" - Tawgs Salter (from The Vampire Diaries soundtrack)

This is also one of those songs that I just love so freaking much, so I pretty much think of it whenever I want to make a playlist, so I may be biased, but I think it fits, too. Again, this one is perfect for Irsa⎯it's all about being brave, especially in love.

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12. "Heart Like Yours" - Willamette Stone (from If I Stay Soundtrack)

First, I really wish Willamette Stone was a real band...their songs are my favourites on the If I Stay soundtrack, and second, this song is PERFECT for Khalid! I think it really embodies his feelings for Shazi. :)

Listen to my playlist on 8tracks, here: http://bit.ly/2aHCAKm




Don't forget to check out Jen's (The Book-Nook) and Moriah's (Feel Your Books) posts, too! 

What do you think?
Have you read THE WRATH & THE DAWN and THE ROSE & THE DAGGER yet?
If not, do you want to?

And what did you think of my playlist?
Do you have any songs that you'd add to a playlist for either/both books in THE WRATH & THE DAWN duology?