The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh is the sequel to the luscious Thousand Nights retelling, The Wrath and the Dawn. I listened to both on audiobook and enjoyed them, though the focus of this story is clearly more on the romantic relationship and less on the awesome magic for my taste ;-).
Note: I received an advanced copy of The Rose and the Dagger from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Narrated by Ariana Delawari
(The Wrath and the Dawn #2)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on April 26th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Page Length: 420 pages
Audio Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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.
- I was so happy to see a lot more magic in this sequel. My main complaint with book one was that the magic was hinted at, but only barely addressed by the end of the book. I really wanted to see all of the magic that this world contained, and was happy that Shahzi got to find out a lot about her own magic.
- I feel like a lot more time was given to secondary characters this time around. Various characters get their own chapters, which was nice for letting us find out about their motivations and thoughts. Particularly it was nice to get to know Shahzi’s sister since she didn’t appear much in the previous book.
- The narration of these two stories is pretty good. The female narrator is able to convey the voices of the male characters well and has a variety of voices she uses for the different characters.
- I didn’t actually realize that this was only a duology until of course things ended quite clearly. I found the ending satisfying and am glad that this was kept to two books since that seems the right amount of pages to tell this story.
- I have just never felt connected to this romance. They are like the couple that I’m aware of in my friend group but not really close to either of them and therefore don’t really care how their relationship is going. The pull of this story is definitely the fraught romance, so that kept me from feeling all that involved.
- Given the focus on the romance, the magic wasn’t explored as much as I wanted it to be. There seemed to be several different types of magic and I have no idea how they relate to one another or what the limits of Shahzi’s power are. I just want to know everything about it!
- There were some plot devices that felt a bit gimmicky to me. I can’t get into them without majorly spoiling things, so I won’t, but I was not surprised by any of the main plot developments since they are rather tried-and-true events in fantasy.
The Rose and the Dagger is an enjoyable audiobook for fans of romantic fantasy. If you enjoyed book one, you’ll obviously love book two, especially if you just wanted a bit more magic ;-).
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.