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The Moth & the Flame

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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 passionat 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.

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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 passionat 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.

30 review for The Moth & the Flame

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nat

    This review contains *spoilers* for The Wrath & the Dawn. And Renée Ahdieh does it again, she managed to make me laugh, tear up, and swoon in just under 6 chapters. Her books are seriously impossible to put down. I was reading little snippets here and there while working, which honestly wasn’t my brightest idea because I kept thinking of when I could just sit down and read this beautifully written short story. And long story long, it was definitely worth the wait. Renée gave me exactly what I w This review contains *spoilers* for The Wrath & the Dawn. And Renée Ahdieh does it again, she managed to make me laugh, tear up, and swoon in just under 6 chapters. Her books are seriously impossible to put down. I was reading little snippets here and there while working, which honestly wasn’t my brightest idea because I kept thinking of when I could just sit down and read this beautifully written short story. And long story long, it was definitely worth the wait. Renée gave me exactly what I wanted needed and I loved it! The Moth & The Flame follows Despina, an aspiring handmaiden to the new Calipha of Khorasan, Ava. We were first introduced to Ava in The Wrath & the Dawn as Khalid’s first wife that had perished, she was also what started the curse that was cast upon him. I’m glad that we got to visit Ava in this story because she really was a big part of Khalid’s past that we only heard a little of. “May I”—Despina took another step forward—“be so bold as to make another suggestion, my lady?” The calipha smiled, the gesture as simple and unhurried as all her others. “You do not strike me as someone who asks before doing something.” At that, Despina could not resist a laugh. ” But the main storyline is around Jalal and Despina. We get to visit their first time meeting and their hilarious interactions. I said it once and I will say it a hundred times more, Renée Ahdieh is amazing! She writes incredibly loveable characters that will break your heart and then mend it back piece by piece. “I work all the time,” he insisted, despite another dismissive roll of Despina’s eyes. “And I’d much rather fall to my death than admit a weakness to you.” “The captain of the Royal Guard wants to impress a lowly handmaiden?” “A clumsy young man wants to impress a beautiful young woman.” He met her gaze, his dark eyes piercing. “The question is, did it work?” The banter between those two is outstanding, I hope we’ll get to see more of them in The Rose & the Dagger. Speaking of, The Rose & the Dagger cannot come any sooner. *Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying The Moth & the Flame, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!* Support creators you love. Buy a Coffee for nat (bookspoils) with http://Ko-fi.com/bookspoils This review and more can be found on my blog.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Aj the Ravenous Reader

    3.5 stars Another beautifully written short story from Renee Ahdieh this time about Despina and Jalal, two characters I admire from The Wrath and the Dawn and this story made me adore them both even more. I’m afraid all these love stories are turning me into permanent mush and before that ever happens, I vow that the next book I’ll read after this week will be something really hardcore, really tough with lots of deaths and blood. P.S. Happy early birthday to my friend, Fatima! Her birthday is on 3.5 stars Another beautifully written short story from Renee Ahdieh this time about Despina and Jalal, two characters I admire from The Wrath and the Dawn and this story made me adore them both even more. I’m afraid all these love stories are turning me into permanent mush and before that ever happens, I vow that the next book I’ll read after this week will be something really hardcore, really tough with lots of deaths and blood. P.S. Happy early birthday to my friend, Fatima! Her birthday is on August 26.^^

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mikee Andrea (ReadWithMikee)

    Despina and Jalal are so adorable! I loved them so much in The Wrath and the Dawn and this novella made me fall in love with these two even more. These novellas will actually be the death of me because just like The Crown and the Arrow, this one wasn't even close to being long enough. But all the same, I'm relieved that it wasn't only 9 pages like the other. I'm glad we finally got to see how Despina and Jalal came to be. Ever since we find out about Despina's baby, I was ever so curious as to ho Despina and Jalal are so adorable! I loved them so much in The Wrath and the Dawn and this novella made me fall in love with these two even more. These novellas will actually be the death of me because just like The Crown and the Arrow, this one wasn't even close to being long enough. But all the same, I'm relieved that it wasn't only 9 pages like the other. I'm glad we finally got to see how Despina and Jalal came to be. Ever since we find out about Despina's baby, I was ever so curious as to how the spunky handmaiden was swept off her feet. I was actually afraid that The Moth and the Flame would ruin my likeness of this couple by making their relationship turn to instalove rather than leaving events to the imagination but Renee Ahdieh did not disappoint one bit. I'm so excited to see what happens to these two in The Rose and the Dagger. Hopefully Renee gives Despina and Jalal their happy ending and not rip our hearts out.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kassidy

    Loved seeing more of Jalal and Despina!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Arabey

    The Moth & the Flame The Maid & El Basha,the high captain of guards.. Despina & Jalal.. That kind of attraction turns into Love that burns.. An elegant,fun,very short prequel love story between 2 beloved characters from the world of The Wrath & the Dawn I liked the smart wet and fun Despina so much, I already liked her at the first book anyway, and was glad to read how she liked Jalal. That added some depth into their story.. In other hand It also shows in a side story the First wife fo The Moth & the Flame The Maid & El Basha,the high captain of guards.. Despina & Jalal.. That kind of attraction turns into Love that burns.. An elegant,fun,very short prequel love story between 2 beloved characters from the world of The Wrath & the Dawn I liked the smart wet and fun Despina so much, I already liked her at the first book anyway, and was glad to read how she liked Jalal. That added some depth into their story.. In other hand It also shows in a side story the First wife for Khaled..Ava. the sweet unfortunate soul who loved arts. and wished to have just alittle bit more care from her busy Caliph, The King.. And "Why" the curse started..the curse that started the whole story after that. And since the story is Despina's perspective.. she doesn't know the curse.. A very good prequel just too short to be "e-book" to pay for.. Rowling did dozen back stories for free on pottermore. Mohammed Arabey 8th July 2016

  6. 4 out of 5

    Norah Una Sumner

    3.5 stars Although these two are my ultimate OTP when it comes to this series/trilogy (or whatever), this short story was a bit underwhelming. Yes, their banter is awesome and they are too wickedly cute to handle but...something was missing. I was expecting a bit more from the plot and that ending. I am looking forward to reading the actual sequel though! Can't wait! Before reading: OMFG I NEED THIS

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mary S. R.

    4.4 STARS! hilarious and charming. “Anything is possible,” Despina finished softly. “So long as there is a strong will behind it.” I'm all feels for this! It was a worthy addition, I loved the taste of it :) I suggest reading this short book after The Wrath & the Dawn, as it contains mild spoilers and also because you'd enjoy it more if you already know the characters. It wouldn't be a huge spoiler if you read this first, but spoilers all the same :) Storyline A hilarious and enjoyable novella 4.4 STARS! hilarious and charming. “Anything is possible,” Despina finished softly. “So long as there is a strong will behind it.” I'm all feels for this! It was a worthy addition, I loved the taste of it :) I suggest reading this short book after The Wrath & the Dawn, as it contains mild spoilers and also because you'd enjoy it more if you already know the characters. It wouldn't be a huge spoiler if you read this first, but spoilers all the same :) Storyline A hilarious and enjoyable novella set before time Shahrzad came to the marble palace, about our favourite handmaiden, Despina, and the charming captain of the Royal Guard, Jalal. The Moth & the Flame gives us a look into how things were at the palace before the doomed order went out for girls to become queens at dusk, and murdered each dawn.He could supposedly charm the skirts off a girl with nothing but sly words and flippant promises. At the memory of such tales, Despina stifled a laugh. Impossibly ridiculous. Removing clothing involved a great deal more than words. At the very least, someone had to unravel something. A knot. A string. A suggestion.A precious and amazing tale to saviour the taste of! Definitely a remarkable addition to the story that I swallowed in one huge bite :) Storytelling Renée has managed to bewitch me yet again with her writing and enchanting prose.“There is no way to know for certain what lurks in the shadowed corners of the mind.”It's beautiful and elegant, flowing, like the waves that make the surface of the sea interesting and the rays of light which play on calm water and reflect the sky, hiding the truth...He aimed his grin at her. “And here I half expected you to be afraid I might be injured.” “Not you.” Her lips twitched. “Only the flower. I’m not completely heartless.” “No,” he agreed. “Only partially.”And next to all that, it's funny and memorable. I was laughing like a maniac, so hard that my stomach was hurting! Characterization Jalal al-Khoury: Women had always been a weakness for him, much to his father’s chagrin. Aref al-Khoury—the Shahrban of Rey—had been faithful to one woman all his life. Sought comfort in the arms of one woman, and one woman alone. Whereas his son sought comfort in the arms of many women. Women of all sorts. Short, thin, tall, plump—it mattered not to Jalal. For Jalal al-Khoury loved women and never sought to hide the fact.All the words in the world fall apart, insufficient, when I try to express my love for this bawdy creature! He reminds me of Jalan from Prince of Fools, if a little less self-centered and a little more family-loving and loyal? Despina: “As you can see, I have no need to seek compliments.” “Don’t be absurd,” Jalal replied. “All women seek compliments.” “And all men think they know everything.”A glorious badass who I ADORE. Complicated and three-dimensional. It was great getting her POV and I'm also not sure what she's gonna do ... That kinda worries me? The Calipha: “Postponed—as many things in life so often are.”Thinking of Ava is one of the rare moments that I wanna hit Khalid, my love. She's so delicate. I really appreciate that we got a look into how things were before, and oh man I'm BROKEN. I was left needing more :( Relationships “The captain of the Royal Guard wants to impress a lowly handmaiden?” “A clumsy young man wants to impress a beautiful young woman.”I will always and forever be boarding this adorable ship. Oh my God it hurts how much I ship it!! Perfectly developed. I loved seeing how these two started after reading The Wrath & the Dawn :) Companions Related books: (recommended reading order) • The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1) [ MY REVIEW ] • The Moth & the Flame (The Wrath and the Dawn, #0.25) [ MY REVIEW ] • The Crown & the Arrow (The Wrath and the Dawn, #0.5) [ MY REVIEW ] • The Mirror & the Maze (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1.5) [ MY REVIEW ] • The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn, #2) [ MY REVIEW ] Book playlist: (songs from author's playlist) • “Just You & I” by dZihan & Kamien • “The Light" by The Album Leaf [Instrumental] • “Say (All I Need)” by OneRepublic

  8. 4 out of 5

    emma

    4.5 stars. ok Jalal and Despina are cute AF, how does a short story manage to leave me with so many feelings??? I'm sure a lot of you saw my Flame in the Mist rant yesterday and today I was lowkey having a crisis and wondering if I imagined how good The Wrath and the Dawn series was so I came across this and decided to see what happened. Spoiler alert: I loved it. The writing was gorgeous—as is everything Renee writes—and somehow this made me love Despina even more than I already did. I genuinely 4.5 stars. ok Jalal and Despina are cute AF, how does a short story manage to leave me with so many feelings??? I'm sure a lot of you saw my Flame in the Mist rant yesterday and today I was lowkey having a crisis and wondering if I imagined how good The Wrath and the Dawn series was so I came across this and decided to see what happened. Spoiler alert: I loved it. The writing was gorgeous—as is everything Renee writes—and somehow this made me love Despina even more than I already did. I genuinely love all the characters in this series with all of my heart, I might need to do a reread. :)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    “Captain al-Khoury! Are you—” “Softly,” he whispered. Exasperation flared through her, bringing a flush to her cheeks. “What?” “You’re shouting in my ears.” He held back a grin. “Softly, my sweet.” I only liked Jalal in the beginning of The Wrath & the Dawn and Despina towards the middle, when she became friends with Shazi. I mean, learning about Despina's baby and how she got pregnant made sense. I remember Shazi asked her if she was pregnant because she threw up, didn't look well, and wouldn “Captain al-Khoury! Are you—” “Softly,” he whispered. Exasperation flared through her, bringing a flush to her cheeks. “What?” “You’re shouting in my ears.” He held back a grin. “Softly, my sweet.” I only liked Jalal in the beginning of The Wrath & the Dawn and Despina towards the middle, when she became friends with Shazi. I mean, learning about Despina's baby and how she got pregnant made sense. I remember Shazi asked her if she was pregnant because she threw up, didn't look well, and wouldn't feel well and she'd just say "no." Of course she'd say no and wouldn't bother answering to the new queen but when she did, I was surprised and didn't expect it. Jalal was someone I liked in the beginning, hated in the ended, and continued to dislike in The Rose & the Dagger. But I think he made the perfect captain for Despina, not only Khalid, and I think it was cute how he fell in love with Despina. He's quite the flirt and him and Despina were actaully really cute together. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of both characters, both of them have the cutest moments and interactions together and I kind of wish Renee gave us more of them.

  10. 5 out of 5

    P

    Despina's story Cute but powerful to know this side of the girl I have had an eye for. And about Ava, she has a good soul. I pity her so much.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Radmila

    4,75 STARS!!! "You claim to know everything about women", she began. "But tell me, Captain al-Khoury, do you know my name?" This was one short read. I loved Despina and Jalal. They made me laugh so hard. The captain of the guard sauntered closer, a palm resting on the bejeweled hilt of his scimitar. His grin bordered on obscene. Too knowing. Too assured. Too arrogant. "You must be hungry", Despina said. He stopped mid-step. "Pardon?" "You said I was the loveliest sight you'd seen all day." Despina a 4,75 STARS!!! "You claim to know everything about women", she began. "But tell me, Captain al-Khoury, do you know my name?" This was one short read. I loved Despina and Jalal. They made me laugh so hard. The captain of the guard sauntered closer, a palm resting on the bejeweled hilt of his scimitar. His grin bordered on obscene. Too knowing. Too assured. Too arrogant. "You must be hungry", Despina said. He stopped mid-step. "Pardon?" "You said I was the loveliest sight you'd seen all day." Despina angeled a hip forward, her most winning smile displayed to full advantage. "Therefore, you must be hungry." "Interesting." He angeled his body in the same direction, almost on instinct. "I'll play. Why do you suppose I'm hungry?"

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kate (GirlReading)

    And with that, my love for Jalal and Despina has grown even stronger! When I heard Renee Ahdieh was releasing a short story from the perspective of Despina and Jalal, I was SO excited and I'm happy to say, this did not disappoint. It was gorgeously written and gave such a lovely insight into their individual characters and how they met. It's made me even more excited/nervous to see what happens to them in The Rose and the Dagger! I have so much love for these two characters. I need more Despina a And with that, my love for Jalal and Despina has grown even stronger! When I heard Renee Ahdieh was releasing a short story from the perspective of Despina and Jalal, I was SO excited and I'm happy to say, this did not disappoint. It was gorgeously written and gave such a lovely insight into their individual characters and how they met. It's made me even more excited/nervous to see what happens to them in The Rose and the Dagger! I have so much love for these two characters. I need more Despina and Jalal please!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andreea Pop

    Despina and Jalal are adorably perfect for each other. This novella only reinstated my love for Renee Ahdieh's masterful storytelling. Loved it!

  14. 5 out of 5

    ✘Tabby✘

    I know now why I waited so long to read this because...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chesca

    GIVE ME MORE OF JALAL AND DESPINA! The Moth & the Flame tells the story of how Despina first met Jalal when she was given the honorable task of becoming the calipha’s handmaiden. The short tale started at the time of Khalid’s first marriage, with Ava, and ended when Shahrzad arrived at the palace. I finished this novella with a terrible and excruciating feeling. It is not enough for me like most novellas out there. I want more of Jalal and Despina. I think this was just a little chunk of the GIVE ME MORE OF JALAL AND DESPINA! The Moth & the Flame tells the story of how Despina first met Jalal when she was given the honorable task of becoming the calipha’s handmaiden. The short tale started at the time of Khalid’s first marriage, with Ava, and ended when Shahrzad arrived at the palace. I finished this novella with a terrible and excruciating feeling. It is not enough for me like most novellas out there. I want more of Jalal and Despina. I think this was just a little chunk of their story and that there is still a greater picture that’s yet to be told about them. How could one be satisfied with this? Some of the chapters occurred weeks or months apart from each other. What happened between those? Did they meet? What were they doing during those times they met? Where did they meet? Reading this was like looking through a window with one of the curtains drawn closed, concealing half of your view of the outside. In this story I only got to know Despina better and not Jalal. All the things mentioned about him were already shown in the main books. I’ve already seen this side of him, which is good, I guess, because it meant that he’s the kind of character that didn’t have to be revealed like a mystery everyone had the need to unearth. So, I could say that of all the characters in this series, Jalal is the truest one. Meanwhile, I got to know Despina’s weaker and softer side. This is the part of her that we didn’t see in the other installments before. She was reluctant and careful towards Jalal, showing him a haughty front whenever he’s trying to pursue her. She was trying so hard not to be like all the other women out there who fell for men like him. If you’ve read The Wrath & the Dawn, you would know that (view spoiler)[Despina got pregnant (hide spoiler)] . I’m not saying that things should have been explicit in the way they were told, but if you would compare this to the heat, passion, and relationship development of Shazi and Khalid that we saw, this is nothing. It’s so frustrating! I think Jalal and Despina deserve so much more than this short novella. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy this. I just want more of it. Can I have at least a hundred more pages of this couple? If you loved this OTP as much as I did, you better read this. I highly recommend this to fans of Renee Ahdieh’s debut series. You surely would not want to miss this.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Fafa's Book Corner

    Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner ! Beware spoilers ahead! When I had heard about this short story I was excited. I liked Despina and Jalah when I read The Wrath and the Dawn. I wanted to know when they first started interacting with each other. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this story! The book begins in Despina's point of view. She was just been promoted to Handmaiden. She's to be Ava's handmaiden. Despina has noticed that Ava doesn't speak a lot. More often than not she's day dreaming. She Review posted on Fafa's Book Corner ! Beware spoilers ahead! When I had heard about this short story I was excited. I liked Despina and Jalah when I read The Wrath and the Dawn. I wanted to know when they first started interacting with each other. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this story! The book begins in Despina's point of view. She was just been promoted to Handmaiden. She's to be Ava's handmaiden. Despina has noticed that Ava doesn't speak a lot. More often than not she's day dreaming. She hasn't interacted with Despina. Ava has her own set of servants and she keeps close to them. Despina is arranging some of Ava's clothes with the help of another maid. The two talk while they sort the clothes. When Despina picks up a handful of clothes, she hears a tear. She sets the clothes down and begins to inspect the skirt. Needing more light she takes the skirt outside to inspect it. While looking at the tear she hears someone approaching. It turns out to be Jalah. This is Despina's first time talking with the Captain of the Royal Guard. But despite this she knows of his reputation. Jalah is known for flirting with tons of girls. His reputation makes Despina uncomfortable and she tries to ignore. They have an awkward conversation. Jalah tries to hard to attempt to flirt with Despina. And Despina brushes him off. I was surprised that I actually enjoyed this! I got some laughs while reading Despina and Jalah's interactions. It was nice to find out a little more about Ava. And man did I really feel for Ava. I'm starting to wonder whether Ava actually had depression. I liked reading about the interaction that Despina and Ava had! Much to my surprise the writing style felt too wordy. There were a bunch of needless descriptions. I found this surprising considering that I never felt this way when I read The Wrath and the Dawn. It was almost as if the author did it to add more words. While the interaction between Jalah and Despina was funny, I never really felt the tension. Pretty early on in the short story they started having a secret relationship. This might be because it was so short. This book also shows you more ways on how stupid Khalid was when he was married to Ava. I'm surprised that he never really interacted with her and it was so obvious that she was hurting. This isn't a flaw I'm just pointing it out. Nonetheless this was still fun to read! Overall this was a good book. I recommend it to fans of the series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jillian

    Omg this was great! I love despina and jalal so so much they neeeeeeed their own book. I could read about them for 300+ pages!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    Love love loved getting inside Despina's head. The banter between her and Jalal is perfection. I could read about these characters forever and be so happy.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah DiMento

    I loved this short story! Despina and Jalal are everything. I'm obsessed with Renee Ahdieh's writing. But can I just have the second book already? These little teaser stories are agonizing!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    “Now it was his turn to laugh. The sound enveloped her, taking root in her stomach, its warmth curling beneath her skin. He’s trouble. Stay away.” Since the first moment I knew about this novella, I was aware that I would adored it. And so it happened! Not a surprise, though, since The Moth and the Flame was centered about two wonderful secondary characters that we already see (maybe not enough, would say my shipper heart) in The Wrath and the Dawn: Despina, the calipha's handmaiden, and Jalal al “Now it was his turn to laugh. The sound enveloped her, taking root in her stomach, its warmth curling beneath her skin. He’s trouble. Stay away.” Since the first moment I knew about this novella, I was aware that I would adored it. And so it happened! Not a surprise, though, since The Moth and the Flame was centered about two wonderful secondary characters that we already see (maybe not enough, would say my shipper heart) in The Wrath and the Dawn: Despina, the calipha's handmaiden, and Jalal al-Khoury, the Captain of the Guard. I've loved Despina from the very beginning: a fierce, witty yet lovely woman coming from Greece, from Thebes to be precise, who still believes in the ancient gods and is pregnant with Jalal's child (that's not a spoiler, I swear), who would be defined as this funny, charming guy expecting every girl to fall to his feet, but with a tender side. What we didn't see in the main novel was how their romance was built, so you can read about it in this beautiful novella. Despina and Jalal's relationship was what I expected: an extraordinary battle of wits that I LOVED to read about! Also the way Despina's developing feelings and Jalal's struckness in front of this strong girl were painted was absolutely stunning to read, and now I can officially say that I ship them more than ever. I've also liked Despina and Ava's process to friendship, even if it didn't last for too long. But, you know, it's always refreshing to read about positive female relationships. Renée Ahdieh wrote this novella in an excellent prose, so unbelievably exquisite, and the way these places, perfumes and colors seem real is what I most appreciate about the entire series. Craving for more as always! “When a ray of afternoon sun struck its surface, the flash of light drew him toward her, like a moth to a flame.”

  21. 4 out of 5

    Azrah

    I really loved this short story because it focused on two of my favourite characters, Jalal and Despina, nd how the two of them met. Both of them are quick with words and smart and their interactions gave me such joy. What this story also revealed was the setting of the palace at the time of Khalid's first wife, Ava, and the mystery of her death. I say mystery because this story is in Despina's POV and she doesn't know exactly what happened. I'm still unsure of Jalal's feelings for Despina but i I really loved this short story because it focused on two of my favourite characters, Jalal and Despina, nd how the two of them met. Both of them are quick with words and smart and their interactions gave me such joy. What this story also revealed was the setting of the palace at the time of Khalid's first wife, Ava, and the mystery of her death. I say mystery because this story is in Despina's POV and she doesn't know exactly what happened. I'm still unsure of Jalal's feelings for Despina but it's clear from this story that she loves him. ________ My reviews for: 0.5. The Crown and the Arrow 1. The Wrath and the Dawn 1.5. The Mirror and the Maze 2. › The Rose and the Dagger

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Maniacup

    This short story gives a little history of how Despina and Jalal met and fell in love, before we got to know them on The Wrath & the Dawn.We also got a little bit of Ava's story,the cousin and bestfriend of Shazi,(as far as I can remember)and the last Calipha of Khalid before Shazi volunteered to be the new Calipha of Khorasan. I enjoyed reading this,'cause it's so sweet and it focused on Despina,and on how kindhearted she is as a queen's handmaiden,and on how amazing she is as a woman.Readin This short story gives a little history of how Despina and Jalal met and fell in love, before we got to know them on The Wrath & the Dawn.We also got a little bit of Ava's story,the cousin and bestfriend of Shazi,(as far as I can remember)and the last Calipha of Khalid before Shazi volunteered to be the new Calipha of Khorasan. I enjoyed reading this,'cause it's so sweet and it focused on Despina,and on how kindhearted she is as a queen's handmaiden,and on how amazing she is as a woman.Reading this,just made me love Despina and Jalal even more! Thanks a lot to my lovely friend,Alafiya who influenced me on reading this awesome short story,and thanks to my dear little sis AJ the Ravenous Reader for introducing this series to me.^^

  23. 5 out of 5

    prag ♻

    Have I ever mentioned before I'm a sucker for love-hate love stories and emotional nights? Have I ever mentioned before I am utterly in love with Despina? I don't know what to do with myself anymore. I need more. I need to read TRaTD again. I need Jalal. I need Despina. I need more.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Imogene Dacanay

    Despina is a beautiful and charming guardian of the garments. One who's full of pride, gives herself importance, one who's intelligent. Then there's Jalal , the son of General Aref al-Khoury, the Shahrban of Rey. Jalal found his match. I love how witty and humorous they are. It's just that I failed to see how Despina fell for Jalal. It was said that she isn't like most girls but what happened? The notorious rake's now a father to her unborn child. This book is a quick-read. Since this is Despina is a beautiful and charming guardian of the garments. One who's full of pride, gives herself importance, one who's intelligent. Then there's Jalal , the son of General Aref al-Khoury, the Shahrban of Rey. Jalal found his match. I love how witty and humorous they are. It's just that I failed to see how Despina fell for Jalal. It was said that she isn't like most girls but what happened? The notorious rake's now a father to her unborn child. This book is a quick-read. Since this is a short story, I assumed reader will be given an additional knowledge about Des and Jalal. All we got was insta-kiss. Still, I find them amusing! I loved them, it's just that I needed more. Also, the book gave us brief knowledge, some information regarding Ava. And that Despina's keeping secrets, she has unraveled past. Another mystery! Renee Ahdieh, your writing style never fails to capture me. exquisite as always!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nina (Every Word A Doorway)

    "You claim to know everything about women," she began. "But tell me, Captain al-Khoury, do you know my name?" Jalal was at a loss. Her perfume had cloaked his senses. Clouded his judgment. He hadn't been expecting such a question. An easy one. A silly one. One Jalal could not romance his way through. This novella was incredibly cute. I love this otp and their sweet banter. Despina is a handmaiden but she speaks to the captain of the guard like she's his equal, and on the level of souls, they are. "You claim to know everything about women," she began. "But tell me, Captain al-Khoury, do you know my name?" Jalal was at a loss. Her perfume had cloaked his senses. Clouded his judgment. He hadn't been expecting such a question. An easy one. A silly one. One Jalal could not romance his way through. This novella was incredibly cute. I love this otp and their sweet banter. Despina is a handmaiden but she speaks to the captain of the guard like she's his equal, and on the level of souls, they are. The jessamine scene was my favourite. Prepare for the swoons. "If it's too early for wine, then it's too early for reflection." Despina is my spirit animal.

  26. 5 out of 5

    molly ⋆

    Despina and Jalal are adorable!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alafiya

    JALAL. Even his name is beautiful. Wow, this was oiwahuahfeuefgougf so beautiful!! But too short. Renee's writing is flawless. The characters, the everything about this series, FLAW-FREAKIN'-LESS!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Neil (or bleed)

    Despina and Jalal forevs

  29. 5 out of 5

    Fatima Havilliard

    "The flash of light draw him towards her, like a moth to a flame." Final Rating: 5 colorful stars. The Moth & the Flame is one of the three short stories who complement the duology of The Wrath and The Dawn, a retelling of The Arabian Nights. This one, in specific, tells us the love story of Jalal and Despina, who I must admit, are my second and third favorite characters of this duology. So you probably already guessed that this is my favorite story of all the three. But tbh this wasn't e "The flash of light draw him towards her, like a moth to a flame." Final Rating: 5 colorful stars. The Moth & the Flame is one of the three short stories who complement the duology of The Wrath and The Dawn, a retelling of The Arabian Nights. This one, in specific, tells us the love story of Jalal and Despina, who I must admit, are my second and third favorite characters of this duology. So you probably already guessed that this is my favorite story of all the three. But tbh this wasn't enough. I need a whole book about them to be satisfied. *Spoilers* One of the things I really like is that Renee Ahdieh put Ava in this story so we can know more things about Khalid's first wife. And more because if it wasn't for she, Khalid would never had a curse so he will not kill womans, and he will not met Shahrzad. :o

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    ‘‘Despina,’’ she whispered. ‘‘My name is Despina.’’ Jalal is such a flirt. He and Despina have the funniest and wittiest interactions. They are good together. It’s unfortunate we didn’t get to see anything more than a single vigorous kiss from the keen lovers. I want more of them.

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