It started as playful, if barbed, banter before rising to a fateful wager with a most notorious rake—the Captain of the Guard, Jalal al-Khoury—who may have finally met his match in a lovely, if haughty, handmaiden, Despina. But she, too, seems to have met her match in the handsome Jalal. What begins as a tempestuous battle of will and wit in short order becomes a passionate affair spurred on by tragedy of the worst kind.
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!
Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars