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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.
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!
"When a ray of afternoon sun struck its surface, the flash of light drew him toward her, like a moth to a flame." (Pos. 178)
"The Moth and the Flame" ist eine weitere ebook-Short Story zu Renée Ahdiehs zweiteiliger Reihe "The Wrath and the Dawn" und "The Rose and the Dagger". Beide Bücher habe ich bereits begeistert gelesen und der Abschied von Khalid und Shahrzad fiel mir daher recht schwer. So war ich froh über jedes Zusatzmaterial.
Die Geschichte spielt vor "The Wrath and the Dawn". Noch ist Khalid mit Ava verheiratet und noch gibt es keinen Fluch, doch schon bald spitzen sich die Ereignisse dramatisch zu. Während dieser Zeit begegnen sich Despina, Avas Dienerin, und Jalal, Captain der königlichen Garde. Frauenheld Jalal ist sofort fasziniert von Despina, doch diese lässt ihn erstmal abblitzen und schlägt ihm eine Wette vor. Jalal ist siegessicher, doch Despina ist clever und alles kommt anders als gedacht.
Das Ganze ist mit 37 Seiten natürlich sehr kurz, liest sich aber dennoch angenehm. Viel Neues birgt die Handlung auch nicht, aber Despina und Jalal sind ein schönes Paar und die Romantik kommt nicht zu kurz.
Insgesamt kann ich daher "The Moth and the Flame" als Ergänzung zur Reihe empfehlen und vergebe 4 Sterne. Am besten liest man die Kurzgeschichte zwischen Band 1 und 2.
This was my favourite of all the novellas for this series. I loved seeing how Jalal and Despina's relationship developed. I love Despina's reaction to Jalal's cheesy flirting and the way it developed was actually adorable.
The only reason it didn't get the full 5 stars was because I wished we saw more of the actual love affair (no joke, I would read an entire companion novel about these two because they are so cute) but I really loved the end with Despina declaring that her child would bow to no-one.
The Moth and the Flame gives a little bit more background about Despina and Jalal. It also includes the timeline before Shahrzad weds Khalid, prior to the death of a new bride at each dawn. Although Despina is not privy to what's going on behind the scenes, it is entertaining to read about how she met Jalal and the backstory to them from The Wrath and the Dawn.
I love reading the back story about these two characters, but it only gave you snipets of their back story and would jump ahead sometimes months or years. Would love a book just for them. Hope that we get to see more of them together in the second book.