Title: The Rose and The Dagger
(The Wrath and the Dawn Book 2)
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Published by: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date: April 26, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
[Spoilers for The Wrath and the Dawn, only keep reading if you haven’t read the first book.]
I’m in love with your story. From the stars, to the stars.
I missed all the wonderful descriptions of food, but I was filled with satisfaction by your magical storytelling and selfless, brave characters in this conclusion to the Wrath/Dawn series. When finished with the book, I just sat smiling for some time (before I turned my Kindle back on to reread certain scenes!). Though there was less mystery to unwind, you succeeded in bringing all our characters together in a dramatic fashion with well-timed twists in a story worth retelling on platformed beds with green silk cushions. Like Shahrzad, you griped and enticed me to the very end.
Khalid and Shahrzad’s worlds expand and collide in Rose/Dagger. Shazi is back with her family trying to unravel Khalid’s curse while being held prisoner by those she loves. We get to know Irsa, Shazi’s sister, who is steady and faithful (I love her and Khalid’s relationship!). Tariq’s character could’ve gone many ways as a lover scorned, but he, along with many other characters, chooses to put others before himself, and quickly realizes that rash decisions made out of anger and fear can be disastrous. This story does not conclude without heartbreak, but it draws these characters together in a more poignant conclusion.
“Sometimes, “ he gasped, “the family you choose …is stronger than blood.”
From magicians to rebels, time travel to wars, dark allies to the whimsy of new discoveries - these books delighted my imagination and had me cheering for more.
Here are my top 10 favorite books from 2015:
10. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
I really liked this story about a magician who travels between alternate London universes. The story and characters have stuck with me all year. My only qualm is that it's not a YA book, even though it's often marketed that way. It's more appropriate for mature teens.
9. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
Echo, a seasoned theif, finds herself in the middle of a search for the coveted Firebird, rumored to finally end and age-old war.
8. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Multiple kingdoms unite or clash for ultimate authority. Meira slowly realizes her part in regaining Winter's magic and rebuilding their kingdom is more important than she imagined.
I read a lot. I'm a Mom. I'm officially in my 30s, but strangers often don't believe I'm old enough to drink. I love Young Adult fiction, and thought it was worthwhile to help teens and adults find age-appropriate options.