"The peace you seek is here... Fight for it. I'll fight with you. I'll do anything it takes."
I find it's rare that a second installment is anywhere near as good as the first, but The Rose and the Dagger was everything I wanted in a sequel and more! The changes in POV where smoother and less frequent, which fixed one of my only complaints about The Wrath and the Dawn and the book itself was just so beautifully written! I absolutely loved getting to read more about the story of Shazi, Khalid, and those closest to them in a perfect ending to a perfect tale; the only other thing I could wish for is more!
Shazi has been through a lot recently: she became a queen with a fast approaching expiration date and fell in love with her long believed monster of a husband who she had sworn to kill only to be ripped from his arms and spirited off to an enemy camp ran by her ex-almost boyfriend. Now she has to find a way to convince everyone that Khalid is not the crazy serial killer everyone thinks he is and break his curse before these misguided "revolutionaries" get their way and kill him. Things won't be easy however, especially with Shazi having to question the motives of those closest to her at every turn.
One of my favorite things about this duology is that the characters are so wonderfully flawed. Shazi knows she is selfish and spiteful, just as Khalid knows he is vengeful. They are conscious of their shortcomings and continuously strive to be better and will go to the ends of the earth to keep each other and their kingdom together. Though there are a couple plot twists that totally come out of left field, one of which nearly gave me a coronary, everything turns out amazing and this is by far one of the best books I've read this year!
Check it out on Goodreads