The Wrath and the Dawn #2
by Renee Ahdieh
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (April 26, 2016)
Publisher: Listening Library (Audio); Unabridged edition (May 3, 2016)
Goodreads | Amazon | Audible
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.
Book (by Becca):
So you read The Wrath and The Dawn, right? If not, stop reading this NOW, and go read it (THEN, come back).
TWaTD was one of my top three books of the year 2015. I truly didn't think the second and last installment would be as good, because it's not very often that they are. They just seem to pale in comparison. I went into The Rose and The Dagger with no expectations. Sure, I wanted it to be the best dang book of all time, but I knew with my luck with books lately that it probably wouldn't be. This is the absolute only time that I will take pleasure in saying these next few words: I WAS WRONG. Gosh, I was so, so incredibly wrong. Renee Ahdieh put me in my place, and proved my assumptions to be 100% on the wrong end of the spectrum. I didn't think it would be possible for anything to top my love for TWaTD, but it turns out, it is possible, because my love for The Rose and The Dagger SURPASSES my love for TWaTD TENFOLD. TENFOLD, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
The Rose and The Dagger starts off right where The Wrath and The Dawn left off, with our two main characters in separate places, but desperately wishing they were by each others side. Shazi is stuck in the desert with her sister, Irsa, helping her father recover after the showdown outside the city gates. Not only is Shazi reunited with her family, but also her ex-lover Tariq, his best friend, Rahim, and her best friend's father, which wouldn't be too bad, if Shazi wasn't, in fact, married to her best friend's killer, and on top of that, all of the people she loves are intent on forming an army to demolish her husband's empire. Talk about an awkward situation, am I right? Meanwhile, Khalid is back in Khorasan, dealing with the revitalization of his city and trying to find a way to break his monstrous curse. Unbeknownst to Khalid, Shazi is already devising a plan, with the help of a few new friends, but will Shazi be able to resist becoming a pawn in Tariq's plot for revenge or will she succeed and be reunited with her love forever?
Shahrzad is still the same ol' Shahrzad. Hard-headed. Witty. Strong. One of the things I really love about Shazi is the fact that no matter what is thrown at her, she steps up to the plate and figures out a way to fix and overcome it. She doesn't let the nay-sayers, who say she can't do something because she is a woman, get into her mind. She proves them wrong, relentlessly. I love that quality so darn much. She's a character that I look up to, and want to emulate 25/8. Khalid is still a monster, but you can totally see how much his character has grown since TWaTD, and his transformation is simply beautiful.
Don't even get me started on the romance? You thought TWaTD was fan-yourself-worthy? Read The Rose and The Dagger, and you just might change your mind about that. Scratch that. YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND. Not only are you going to flip out over all the swoonworthy moments between Khalid and Shazi, but THERE ARE OTHER SHIPS AND THEY ARE GLORIOUS AND I NEED MORE BOOKS IN THIS WORLD. *downloads novellas immediately (even though they will never be enough to satiate my thirst for MOAR)*
The ending legit gave me goosebumps. It was jaw-dropping, full of suspense and action, heartbreak and tears, and utterly unforgettable. I want to reread both books as soon as I get an opening in my reading schedule. They are that great. Watching every last piece fall into place made me remember why I love to read so much. The Rose and The Dagger reminded me why it's worth reading all the books, because even though you might hit a few duds (or a lot), you eventually run into a bright, shiny diamond like this one.
Read these books, or be square. The choice is yours.
Audiobook (by Andye):
I listened to THE WRATH AND THE DAWN on audiobook, so when I got THE ROSE AND THE DAGGER on audio, I was really excited to jump back into this world. The narrator, Ariana Delawari, does a good job telling this story, but I wouldn't say she's a favorite. She doesn't have much variance in her voice for the different characters, which made it a little confusing as to who was speaking, especially since there are quite a few different viewpoints that the story is told from. Also, I was a little surprised/disappointed at how American she sounds. I really like it when narrators have the accent of the region (or imitated region in fantasy) the story is set in. It just helps pull me into the atmosphere so much more. Overall, I did like the audio. I would have liked it to be a little different, but it was still good, and the story is definitely worth listening to!