**Warning! If you haven’t read The Wrath and the Dawn which is the first book in the duology by Renee Ahdieh, there will be spoilers ahead. You can read my review of the first book instead if you haven’t started the series yet!**
The Rose and the Dagger is the second book and conclusion to The Wrath and the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh. It was one of my most anticipated books of 2016 and I’m pleased to say that it did not disappoint! While it wasn’t perfect, The Rose and the Dagger definitely held my interest and ultimately left me with a satisfying ending. The book picks up where The Wrath and the Dawn leaves off, with Shazi and Khalid in their separate places. Shazi is set on breaking Khalid’s curse but since she is residing in a camp of his opposers, she must defend him to those who were closest to her prior to her time in the palace. I wish these two would’ve had more time together in The Rose and the Dagger but I digress.
Because of the distance between our protagonists, we spend a portion of the novel delving deeper into the side characters introduced in The Wrath and the Dawn and some new additions as well. One particular character that I was not pleased to see more of is Tariq, Shazi’s childhood love interest. Spending time with her father also made me feel horrible for everything she’s had to deal with but I really enjoyed getting more insight into her sister and Rahim. My favorite side character who was new to the story is Artan Temujin, who Shazi turns to for training and understanding of the magic she possesses. I only wish he could’ve played a part in book one or that he gets some type of spin-off story. And Despina, my favorite character from The Wrath and the Dawn has her own incredible subplot going on which really kept me on my toes!
Much of the worldbuilding in Ahdieh’s story was explained in The Wrath and the Dawn but I still would’ve liked to have gotten more out of The Rose and the Dagger than we did. Especially since it is in book two that more magical elements are introduced. As always, Ahdieh’s writing is simply beautiful which led me to highlight a number of passages. I fell in love with so many of the new quotes I discovered and I will definitely read any other books Ahdieh publishes going forward. There were unexpected twists and turns that I did not see coming while reading The Rose and the Dagger and I can honestly say that the plot kept me 100% engaged the entire time. My only complaint is that the resolution among all of the characters seemed to come too easily and I would’ve liked to have seen them endure more of a challenge in completing their goals.
Final Thoughts: The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh provides a lovely conclusion to The Wrath and the Dawnduology. Ahdieh’s writing style is beautiful as ever and the story evolves from an Arabian Nights retelling into something of its own. The plot is action packed and will hold your interest until the very last page as you continue the tale of the primary characters and become invested in some new faces. If you read and loved The Wrath and the Dawn I would urge you to continue your reading with The Rose and the Dagger.
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. (via Goodreads)