BOOK REVIEW: The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath & the Dawn #2)
by Renee Ahdieh
Publication date: 26 April 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Goodreads: The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.
In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.
Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.
The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.
This may not make sense but I was excited for The Rose & the Dagger because The Wrath & the Dawn was a bit of a disappointment for me. I found that The Rose & the Dagger was so much better, especially Ahdieh’s writing. It was much more descriptive and it all flowed together really well.
The series is about Shahrzad (Shazi) but she was the true focus of the book this time, whereas in The Wrath & the Dawn it was more about the dynamics between Shazi and Khalid. I loved that romance doesn’t play a large role in the book. The Rose & the Dagger really let us see Shazi’s development. It’s all about Shazi discovering herself. We also see her standing up for herself and her “choice” in loving Khalid. It’s a complete turn around from her character in The Wrath & the Dawn and I love it.
Romance is not the focus of the story but I loved seeing the development of Shazi and Khalid’s relationship. And this is coming from someone who was against their pairing in The Wrath & the Dawn. Given the circumstances under which they met you would think they have a fairly unhealthy relationship but that’s not the case at all. They have really strong communication, they trust and protect each other but they also know how to have fun and joke around with each other. It’s everything that makes for a great relationship.
As much as I just raved about Shazi and Khalid, Khalid didn’t actually appear that much in the book. What appearances he did make were great though. He’s still growing and developing from the person that we met in The Wrath & the Dawn, but he’s not quite done yet.
I feel like a big drawback of the book were all the different perspectives. There were just a few more than necessary, dragging the book on and delaying the development of the story. I love having alternate perspectives but sometimes they can be a little too much and can take away from the action.
Overall, The Rose & the Dagger was a fantastic sequel and wrap up for the series and I recommend it especially to those who didn’t enjoy the first book.