The Rose & The Dagger
The Rose and The Dagger Book 2
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.
This book was just perfect and I’m totally crazy for it, which is the opposite of the first book. I’m not saying that I hated the first book but I’m saying that the sequel far surpassed my expectations. It was filled with great plot, characters, thrill, suspense, romance, action, and just about everything that I would want in the final book. I really wish that it didn’t end there. I thought it was going to be a trilogy and was really devastated to find out that it was only going to be a duology. The pacing was great. It was fast in the times it needed to be and it slowed down when it needed to be. The plot was just fantastic and the turn of events and plot twists! My emotions were all over the place with this one!
It was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone. It was about belonging together.
I feel the same about Shazi and Khalid in this one and I love their relationship. I love that they aren’t those couples that NEED to be with each other all the time and the whole I’ll-die-if-I’m-not-by-your-side-24/7. It was a breath of fresh air. I love that their relationship was healthy and that Khalid saw her as his equal in every way. It was really beautiful. We got to know more of Shazi’s little sister and father. I loved her sister and I hated her father. Oh my. He pissed me off so much I can’t even describe how much I loathed him. Tariq is back and I started this book with disliking him and then pitying him and then actually coming to like him as a character. He had great growth during the duology. I also ended up really like Rahim, especially how he interacted with Irsa. Another thing that I loved: Khalid and Irsa’s relationship! Ahh! Bromance! We get introduced to some new characters and I just loved Artan!
The book provided some great tension and suspense! At one point (semi-spoilers: involving Khalid and Jahander’s book) got me so nervous and I checked my heart rate and it was almost double my normal heart rate. That got a laugh out of me. I wish we got to see more of Khalid’s strategic mind because when we saw it during the war, it was really tactful and just amazing. I was really awed when I read his plan of attack. It was so smart and really great to see in the book. The ending was just perfect. That epilogue really hit the spot and tied up the duology really well. I can’t tell you how much I wish I had more because I couldn’t get over the story and the characters!