Sparks fly again with The Rose and the Dagger by the amazing Renee Ahdieh. As if I could not fall in love with the characters more... but then she reels you back in and reintroduces and breaks your heart once more. Despite everything against the two, Shazi and Khalid are an amazing couple and even more amazing people apart too. After the crazy events of the first book, The Wrath and the Dawn, you now get a glimpse of who they are as individuals along with how they fit into their everyday lives. You get to see the relationship between Shazi and her sister Irsa and the love and bond that is so clearly there. It is such an accurate depiction of the relationship between siblings it made me want to reach for my phone and call my own sisters. While those two women are dealing with their own issues and everything that comes along with war and uncertainty, you also get a view into Khalid and the love for his people that he has been smothering for years. Seriously though... adorable. Together or separate, the two main characters grow and thrive despite their situations and blossom into completely fantastic people. Shazi gets put through the wringer in this book, yet never loses grip of who she is and what she will do for the best of everyone and for the people she loves. Despite multiple betrayals, she keeps her head high and proves that she is truly the Calipha of Khorasan.
Once again with remnants of The Arabian Nights sprinkled throughout, the tale of these lovers is sprinkled in with magic, danger, and intrigue with curses, dragons, magic carpets, and mystical beings. As sad as I am that this tale appears to be over, I could not be happier with the summary and how well she answered such an intricate storyline. This one is definitely going on my re-read shelf because this is one love story I will never grow tired of.