Today I visited Darque Dreamer Reads when I spotted this monthly blog event called Calendar Girls and hosted by Melanie Bernard and Flavia The Bibliophile.
As I’m a sucker for calendar girls, pin ups and retro I headed over their blog and now I’m hooked on this event.
Again this is a perfect event/tag/meme call it like you want as it’s simple and does not ask lots of time to build!
Guidelines are easy: each month there is a theme voted on. Bloggers then write posts about a book fitting that theme. The best part (hopefully) will be the discussions on our picks as we’ll visit the other bloggers and comment their choices 😀
The choices are meant to be posted the first Wednesday of each month on our individual blogs. I’m late to the party this months since I just found out about it today.
I can’t wait to meet some new bloggers and chat books! Please visit Melanie and Flavia (links above) for more information and to show their amazing blogs some love! Just hop on Darque Dreamer Reads as well as I looove her bookstagrams!
So this month’s Calendar Girls theme was Best Sequel.
As this is a sequel I guess we have to find a “duology” and not a triloly or an “X”logy. I’m choosing The Rose and The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh!
Here is my review to convince you this is the best sequel!
Rating 5 stars minimum!
It was Persian tale at its best, complete with magic boys, winged serpents, flying carpets …
This is the end of this incredibly beautiful and poetic story. I loved the writing in “The Wrath and The Dawn” and I still savored every word, every single sentence in “The Rose and the Dagger”. When I read in the acknowledgments the author is friend with Marie Rutkoski, Sabaa Tahir, Marie Lu and Victoria Aveyard among others, it did not astonish me as Renée Ahdieh ‘s story teller talent is undeniable.
The Rose and The Dagger begins where the first book left us. Khorasan is in ruin after the attack and Shahrzad has left with Tariq to go to the desert encampment to find her father and sister. She believes they are doomed and does not want to inflict more pain and destruction to the Khorasan’s people in staying with the boy with the tiger eyes. Khalid helps rebuilding his city, needing action and movements as he is missing Shahrzad like a man would miss the air he breathes.
”Because nothing hurt like missing her. He suspected nothing ever would.”
The first book has been a slow entrancing building of this world, of the relationships between the characters. It’s set the background of Shahrzad and Khalid’s love story and hinted at several plots against the boy-king. This sequel is faster paced as everything is heading against a confrontation that would decide Khalid’s fate as the King of Kings. Should the monster live?
I was so certain of many things in the first book, of unbreakable friendship and unwavering allies but the author made me doubt every certainties I had. In the aftermath of the terrible events and Shahrzad’s departure, many events will be set into motion, like a domino set falling one by one. Some friendship will be tested and severed.
”Keep watch over your shoulder, Khalid-jan. Because for the first time in eighteen years, I won’t be there to watch it for you.”
Betrayals will come from people you least expected. I could not believe what I’ve read and I was at loss with many turns of event.
One thing was set in stone: Shahrzad’s determination to break the curse plaguing her beloved boy king. She’ll move heaven and earth, meet magus and sorceress, ride her threadbare flying carpet to save Khalid. I love Shahrzad as she is audacious, loyal, fierce, smart and caring. Her love for Khalid was unwavering, what I did like tremendously as it’s the focal point of this story. And I hate love triangle!
Poor Tariq is hurting as he realized he could never win Shazy back :
”Tariq understood. Completely. In a rather short letter, the Caliph of Khorasan had managed to put to words exactly how Tariq had always felt about the only girl he’d ever loved. Had always felt but never managed to say with quite such simple eloquence. These were not the words of a madman. For the first time, Tariq saw what Shahrzad saw when she looked at Khalid Ibn al-Rashid. He saw a boy. Who love a girl. More than anything in the world. And he hated him all the more for it.”
For several hours, I was enthralled by this tale and couldn’t simply put down this book. I was living in the desert, flying in the sky, trying to control magic and willing to do everything in my power to lift the curse of my true love and be able to live in my kingdom alongside the boy king with tiger eyes.
”The sky was awash in orange and pinks. Brilliant colors that should have warmed her. Should have brought a smile to her face. She’s always loved dusk. It was as though a hand in the sky had pulled the sun from its berth… only to have the sun fight back, resisting, leaving a trace of itself to fade among the stars.”
Thank you Mrs Ahdieh for this exceptional journey.
Next month’s Calendar Girls theme is Best Shakespeare Play! It will be a tough one for me as I haven’t read any of his plays but just know of Romeo and Juliet. 😉
What a fun idea. Would you believe I have book one in my TBR pile and have not cracked it open yet? Thanks for sharing Sophie
Thank you! And yes I can believe you as my TBR on my Kindle is a never ending story 😉
Such a great review!! I need to start book 1 in this series soon!
Oh yes and I bet you’ll love it! Thank you 🙂
Gahhhhh YES! I have this series sitting on my shelf since last year, and I really NEED to get to reading it! I’m going to request a lot less ARCs for the rest of the year, just so I can get to the books that I own and have not yet read. It’s kind of ridiculous how many of those I have to get to.
I love that you picked this book, and thank you very much for joining Calendar Girls! We’re so happy to have you! 😀
And I’m very happy to “play” with you all Flavia! As far as ARCs are concerned I sometimes request too many and then I’m all “Hell how will I do to read everything on time!!!” LOL
Hi Sophie, This sounds quite fun. And, since it’s only once a month, it’s actually quite doable. I really enjoyed The Rose and The Dagger too!!! Ahdieh’s new book–Flame in the Mist– is set in Japanese culture and sounds quite intriguing. Thanks for sharing. ~Lonna @ FLYLēF
You’re welcome Lonna and don’t hesitate to join the event 😉
Hey, Sophie! I’m so glad you decided to join Calendar Girls! 😀 I have not yet read this duology, but I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it enough to pick its sequel as the best. It’s been on my TBR for a while. Perhaps I’ll have to bump it up higher on the list. 😉
Oh! Just wanted to let you know that we actually switched reveal posts to the first Monday of the month, but you are welcome to post any time during the month. The first Monday is just when Flavia and I will be getting our posts up to reveal the next month’s theme and to show our picks! 🙂
Also, we’re hosting a Twitter chat on Monday, May 15th at 7PM EST regarding this month’s theme! Feel free to join us if you’re available. (#CGBChat)
Thank you Melanie, I’ll join you on Twitter! And sorry I saw the update too late. I’ve already changed it in my planning (blogging is a serious business LOL). <3