Title: The Rose & the Dagger
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Sequel to: The Wrath & the Dawn
Date Started: September 29
Date Finished: October 2
Format: Hardcover from local library
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.
After reading The Wrath & the Dawn earlier this year and the cliffhanger that was left here is another book that I was really excited for its release. But this one for some reason wasn’t as awesome as the other books that I was excited for. Don’t get me wrong, the story was still good, the characters were amazing – especially the character development of Khalid and Tariq – but there was just something about the plot and the way that everything tied together that kind of left me wanting. It was almost too predictable in a way. Like, for instance, the breaking of Khalid’s curse, it was kind of anticlimactic. There was no big sign that the curse had really broken. Other than Khalid collapsing in the desert and then waking up to hearing the news that Shazi was missing. Then there was the character of Despina. She is very confusing. Goes off to marry someone other than Jalal, turns out to be the Sultan of Parthia’s mystery daughter who was spying on Khalid the whole time, but actually wasn’t? My head is spinning.
I won’t even get into the ending, or the fact that Shazi has magic or the character of Atan. Actually, I lied, let’s get into the ending. Was it me, or did everything wrap up a little too nicely? Like, oops, Shazi was kidnapped by the Sultan of Parthia, but his daughters help her escape because they hate her father. Oops, Shazi’s father turns into a power hungry man and kills Khalid and then when he dies realizes the error of his ways and uses his power to save his daughter’s husband? Then there’s the epilogue where Khalid and Shazi have a son who loves to be told bedtime stories. The end. Um…what about Shazi’s sister? Despina and Jalal? And Atan? What happens to them?
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. The character development was amazing and the storyline was good. I just wish things had been expanded on more and that the ending wasn’t all tied up in a pretty bow.
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