Hey all, Dani here.
The review backlog continues. I still have something like 20-ish books waiting on my to-review list…and those don’t include the few that I’m currently trying to prep up. Nor does it include the books I’m currently reading, because I’m trying to keep up on reviewing those–except for the manga. I read those so quickly that I can’t help but have a backlog, especially since I only review those on Mondays.
Once again, I can say that I am back with a book I read last year, but it has still stuck with me since then. And I’m mad that I haven’t continued with the trilogy. It is on my to-do list. So hopefully this year.
Let’s start the review.
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.
Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.
But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.
Rating: 5 stars
Let me start off by saying that I’m frustrated with myself for waiting so long to finally read this book. But I’ll be honest…with all the hype surrounding this book/trilogy, I was completely nervous about it. I thought the concept was excellent, and I wanted to love it, but I couldn’t stop the tiny nagging voice that wondered if the book would let me down.
So if you find yourself having that voice, push it back to the deep dark recesses of your mind and just dive into this book. Trust me, it is absolutely worth the read.
Yes, Lada is a brutal, harsh, and violent young woman, but it is utterly refreshing to follow the story of a female who isn’t all prim and proper and doubtful and girly. Lada is tough where her brother is soft, and it made for such a fascinating read.
If you didn’t already know, this trilogy is a gender-swapped retelling of Vlad the Impaler, so Lada is not meant to be a dainty female character. But it was great how quickly I sank into this story, and how quickly I accepted Lada’s personality. Following the early years of her life and seeing how all of it helped to form her into the person she is by the end and through the rest of the books was just incredible.
I lost myself in this story, being swept away by following all three of the main characters, and seeing all the twists and turns that came along as the story progressed. The story went by so quickly, which was impressive considering the length of the story.
And in writing up this review, I’ve now worked up the urge to jump into the second book. Maybe I can pick it up after I finish King of Scars. However, this is supposed to be Fantastic February, where I read fantasy books, and sadly this trilogy is historical, not fantastical. But I will get to book two soon.