- Page Count: 498
- Release Date: July 7, 2016
- My Rating: 2 stars
Goodreads book description:
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way. Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.
Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.
The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she’ll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive.
I absolutely love Kiersten White’s other books and was expecting this to be one of my favorite books of this year… but I made it about halfway through and couldn’t even finish it. I still love this author and will read her future books, but this series just isn’t my style. So definitely take that into account with my rating — this is a book that a ton of people will adore!
Lada is a strong female MC, but I didn’t particularly like her or any of the other characters. As a child she’s a ferocious little beast and she continues to be just as fierce when she’s older. I like anti-heroes when I can connect with them, but I really couldn’t relate to her at all. And Lada’s relationship with her brother was ok, but nothing I was going to keep reading for. The love triangle wasn’t necessary, either.
Maybe I just read the description in a hurry, but it was TOTALLY not what I was expecting. This author’s other books are whimsical, fun adventures with strong, witty heroines. I was expecting something like that combined with Game of Thrones (I had heard this comparison for some reason). I suppose this story has some brutality, wars, and power struggles like Game of Thrones, so… it’s like Game of Thrones minus the characters I care about and dragons?
I didn’t realize this book was sort of based in real history, but Vlad the Impaler is obviously not going to make for a terribly whimsical story. My mistake. Nothing in this book really falls under the label of “fun” and I just stopped when I realized I wasn’t exactly enjoying anything. It’s by no means bad — the writing is wonderful and I think a lot of people will love it! It just definitely wasn’t for me.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!