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.
Rating: 5 Stars
Book Title: The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Release Date: April 26th 2016
Publisher:G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
But, if you ask me, the best way to go about flying is to cut the strings tying you down…
After watching the city burn in the ending of The Wrath and the Dawn, the sequel, The Rose and the Dagger, picks up right in the aftermath. Now that they are separated from one another, Shazi and Khalid have to figure out what to do next. For Shazi, she knows she needs to find a way to break the curse on Khalid before she returns to him. What I loved about her decision to do so in the book was that she wasn’t doing it solely for the safety of the city’s citizens. She also knew she needed to break it for Khalid’s sake, because he would never be truly happy living in his city with her while his people suffered for his decision to do so. By ignoring the curse Khalid was able to save Shazi’s life and be with the woman he loves, but he did so at the expense of his city and the guilt was slowly building up in the first book. I thought it was a testament to Shazi’s connection with Khalid that she was able to recognize this and force herself to stay away from him until she could find a way to fix it. What broke my heart was knowing that Khalid did not know for sure what her leaving meant and that she had no way of telling him until she was able to return.
All of these acts of selflessness made me feel guilty about wanting Shazi and Khalid to be back together again! Reading the chapters from both of their point of views after they are apart was frustrating initially, because I wanted to see their stories intertwined again. And even though I knew Tariq was doing what he thought was right for Shazi, I couldn’t help but resent him for bringing her to the camp with him. Especially after seeing some of the scenes take place in the camp where Shazi was treated as an outcast by many for her relationship with Khalid.
One of my favorite bits about The Rose and the Dagger was getting to see how some of the relationships played out between the main characters once they all started working together. Although we got to read about Tariq, Rahim, and even Irsa in book 1, the scenes they were included in were small. I loved watching Irsa develop into a stronger woman in the absence of her sister, and my heart broke for Irsa during some of the tougher scenes in the book. Getting to see more of Irsa was by far my favorite aspect of The Rose and the Dagger, and I couldn’t help but chuckle at her interactions with Khalid when she meets him for the first time.
Despite my worries about this series being a duology, I actually ended up loving how it turned out. I think a third book would have drawn out the action too much and made book 2 feel like more of a filler. As it was, the book was perfect in the amount of action and the chain of events that took place after the conclusion of The Wrath and the Dawn. I was not disappointed in the least with the conclusion in this series, and I doubt fans of book 1 will be either.