Jun 28, 2016
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Overall:3.5 out of 5 stars
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, who’s expected to rule a nation, 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.
So this book is really hard for me to review because while I liked and enjoyed it, there was something that prevented me from really connecting with the characters. I’ve been thinking about it since I finished the book and I haven’t really come to a hard conclusion. I will say that it was hard to connect with Lada because she was so awful and mean, and Radu was hard to connect with because he was such a whiner. The extremes made it so that both of them were hard to relate too. However, the writing was top notch and I liked the setting in the Ottoman Empire/Wallachia. I haven’t read many books set in that place before, and the imagery was fantastic. I could really picture what the author was describing, and could imagine the characters vividly.
The plot also was incredibly well thought out and intriguing. It kept me interested from beginning to end, and I really enjoyed the ending for Lada. I can’t help but feel sorry for Radu, although it is clearly a situation of his own making (mostly). Lada despite being unlikable had fought for her freedom and so it was gratifying to see the ending moving in that direction. I did have many questions that were unresolved by the end of the book, and there was a faint sense of dissatisfaction until I read that this is going to be a series. This is definitely a great start, and I have hope that these characters will draw me closer in future installments. I would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars for fun historical drama.
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**
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“On our wedding night,” she said, “I will cut out your tongue and swallow it. Then both tongues that spoke our marriage vows will belong to me, and I will be wed only to myself. You will most likely choke to death on your own blood, which will be unfortunate, but I will be both husband and wife and therefore not a widow to be pitied.”
― Kiersten White,