Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on 2016-04
Genres: Action & Adventure, Ancient Civilizations, General, Historical, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Instant New York Times Bestseller. 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.
After reading The Wrath & the Dawn and completely loving it, I had high hopes for The Rose & the Dagger. High hopes. Am I disappointed? Yes. Sort of. Mmhm.
The ending was a little too convenient, too easy. It was cute. I can admit that. But it seems so out of place with how the first book was written. Too many incidences seemed as simple as a grab and go, which didn’t work for my tastes.
The writing, of course, was just as beautiful. But something seemed missing. I’m not sure what that something is, although I know it’s not there where it should be. One death in particular (or should I say two?) seemed like a really cheap move. One was for the sake of some death and tears (didn’t feel legit to make me feel anything but annoyance) and the other-–???love magic???—made the ending all the more convenient.
I had the same problem with Khalid as I did in book one, he still seems like a shell of a person. Like he has little life to him. There were cute moments between him and Shahrzad, but nothing that moved me like The Wrath & the Dawn. The reunion between Despina and Jalal wasn’t even fleshed out enough, even though I’m 100% more interested in them as a couple.
The Rose & the Dagger is good, but it doesn’t match the greatness of The Wrath & the Dawn.