The Rose and the Dagger

432p. ebook available. Putnam. May 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399171628.
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
Shahrzad's city is aflame, her father is in a mysterious cursed state, and her husband Khalid far away. She takes refuge in a war camp led by her former love; there she must develop her growing magic and break Khalid's curse before war truly takes everything. Despite more focus on war than on the romance, this conclusion to Ahdieh's The Wrath & the Dawn will satisfy fans.

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