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The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 26, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This sequel picks up right where The Wrath and the Dawn left off. Shahrzad is enduring a self-inflicted banishment to the desert since her father's attempt at magic left the city of Rey in ruins. Intent on discovering a way to end Khalid's terrible curse, she and her sister care for their ailing father while negotiating the dangerous political tensions in their camp. Shahrzad must learn whom she can trust while seeking the most potent, and therefore volatile, magic in the world. Meanwhile, Khalid is still in Rey, secretly helping to rebuild the city while suffering from the painful consequences of resisting the mandate of his curse. Fans of the previous volume will not be disappointed with the second installment of this epic retelling of One Thousand and One Nights. This entry succeeds in every way. Beautiful, lyrical writing combines with a cohesive plot, richly drawn backdrop, and just the right mix of action and romance to create an undeniable new classic. The author does not summarize the events of the first book, so some readers will be confused until they remember the secondary characters and their significance. However, the fascinating protagonists, nonstop action, and compelling dialogue will suck them back in and hold them there right up until the thrilling conclusion. VERDICT A first purchase, especially for fans of lush retellings.—Sunnie Scarpa, Wallingford Public Library, CT
Praise for The Rose and the Dagger:
#1 New York Times Bestseller
★ “Beautiful, lyrical writing combines with a cohesive plot, richly drawn backdrop, and just the right mix of action and romance to create an undeniable new classic.”—School Library Journal, starred review
“Above all there is the shattering, triumphant catharsis of love… In a story about stories, love is ‘the power to speak without words.’ Thrillingly full of feeling.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Fiery romance, a spirited heroine, shifting loyalties… With more than a few heartrending twists and turns.”—Booklist
“[Ahdieh’s] prose remains lush and evocative, ideal for sand-swept landscapes and racing hearts.”—VOYA
Praise for The Wrath and the Dawn:
#1 New York Times Bestseller
#4 on the Summer 2015 Kids' Indie Next List!
An Amazon Best Book of the Year for 2015 – Young Adult
A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens for 2015
A Seventeen Magazine Best Book of 2015
A YALSA 2016 Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick
“Lushly imagined and powerfully characterized, it’s a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance.”—Publishers Weekly
“This book is a fairy tale, a mystery, and … promises to become a classic tale of its own.”—VOYA
★ “Set against a backdrop of political intrigue and a simmering revolution, this is a carefully constructed narrative of uncertain loyalties, searing romance, and subtle magic in a harsh desert city.”—Booklist, starred review
★ “The rich, Middle Eastern cultural context adds to the author’s adept world building… a surefire hit with teens.”—School Library Journal, starred review
★ “Renée Ahdieh's lush debut novel, The Wrath and the Dawn, is a suspenseful and beautiful reimagining of The Arabian Nights, with an edge.”—Shelf Awareness, starred review
“Dreamily romantic, deliciously angst-y, addictively thrilling.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Sumptuous detail … satisfyingly steamy scenes, along with some angsty push and pull moments between the two for optimal romantic tension.”—BCCB
“Don’t be surprised if the pages melt away and you find yourself racing through warm, golden sands or drinking spiced wine in cool marble courtyards. This is an intoxicating gem of a story. You will fall in love, just as I did.”—Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series and The Young Elites
“In her absorbing debut, Renée Ahdieh spins a tale as mesmerizing as that of her heroine Shahrzad, filled with lush details and brimming with tension. The Wrath and the Dawn is truly an exceptional story, beautifully written.”—Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth
“Ahdieh weaves a world that is lush with detail. You will want to hear, taste, and touch everything. But it's not just the world that is vividly alive. The characters are fascinating too: I loved the friendships, romance, and shifts in feeling. A beautifully written book, The Wrath and the Dawn is a story I could not put down.”—Marie Rutkoski, author of The Winner’s Trilogy
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Top Customer Reviews
To be perfectly honest, I felt a little let down. I realize that some people might not look favorably on my review but I’ve got to be honest…..I felt like there was too much to wrap up in this book and it felt rushed and too neat for me.
This book is part of a duology and the first book was more about the romance between Shahrzad and Khalid. The book focused on the curse that Khalid carried with him and there was a hint of rivalry between Khalid’s kingdom and his uncle’s neighboring kingdom but really to focus was romance and the curse. So in this book I expected it to be more about finding out how to break the curse.
Instead this book was about breaking the curse, fighting a war, and resolving other family issues that Shahrzad and Khalid had. So basically I felt like there was too much going on to wrap up in this one singular book. For me there was more than enough to write about in another 2 books at least. I didn’t feel like the curse resolution had it’s ‘day in the spotlight’. It was basically like ok here’s how to break it…and done. No fanfare, no confirmation of said breaking of the curse….nothing. So for me I felt really let down.
I felt this way about many other aspects of the novel….too much going on and not enough resolution or explanation for me. Not to mention there wasn’t the same romance that I had come to love in the first book. Khalid and Shahrzad didn’t get their ‘one on one’ page time until 40% of the way through so I felt a little let down by that as well.
All that said, I did read the book really fast and there were parts that were heart wrenching and moving……but it just wasn’t what I was expecting. Maybe I had my hopes too high or maybe I was expecting more of a series rather than a duology…..I don’t know but over all I felt a little short changed. I kind of wondered if Ahdieh felt pressured to write more of an ‘action’ YA novel instead of just a romance?
One of the things that I loved about the first book was that the focus was about the growing relationship between Khalid and Shahrzad which I was totally fine with. I loved the romance and the magical elements but with this book I felt like the focus was really on the ‘action/adventure’ parts of the overall book. I don’t know I just had this feeling that maybe the author felt that more action was necessary because it’s such a popular element in much of YA literature now a days but personally I felt the magic and romance was enough and I could have done without all the other parts.
Ahdieh’s prose was on point however. I did find that her writing style was unchanged from the previous book which I was super happy about. I loved the philosophical musings and elegant quotes peppered throughout the novel. The writing is really really beautiful and fits so well with this story.
Overall it was just ok for me…..a nice follow up but I could have gone for a third or forth book…..I was just expecting a little something more.
Renée Ahdieh once again shows what a fantastic writer she is, combining complex characters with a compelling storyline and stunning setting. In the first book, readers’ insight into Khalid was limited to Shahzrad’s point of view and while this helped in the mystery surrounding the enigmatic leader, I wanted a better understanding of his character. This sequel offers just that. After the city of Rey is nearly destroyed, Khalid refuses to abandon his people, despite knowing they all view him as a monster. He knows that Shahrzad is safer away from him and elects not to go after her, sacrificing the one person who may have given him peace. Though in many ways standoffish, Khalid shows an ability to overcome his former animosity towards certain other characters, but at the same time still holding others to a high standard of honor.
Shahrzad’s determined nature is a force to be reckoned with. From the very beginning, she’s demanded to be heard and respected. She knows what she wants and can’t be dissuaded from pursuing what she believes is right. Though she has come to love Khalid, she never wavers in her loyalty to her sister and her hope for her father. Although I really wanted to see Khalid open up more to his cousin Jalal, Shahrzad’s relationship with her sister Irsa is held in direct contrast. Their mutual openness isn’t always easy, but their connection with one another makes them instantly more relatable. As the first book is mainly focused on the growing relationship between Shahrzad and Khalid, we hardly ever got to see them apart. This concluding novel gives both characters a chance to shine as each begins to forge their own path.
There are several minor characters that I wished we could have learned more about. Most notable is Artan Temujin. Shahrzad meets him through a mutual friend and though he is tasked with teaching her how to hone her own magical abilities, it is his connections that give her hope that Khalid’s curse can be broken. I loved that he challenges Shahrzad, but his own story is left largely untold and his personality is so big, I expected the author to develop him more. Tariq, Shahrzad’s former suitor, spent most of the last book playing the part of a man scorned by his first love and bent on taking revenge on the man he thinks has stolen her. I immediately felt that Tariq had so much more potential and wanted to see him grow as a character. I was extremely happy to see where Ahdieh chose to take his storyline.
Renée Ahdieh’s series makes an excellent case for duologies and love stories that don’t involve love-triangles. There are some elements I wished had been explored more, mainly Shahrzad’s own magical gift and magic’s larger role in this universe. Still, not enough can be said for Ahdieh’s ability to write such an irresistible, steadfast, and moving romance.
Overall this conclusion was beautifully written and satisfying. It feels different than the first installment because even though it is centered on Shahrzad and Khalid’s love it dwells more on the forces trying to tear them apart. This shifts caused the story to be more than just a romantic tale.
There are many new perspectives in this installment including Irsa, Rahim, and Omar. Adding these new perspectives gives the viewer a larger scope of the world revealing what’s happening in other places at the same time. It also makes certain events even more heart-breaking because we tend to dwell in the minds of characters when their emotions are heightened.
This is a great sequel because it truly shows how much Khalid and Shahrzad care for each other and the world that surrounds them. I would highly recommend picking up this series. It is a romantic and easy read that will have you feeling a variety of emotions some of them conflicting. Also it offers up a new world with unique rules and characters that are flawed and beautifully constructed making them feel tangible. If you pick up this series, you won’t regret it.