Publisher's Note:  

The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded byPublishers Weekly as "a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance."

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Putnam

The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)

by Renee Ahdieh

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Overall Review:  

Renee Ahdieh proves herself again in this compelling sequel to The Wrath and the Dawn. The story is a seamless continuation of the first volume. Rather than a sequel, this feels like one book that was split in two in order to avoid a thousand page novel. 

The story is exciting and fast-paced, and the main characters are immensely likable. There is a little more development of complex relationships, which are all resolved satisfactorily, if not happily. The Rose and the Dagger is not a flat story--rather, it shows the kind of depth and breadth of plot that intelligent readers crave. 

Readers expecting the typical sequel with bigger and better explosions won't find that here, but those who loved The Wrath and the Dawn will devour this continuation of the story and look forward to further work by this talented author.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  11 religious exclamations; 9 mild profanities; 15 derogatory names; 1 scatological word; 5 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore:  A character is badly burned (few details); an animal is found dead with its throat cut (some gore); a character's hands bleed from hard work; a character is grabbed and treated roughly (4 times); a character is attacked and choked; in an extended scene, characters engage in hand-to-hand combat with no injuries; a character is attacked by a bird of prey, sustaining minor injuries; a character fights back after being grabbed and knocked down; a character changes bandages over a wound; in an extended scene (2 pgs), characters engage in hand-to-hand combat; characters discuss acts of violent revenge; reference is made to a past murder; characters grapple briefly; a character is hit with a magical ball of fire, sustaining minor injuries; a character painfully grips another character's wrist; in a magical ritual, a character's hand is cut open and blood is collected (2 times); a character is shot with an arrow and seriously wounded, few details, little gore; a character's wound is sealed shut with a hot knife, some detail; a character is sedated and kidnapped; a character sustains minor burns; a character punches another character in the stomach; in an extended scene (2 pgs), characters fight in battle with swords, one character is killed with little detail; a deceased character is seen with blood on his neck; a wounded character bleeds profusely; a character is threatened with a blade at her throat; a character hits another character; in an extended scene (5 pgs), a battle takes place in which several people are killed (one person is impaled), others are badly burned, and property is destroyed; a character is stabbed in the heart; a character is killed with a sword.

Sex/Nudity:  Characters embrace briefly (4 times); characters vaguely discuss a past romantic encounter; characters touch each other's cheeks and hold hands (2 times); a character puts his hand on another character's knee; a character pulls another character into an unwanted embrace and caresses her hair; a character changes clothes in front of her spouse, no details; in an extended scene (4 pgs), a couple embraces, caressing, undressing, and kissing (sex is implied); characters embrace and kiss--a reference is made to sexual activity (2 times); characters embrace and hold hands; characters embrace and kiss (2 times); characters hold hands (2 times); characters awaken in one another's arms, no sexual activity; a character looks suggestively at another character's chest; a character forces another character to kiss.

Mature Subject Matter:  

War, betrayal, loss of family members, political intrigue, kidnapping.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Adults drink alcohol socially (some drunkenness); character sedated and kidnapped.

Reviewed By Leslie
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