Fierce MC, Horrible Romance Take II: Now I Rise by Kiersten White

Posted August 8, 2017 by Nereyda/ 21 Comments

Fierce MC, Horrible Romance Take II: Now I Rise by Kiersten WhiteNow I Rise (The Conqueror's Saga, #2)
by Kiersten White
Series: ,
Release Date: June 27th 2017
Published by Delacorte Press
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Fiona Hardingham
Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins
Pages: 471
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three-half-stars
Source: Audiobook Received for Review

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.


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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.

Audiobook Sample:

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Nereyda

Nereyda

Nereyda is a 31 year-old mother of two girls with addiction to Friends, fashion, books, Pinterest, Netflix, the color black and a little bit of everything else. Also, the world's worst texter...

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  • Oh yikes, this sounds like a series that I should probably avoid. It doesn’t sound like one I would enjoy at all, after reading your review. That romance does sound really messy and awful. I still enjoy ya fantasy but not when they promote unhealthy relationships. I hope you enjoy your next read much more!

    • I did enjoy it, I consider 3.5 stars pretty good although I know other people’s ratings are different. My issue with the romance is that I’m not sure if we’re supposed to be rooting for them to be together or rooting for Lada to kill him… my guess is the second… but I could be wrong 🙂

  • kindlemom1

    This is definitely not a book about romance or even one that will give you warm and fuzzy feelings but I do love the protagonist and how she isn’t your typical one. More villain than hero most times.

    • yes, I kind of love that she isn’t your typical MC. I just don’t get if we’re supposed to be actually rooting for the romance, you know? Has the author ever addressed that??

  • I just haven’t at all been into YA lately, but especially YA fantasy. I would struggle so much with the romance, though! But yay for kick ass heroines. And excellent audiobook narrators.

    • I have a feeling we aren’t supposed to like the romance either…not sure though. And yeah, if it weren’t for her being such a idgaf killer, I wouldn’t really like this either I think.

  • Being Romanian, I am a bit worried of the whole Dracula portrayal and that`s why I have not read this yet. But I did hear fantastic things about it, so I might give it a go.

    Carmen / Carmen`s Reading Corner

  • oh I am sorry to hear that this didn’t work out for you. I honestly just love regular fantasy or romance adult fantasy. I have never been able to like YA fantasy.

  • I listened to the first one last month, I liked it, but found it dragged. Now I am not so sure about this one. I might wait until the third releases and decide.

  • Ack, I need to read book 1, but at the same time after this, why the hurry

  • See, I’m so intrigued by this series because I feel like most YA fantasy doesn’t have high-enough stakes (basically, not enough murder lol). But the romance sounds truly awful, and your description of Radu’s POV doesn’t exactly inspire confidence either. What’s the deal with this Mehmed guy? Does he have a magical package or something? 😂

    • Magical package! Man, I wish I would have named my review that!
      I’m not sure if we’re supposed to be rooting for the romance or supposed to be rooting for her to dumb his ass and maybe kill him. I vote for the kill him option 🙂

  • I always love how you put an audiobook sample after your review. It’s so convenient.

    So, I didn’t like And I Darken, mainly because it drags a lot, and I guess that’s why I’m probably going to stop there. I don’t think 3.5 stars is enough for me to continue on with the series, even though I like how there’s a bunch of killing in this one. Oh well. Also yeah, the romance sounds just as awful in this book!

    Thanks for the review Nereyda!

    • I know a lot of readers aren’t audiobook listeners but I always like to include the sample just in case. I feel like most fantasy books drag so if you weren’t a fan of the last one maybe skip this one…

  • Sorry you didn’t enjoy this very much, Nereyda! I loved it – the time period, how out of place Lada was, all the while fighting for women’s rights. The fight between Christians and Muslims… I just loved it 🙂
    I hope your next read was something that blew your mind (in a nice way, of course).
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    • So glad you liked this one, if I was a fan of fantasy to begin with I would have liked it more. As it it, I’m glad I liked it at all 🙂

  • Glad the narrator was a hit for this series Nereyda! But honestly, book 1 was a turn-off for me so I definitely won’t be following it – only reviews. I can’t believe that love triangle is still dragging. Like, Radu’s character in book 1 was just >:( for me and Mehmed was a total jerk that didn’t deserve either of the characters, imo. Great review!

    – Aila @ One Way Or An Author