The Rose & the Dagger

(The Wrath & the Dawn: Bk. 2). 10 CDs. 11:44 hrs. Listening Library. Apr. 2016. $70. ISBN 9780451485434. digital download.
Gr 7 Up—Shahrzad is in a desert refuge with her family—and enemies of her husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. Shahrzad sets out on a mission to break a monstrous curse and reunite with her beloved, even if it means betraying her own family. This novel takes listeners on a roller-coaster ride filled with magic carpet rides and raging battles, romantic love and bitter betrayal. Although listeners will benefit from familiarity with the first book in the series, it is still entirely possible to be swept away by the complex characters and plot without having that base. Ariana Delawari narrates the full cast of characters, including the impudent Shahrzad, the bitter Caliph, the old Rajput, and timid Irsa. Unfortunately, most of Delawari's voices are indistinguishable, which can make it difficult to determine the speaker. Still, the strong female protagonist, twisting plot, and suspenseful action sequence make this a worthy and worthwhile entry in the series.
VERDICT Recommended for libraries where the first book is popular in audio. For others, this may be best in print form. ["A first purchase, especially for fans of lush retellings": SLJ 5/16 review of the Putnam book.]

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