This is the sequel to The Wrath and the Dawn, and will therefore contain spoilers for that book. You can find my review for The Wrath and the Dawn here.
Title: The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Year published: 2016
How I got this book: Bought in on BookDepository (affiliate link)
My rating: 3,5 stars
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 og Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster - a merciless killer og wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain - but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead and 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.
I don't have much to say without spoiling the book, so I'll keep the spoiler-free section short. I enjoyed this book, but it was a bit disappointing. I wasn't able to completely connect to the story, and until about halfway through, I honestly found it quite boring. It's not a bad book, but it's not as good as The Wrath and the Dawn, in my opinion.
From here on, there will be spoilers. Please, do not continue reading unless you've read the book, or have no plans of reading it at all.
As I said in the spoiler-free section, I struggled to get into this book. I read The Wrath and the Dawn last summer, so the story was still fairly fresh in my mind. I still struggled a lot getting back into the story, and nothing really happened. Another reason I struggled was the way this was written. Ahdieh uses a lot of words I don't understand, especially to describe clothing. These words are always written in italic, but that doesn't help me understand them better. When I read a book, I don't want to keep looking up words that I don't understand. Though it's a small detail, it still made it so much harder getting into the story and being fully immersed. It's not that easy to picture everything, when you don't understand the words describing clothes.
One thing I really like about this series is Shazi's and Khalid's relationship. They love each other so much, and would do everything for each other. Don't get me wrong, it's not a perfect relationship, but it's so passionate and full of love, I can't help admiring it.
Halfway in this book really picked up, and all of a sudden there were so many things happening. You get to read from different perspectives, which I really liked, and therefore you learn of what is happening. We know more than Shazi, or Khalid, and in this book, it really works. We don't know everything, but we know enough to keep us guessing and hoping.
Though it takes a long time before this picks up, if you enjoyed The Wrath and the Dawn, you'll probably enjoy this as well. It has the same feel, and the same characters and then some. It's easy to keep track of everything that's going on, and you do connect to the characters.
This may not be a book I'll ever reread, but I'm still glad that I did read it. It works as entertainment, and I know that many people like this a lot more than I do, which I'm really happy about. Even though I didn't like this as much as the first, I think it wrapped up the story nicely. It's definitely a fitting conclusion to this duology.
Buy this book?
BookDepository (worldwide, affiliate link)