So I read The Wrath and the Dawn, the prequel to The Rose and the Dagger, earlier this summer and really enjoyed the story. I thought that Ahdieh’s storytelling style was nice, and I liked the main character Shahrzad and her attitude. When it came time to read the sequel in this duology, I had high expectations for the story as well as the ending.
*Warning: This review may contain spoilers for Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn*
Goodreads summary for The Rose and the Dagger:
In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.
Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and for all. But to do it, she must evade enemies of her own to stay alive.
The saga that began with The Wrath and the Dawn takes its final turn as Shahrzad risks everything to find her way back to her one true love again.
My Review for The Rose and the Dagger:
So it sounds like it’s going to be really good and epic, right? I really don’t even feel like this summary is accurate to the story. Everything happened relatively easily throughout the story. The things that were supposed to be barriers to the characters felt a little superficial and forced. I don’t want to give anything away, though, so I won’t be speaking to specifics. But in general, everyone had a pretty easy path down the way to the ending, which felt rushed to me. Also, the powers that Shahrzad realizes she has in the first book hardly play any role at all in this second one, and I’m like ??? what was the point of introducing that. She even trains the power but it amounts to nothing in the story.
I felt like readers didn’t get to see any of the wonderful personalities introduced in the first book. I don’t remember any really characteristic moments for any of the characters in this book, other than the introduction of a new magic-user who kind of forces himself into the story and becomes friends with Shahrzad very quickly.
It was slow because there was so much filler and (to me) unnecessary barriers in the story. I was able to skim/skip over many paragraphs that added nothing to the plot. This included a budding romance that ended up amounting to nothing.
This sequel disappointed me. I enjoyed The Wrath and the Dawn, and I wanted to see an equally epic story in its sequel.
I give The Rose and the Dagger 2.5/5 stars
Finished Day 6 of my 14 Day Reading Challenge!
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