The Moth and the Flame by Renée Ahdieh
Release date: March 22nd, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Length: 40 pages
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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.
This is the Renée Ahdieh that I love! I was a bit disappointed with the first short story, The Crown and the Arrow, because it was basically a retelling of a scene from The Wrath and the Dawn. Plus, only 9 pages?! It was waaaay too short my for liking. This short story was different and while I’ll always complain and say I want more, it was much more satisfying than the first.
Before I begin…I love this couple! They are super adorable and their banter in this novella was perfect. Jalal, the womanizer, definitely met his match with Despina. She gave as good as she got. I found myself grinning like a goof while reading their conversations. This just made me love these characters even more!
The story is basically about how Jalal and Despina met and fell in love. Their story is not fully explored in the The Wrath and the Dawn and Despina’s condition left me with tons of questions. Bonus, we get to find out more about Ava, the deceased Calipha of Khorasan. She seemed really miserable and my heart just broke for her. I would actually really enjoy a story from her point of view. Her death brings about the curse and explains Khalid’s actions.
I cannot wait for The Rose and the Dagger. I’m really curious as to where things will go for Jalal and Despina. Right now it seems like fate doesn’t want them to be together, but I’m hoping that better things are to come for this lovely couple.