Title: The Rose and Dagger
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April, 2016
In The Rose and the Dagger, Shahrzad is back and more determined than ever as she works to break Khalid’s curse and stop the war looming over Khorasan. Featuring more points of view, this sequel gives a deeper look into many mysteries presented in the first book. I really enjoyed all the action contained in this book. Whereas the first was mostly a mental game revolving around Shahrzad’s initial goal of murdering Khalid and discovering his secrets, The Rose and the Dagger is full of fight scenes, suspense, and thrilling travels. Shahrzad discovers new powers and even a flying carpet that can take her hundreds of miles away from her homeland to a dangerous place that might solve all her problems. While she looks for answers and attempts to shield herself from her sister’s prying eyes, the people around her are preparing for war.
The character development that happens here is amazing. Shahrzad continues to be unwaveringly stubborn, but she begins to be more open with her sister near the end of the novel. The action and plot development beautifully intertwine with vivid details of the character’s surroundings and feelings – so much so that reading this makes it truly feel like a movie is playing in your head. Moreover, it’s a movie that is incredibly captivating, one that you wouldn’t want to be checking your phone during because then you would miss out on the greatness. Even with an epilogue set about five years later, I am almost thirsting for more adventures with these characters. Ahdieh brings the right amount of romance mixed with fantasy that nearly anyone could enjoy. If you read the first book and only sort of liked it, I would highly suggest reading this as well, as it is even more exciting than the first, and I would give it a full 10/10 stars.