The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)
By Renee Andieh
Summary: 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.
Source: I purchased a signed hardcover
The Rose and the Dagger concluded The Wrath and the Dawn duology and it was quite the adventure. I absolutely loved it.
I have to admit, I’m a bit taken aback by the number of reviewers who didn’t enjoy the finale as much as the first book because I thought it was really good. However, I realize I didn’t wait a year to read it and still had the love story and romance fresh in my mind when I picked up The Rose and the Dagger. Because the story only spanned two books, the first book focused heavily on Shazi figuring out and falling for Khalid and the second book contained more action and politics as the pawns from book one moved around a very complex chess board. Book two was much more of an action based book than the first one. So I can see how, if you’re more into the romance, The Rose and the Dagger might not give you as much of what you want. However I was very eager to see what would become of the army Tariq seemed to be a part of and how things would be resolved.
I loved The Rose and the Dagger. I loved that the characters were as complex and awesome as they were in the first book. I loved that the addition of conflict without time for much romance did not break Shazi and Khalid apart. I love that they endured and were better people because of their bond. It is not often I get to see a fast forming romance turn into a team and I enjoyed that aspect. And despite loving the slow build in book one, I preferred that Shazi and Khalid did not spend time making out in a corner while the world fell apart around them like other YA couples seem to do. If this story were to mirror other trilogies, book two would have been Shazi and Khalid wallowing in their misery apart and spending a lot of time waiting and not doing anything while the conflict that was in the background of book one moved slowly into focus. I love that the author ramped it up, sped it up, and didn’t make either character lame in an attempt to focus and build on the other parts of the story. It was well done and exactly what I wanted in a fantasy.
Stakes were high in the finale. Lives were lost. There were lies, betrayal, magic, and mayhem.
I highly recommend The Wrath and the Dawn duology. I devoured it quickly and absolutely loved the story. I grew to love each of the major characters. It was an adventure with strong characters and just enough romance to make me swoon. I will definitely keep an eye out for the author’s books in the future and I hope she writes more fantasy! This series is must read!