The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh is the conclusion to The Wrath & The Dawn. We pick up almost where we left off. Shahrzad is forced to leave the city and the man she loves just when she learns the truth and realizes what an extraordinary man her husband really is.
Tied up in a rebel force, whose aim is to kill her Caliph, Shahrzad is determined to uncover her own gifts and break Khalid’s curse. Trapped between those she loves and the unbreakable bond she shares with Khalid, Shahrzad must toe the line between right and wrong. But what will happen when she is forced to choose a side?
Shazi must find the strength to do what’s right. She must embrace her powers and learn to see truth in the shadows. Will this curse keep Shahrzad and Khalid apart forever? What will happen to their city, Khorasan, if they don’t succeed? And what costs will be paid to keep the peace?
As a conclusion to a duology, this one wasn’t bad. It was a different beast then the first book though, that’s for sure. The first book was primarily about Khalid and Shahrzad and was told mostly from her perspective. Whereas this second book has multiple narratives and is focused more on the bigger picture. That being said, the books still felt the same, if structured differently.
This book could have easily been three and I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. There were certain side stories I would have liked to seen fleshed out a bit more or at least addressed in more than just hints. For example, we get two confrontations between Khalid and Jamal about Despina but we only get maybe a few paragraphs to wrap up the whole Despina/Jamal thing. I know Ahdieh published a mini-prequel about them but that’s besides the point. There were a few story arches that we are introduced to, but they didn’t feel completely settled at the end.
I really liked the introduction of Artan. He was a really interesting character that I wouldn’t mind reading a novella about. We also get to see all these different sides of Khalid in this one and we begin to understand a little more of why Shahrzad falls for him.
Overall, I was satisfied with this book. The plot was dynamic with some real surprising moments. This one gets 3.5 stars from me.
That’s all for now!