Series: The Wrath & the Dawn #2
Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on 2016-04-26
Length: 418 pages
Reviewing Kindle from TN R.E.A.D.S.
The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as "a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance."
I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.
In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.
While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.
This book broke me! As beautifully written as the first, The Rose & the Dagger picks up days after the tumultuous ending of The Wrath and the Dawn. Shazi has been taken by Tariq to his outpost at the Badawi camp, Khalid struggles to rebuild his city, and war is coming. If they are to get their happily ever after, they must find a way to break Khalid’s curse and stop the war before it begins. The Rose & the Dagger takes readers on an unforgettable adventure.
Shazi and Khalid are separated for much of this book, and yet their love is just as strong as what they found at the end of The Wrath & the Dawn. I was blown away with how Renee Ahdieh was able to convey this without them being together much. Shazi is strong-willed, loyal and courageous. She’s willing to risk everything to save not only Khalid but the city she loves. Khalid is the consummate ruler. This boy-king is a king I’d serve willingly. While young, he puts the needs of his subjects ahead of his own. The only instance he could even be considered selfish is when he chooses not to kill Shazi. The rest of the time his actions speak louder than words could. Sneaking into the city and working to rebuild it til his hands bleed is just one of many examples.
This book also introduces us to Irsa, Shazi’s younger sister, who has been living in the rebel camp with Tariq and their father Jahander. I absolutely love Irsa. She is a younger version of her sister. While quieter or more timid, I loved seeing her come out of her shell and determine what the right course was for her own life. Jahander is an interesting character. He isn’t at all what he seems and winds up serving in a larger role here. While my heart broke for him, at the same time, I kind of hated him. How he raised two strong, independent daughters is beyond me.
Overall, I really enjoyed the conclusion of this duology. Shazi and Khalid are fantastic. The overall plot is fast paced, full of adventure and dashed with romance throughout. If you are a fan of Arabian Nights or just enjoy a good adventure, I highly recommend it.