Waiting on Wednesday: The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

roseanddaggerTitle: The Rose & The Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016

From Goodreads:

The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers 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.

Why I am waiting:

I have to admit that I didn’t love The Wrath and the Dawn. I enjoyed it. But I didn’t love it. I had some problems with the pacing and the romance felt a bit forced in places, but those are minor complaints coming from me. In the end the book was a solid 3/5 stars on Goodreads (since I don’t give star ratings here on Weezled).

3 stars is risky territory for me these days. I gave Red Queen 3 stars and we let down by the disastrous sequel Glass Sword. But, I can’t let that get me down. I have to believe that sequels can be just as good as the first book in a series, or even better in some cases. Especially since most of the books I read come out around 3 stars. Meaning, I liked it fine, but there is room for improvement. Wow me with the sequel.

I think The Rose & The Dagger will do just that. Most of my issues with the first book happened in the first half of the book. By the end I was hooked. If the author rides that momentum this sequel could amazing.

So, what do you think? Are you looking anxiously awaiting the release of The Rose & The Dagger? Or are you on the edge of your seat over something else? Please share in the comments!

AESTHETICS

Destiny and Development: A Review of The Reluctant Sacrifice by Kerr-Ann Dempster

sacrificeTitle: The Reluctant Sacrifice
Author: Kerr-Ann Dempster
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: August 17th, 2015
Kindle Edition: 263 Pages
Source: Author

Centuries ago, sibling rivalry tore Aramith apart. As punishment, the losers were stripped of their immortal birthright and banished to Earth. There, they wasted away from old age and diseases. However, there is hope…

If a Shaw child, born on the 12th day of the 12th month offers her soul in a public sacrifice, then the exiles will be forgiven and welcomed home to Aramith.

Aubrey Shaw is that child, but dying for the exiles is not on her to-do list. Using her gift as a Jumper, Aubrey leaps between bodies to escape relentless shape-shifting hunters. Only, shedding her skin is not enough. Not when Joshua, her best-friend-turned-hunter, is hell-bent on dragging her to the altar.

Will Aubrey’s love for Joshua change his mind?

Or, will she have to trust the scarred stranger who shows up out of the blue cloaked in lies and secrets? Doing so means giving up on Joshua. But betting on Joshua’s love could do more than break her heart.

It could kill her. 


“I want to pour myself into you and watch you fill up with pleasure, until the need for air and food forces us apart. But that is not all I want. When I look at you, I see sunsets and laughter. I see a freaking lifetime of flesh memories that’ll make me forget the days before we met.”

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.  

I only meant to read a chapter or two before I fell asleep. It was 4:30 in the morning, after all, I should’ve been asleep. After every chapter, I told myself “Just one more”. Then 8:30 rolled around and there were no more chapters. I had consumed the entire novel in four hours. There was no avoiding it. The Reluctant Sacrifice sucked me and refused to let go.

I often find myself complaining about stagnant main characters, but this engaging and fast paced read featured a loveable main character. Watching Aubrey grow over the course of the book was a joy. She went from scared and running to standing her ground and facing her fears. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the antagonists. The conflict between Morgan and Aubrey is odd, drama-filled, and confusing. This is likely to be remedied in the sequel from Morgan’s perspective that is slated for release next year. I just wish there had been more depth to the character prior to her point of view debut.

The story was pretty straight forward, easy to follow, and character driven, all things I love. I wish the author had gone into more detail about the Aramithian culture. Since the vast majority of the book took place in human cities, the world the antagonists are fighting to save gets pushed aside. As a result the ending is rushed and many things are left unexplained.

In the end, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone that wants a quick and easy fantasy read with a satisfying romance. However, don’t pay too much attention to the world building, since it is sadly lacking.

AESTHETICS