(The Wrath & the Dawn #2)
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Hardcover, 420 pages, G.P. Putnam
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling
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.
Besides Glass Sword, this was probably my most anticipated sequel of 2016. And boy, did it give me just as many feels as the first book! And I still can’t believe the duology is over.
This book starts off pretty close to where The Wrath and the Dawn left off, so I was immersed right back into the world I fell in love with. Some of the first few scenes were either from Khalid’s POV or about Khalid which made my heart very happy. Khalid is one of my favorite male characters. He’s so tortured and not really a good guy (but sometimes a good guy), and he just makes me all aflutter. I was actually kind of sad that Shazi didn’t have interactions with him for a good chunk of the first part of the novel. Poor Shazi, doesn’t get her Khalid. :(
Once again, though, Shazi is on the warpath, and I find her actions fantastic. She never hesitates to make a decision, whether it’s the right one or not. I really enjoy her fierce attitude. I also really enjoyed the similarities she had with her sister Irsa. Irsa was a great addition to this duology, and I’m so sad about some things that happened involving her and some spoilery events. Amazingly, I also liked Tariq. I did not like him in the first book (mostly because I was worried he’d steal Shazi from the fabulous Khalid), but he grew on me some, in spite of his dumbness at first.
Now, the plot of the book had a tad bit of a different tone and feel than The Wrath and the Dawn. In that book, there was a dark, romantic feel, but in this book, there’s a more action-y, adventure feel. Shazi was interacting with magical people and things, like the carpet, which had me constantly want to sing Aladdin songs.
Despite the different feel, The Rose and the Dagger was a beautiful continuation of the previous book. Its storyline was just flipped from dark and mysterious to enchanting and lyrical. While it wasn’t what I was expecting, I loved it all the same. Plus, that ending was absolutely pure magic. I love when authors put a gorgeous epilogue in their books. It really allows me to believe the characters are thriving somewhere out there.
All in all, I’m not sure how to go about explaining my enthusiasm for this beauty. It was beautiful, fantastic, lyrical, magical, and amazing. While I wish The Rose and the Dagger wasn’t the end to the series because I want more, that conclusion was phenomenal.
*Note: I purchased a copy of this book for myself. This in no way affected my opinion/review.