Aug 12, 2016

The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn 2) by Renée Ahdieh

The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn 2) by Renée Ahdieh  book cover

  REVIEW  

book review rating 5 out of 5

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 ...continue at Goodreads

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HIGHLY ACCLAIMED AUTHOR Renée Ahdieh returns to the vividly exotic Middle Eastern culture she created in The Wrath and the Dawn with a stunning sequel—The Rose and the Dagger. It’s beautifully written with gorgeous world building, searing romance, rich characters, and an unexpectedly poignant finish.

Obviously, I liked this book—a 5 of 5! But, it isn’t without some quibbles like uneven pacing, cartoony magic (Disney’s Aladdin has ruined me!), and other hairsplitting complaints. However, here are all the other reasons I do love about it...

It was easy to forget that I was sitting in my living room within the first few chapters of The Rose and the Dagger. Ms. Ahdieh further improves upon “a palace of marble and stone” transporting me from the grainy dunes of the Sea of Sand to the brutally beautiful, wintry fortress high above the clouds.

The sizzling romance that continues between Shahrzad and Khalid was adeptly written with a blend of reticence, desire, and anticipation. It was tasteful and romantic. There were also new romances. They were not as passionate as Shahrzad and Khalid’s, yet I found them tender and sweet. They were lovely side vignettes that were equally heart wrenching and full of emotions.

I didn’t feel that this sequel was entirely about Shahrzad and Khalid as I did in the first book. It felt that a larger number of characters had a stake in the outcome of the story, and I loved that the story moved forward though character-driven conflicts! This attests to the fact that Ms. Ahdieh writes characters that are continuously evolving. This allows for so much more suspense as the shifting of alliances begin to unravel, and I was spinning in circles as to which way “the tides of fortune” would turn.

The Rose and the Dagger ended with just the right amount of heartache and tenderness, giving it the kind of bittersweet closure that I enjoy. In a moment of quiet contemplation, it also hit me as to how powerful the ending truly was. For it was in one father’s love for his daughter that cursed a whole kingdom; it was in another father’s love for his daughter that restores the kingdom. Proving that, love is always the answer—a very poetic ended to this duology. It deserves all the stars in the sky!

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Have you read The Wrath and the Dawn duology? What was your most/least favorite part of the story? Do you enjoy culturally diverse books? What about re-tellings? Do share! Thanks.

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