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I love stories where two people fall for each other when they're from different stations or different levels within society. It just goes to show that we aren't our rank. We're an actual person who is no better or less than our neighbor.
The captain of the guard, Jalal, has quite the reputation. He's known as being a rake and someone who isn't tied down to just one woman. Despina is a handmaiden who doesn't have time for Jalal and his fleeting interests. I love how strong Despina was and how she always stood her ground.
These two struck up a flirty banter between one another and it was adorable to watch. Even in such a small story, I was able to feel their emotions for one another. I even wish they had their own full story to learn what happens next. Despina despite her best intentions falls for the captain of the guard. It was adorable to watch and it had me begging for more.
This review can be found on my blog, Reader Rayna, as well as Goodreads.
This short story had me holding my breath and my heart racing. I thought that this was such a better short story than the last, and I was not disappointed.
This story follows the handmaiden, Despina, and the Captain of the Royal Guard, Jalal. Both of these individuals have their own tasks with which they have to think about and attend, and then when they run into each other one day, it seems like it just goes from there.
Despina, though I was weary of her in The Wrath and the Dawn, turned out to be a really intelligent young woman with a strong will and a sharp tongue, and this short story definitely continued to show that. I enjoyed reading from Despina's point of view to see what it was like serving the calipha and her interactions with Jalal. It was funny at first, playful even, and then things became more serious as time progressed.
Even Jalal was likable in this story! I don't really remember what I felt for him when I read the main book, but in this one we got to see a couple glimpses from his point of view and we got to learn a little bit more about him and his... "reflections." He's funny and tries to be charming, and I love how Despina can disarm him with her own retorts.
What made me really enjoy this was the heart racing moments they had together, for sure. There was one scene in particular that I was like, "Yesyesyes!" I also enjoyed reading about Despina's interactions with the calipha because we got to see a little bit of who this girl was before the things that happened in the main book. I wish that their relationship could have turned into somewhat of a friendship, but it didn't happen that way.
I just wish that the last chapter could have been a little different? I'm not really sure what I was expecting... Well, I do know what I was expecting, but it didn't happen the way I hoped, so I'm disappointed only in that aspect, haha! But otherwise I think that seeing the progression of time and feelings was useful. I only wish there could have been one more chapter in between the last two to further dive into Despina's, and even Jalal's, feelings of one another.
Overall, I think this short story added to the main one because we got to get more from two of the important side characters. I loved this a lot and highly recommend it if you've read The Wrath and the Dawn.
Deciding I would read Renee Ahdieh’s The Rose and the Dagger as my next read, I first decided I would read the mini novellas that she wrote to help myself get reacquainted with the world again! The Moth and the Flame is the first one of these novellas and was so far quite entertaining!
This story here tells us of how Despina and Jalal meet. Granted, since I need to see if I can find a summary/recap of book one I can’t quite remember these characters well. But even when reading this one, I felt the tiny tickles of memory kicking in! Despina is a strong willed young woman who will not be swayed the “playboy” guard, Jalal. But sadly, she falls victim to his whims. But the same can be said of Jalal. He’s not used to hearing no from a pretty girl and Despina intrigues him.
We see Despina interact a little with one of the fated wives but soon we see her death and the horrors that will continue to take place afterwards. And of course we end the story with the twist that brings Despina and Shazi together!
Overall, a fun little read that is sure to delight fans of the series and wanting to know more about our secondary characters!
Renee is one of my most all-time favorite authors. I first read her work of “The Wrath and the Dawn” and fell in love with the beautiful earthly and rich style of her writing. She breathes such colors and life into the pages, and I am swept away. Naturally from the start, I had a soft spot for both Despina and Jalal, and when I found out Renee was writing this, I HAD TO PREORDER!
I was not disappointed. It was everything I hoped about Jalal and Despina and more. Renee created such endearing characters whose wit and yet yearn for love made them so addicting. I love the story of these two so much. I am fangirling…In the same manner, Renee’s “The Moth and the Flame” is just as beautiful as the rest of her piece of works. I love how Jalal and Despina met, loved their banter and wager, and finally, loved their love.
There aren’t many female characters in stories that have such strength and intelligence as Despina, and I loved her from the start of “The Wrath and the Dawn.” Seeing her here is such a treat. I loved how this story unfolded, connected, and weaves towards “The Wrath and the Dawn”, and in its way, also connects to the highly anticipated, “The Rose and the Dagger”. I did not want the short story to end, but as most stories, I understand another chapter must close for another one to begin. Thank you for such a lovely story, Renee! I can’t wait for the release of “The Rose and the Dagger”!
In the thousands & thousands of books I have read, never have I found a retelling of a story so captivating that I have not only read it once but as soon as I purchased all of the published novella's plus the books 1 & 2 (& pre-ordered 3) that I started reading it again. Mrs. Ahdieh brings you deep into her characters lives, you feel what they feel, each one is well developed that each are easily believed to have been the original characters. The story follows so wonderfully that you are trapped and cannot escape until the last word. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this version of the A Thousand and One Nights! Book Hangover 10+ because I'll reread this many times & pre-ordered the next!