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 (From Goodreads)
The last time she was up here, she had been… staring up at the sky and dreaming of stars. Now, she looked down and plotted flames.”
Guys, finally a book I read for myself!!
I’ve had this book since the day it came out, and I have bought the follow-ups as well, not even having read And I Darken. I mean the covers, right?? Also Vlad The Impaler, but as a girl? Sign me up!!
Lada, is a little wicked thing, mean, cruel, and fierce. It was fun watching her grow from her toddler years, to her late teen years. To see her fight back, to protect the only two people in her world that she loves and trusts. Finally a YA novel were the heroine isn’t pretty, she isn’t nice, and nobody likes her! Just the book I’ve been looking for. Kiersten White is a master world builder, and a talented story-teller. It may have taken me awhile to get through this book, but that was because I was slowly devouring it.
I love that this one stands out, it’s different. It’s not full of the typical YA tropes. There is a love triangle, but I’ve never read anything like it. This is a slow building story, so if you’re expecting to fly through this, you probably won’t. It has a lot of story building, and you see how everything is going to come to a head. You learn in great depth about Lada, Radu, and Mehmed. I loved that. I felt like I knew these people.
That ending though, what a way to shatter my heart. I cannot wait to continue on, I need to know more about the vicious Lada Dracul!
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.”