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She has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself.
After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada Dracul is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.
What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?
As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won…and souls will be lost.
Audiobook Received for Review in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Confession: I don’t think I like Fantasy books anymore, especially not YA Fantasy. To be fair, Fantasy has never been a favorite genre of mine but there are some Fantasy books that I do enjoy from time to time. Especially if I can listen to them in audiobook format with a really good narrator. Luckily, this series has a fantastic narrator which is one of the things that helped me not hate this book. Another thing could be that it was just freaking… entertaining. In as much as killing people and gruesome battles can be entertaining (think Game of Thrones). I really was surprised by the first book because the MC was so damn fierce and tough, but the romance was just awful! I won’t rehash it too much here but the love interest, Mehmed, has a harem of girls and has multiple baby mamas and although he claims he loves Lada, he isn’t quite ready to give up his harem. Also, Lada’s brother Radu also has the hots for Mehmed, a fact that Mehmed is all too willing to exploit to get his way. Basically, the romance was terrible once again, but I’m hoping this time Lada (and her brother) is done with Mehmed for good. Actually, I wouldn’t mind if she killed him in the next book.
While this book was good and entertaining, it did have it’s moments where I found myself bored with the story and it seemed to drag on. Is it an unwritten rule that all Fantasy books must be unnecessarily long and have useless info-dump every few pages? I feel like I always seem to have that problem with this genre. Lada’s chapters were really well done (the ones when she wasn’t wasting her time with Mehmed) but I could have done without so many of Radu’s scenes. He was kind of a downer and he was so obsessed with Mehmed and heartbroken because he doesn’t return his feelings and it seems like everything he does revolves around him. All in all, I found most of his scenes mopey, depressing and boring. I can’t bring myself to care about him and his poor me problems. I’m hoping his relationship with Lada improves in the next book and I hope that both him and Lada’s infatuation with Mehmed goes away for good.
Like I said before, this was a good story, even for a non-Fantasy fan like me. But because of the not needed scenes and both main characters being in love with such an awful love interest, it took away some of the enjoyment of the book for me. I still want to read the next book because I want to see how this ends, I want to see Lada destroy all her enemies, I want to see Radu get over Mehmed, team up with Lada and stop being such a moper, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Mehmed get what he deserves. Also, the narrator for this series is amazing and the only reason why I even bothered to listen to this series in the first place.
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