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.
Shahrzad and Khalid are separated from each other. While Khalid is left to fix what is left from the burning in the city, Sharhzad is camped out with her family and mostly strangers in the desert.
I must admit that there were times when this book was pretty slow. I wasn’t bored, but I wasn’t engaged either. The times when the book did pick up was awesome. The first book lacked magic, and this book made up for that. It made everything more exciting! Sharhzad and Khalid’s sweet moments made me swoon. I love them together so much.
The side characters were also the best. Irsa and Rahim, I ship this. Despina and Jalal, I also ship this. There were some heartbreaking moments that made me cry. I still don’t understand why it needed to happen, really why? It still hurts.
Unlike most, I don’t hate Tariq. He’s not really someone you need to hate. I pity him. The girl he’s loved for all his life is suddenly in love with someone else. Just try to understand what that could do to a person. I won’t deny that he made a lot of mistakes, but he spent his time trying to fix everything he made a mess of.
The girl power was admirable. I loved how if it wasn’t for the women in this book, chaos would have reigned.
I do wish there was a longer epilogue. I wanted to know more about two particular characters, and I wanted them to fall in love, not with each other, but with someone who could love them as much as they deserved to be.
Overall, this was a great ending to a beautiful series. I’m glad to have been part of a great adventure.