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.
Ok this is a hard one folks. I wanted so badly to like this book,and I just didn’t. I love Keirsten White, her Paranormalcy series was fantastic! So I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this book! There are many possible reasons as to why I didn’t like this story very much. Well for one, I took about two weeks to read it due to my insane exam schedule so the content itself just seemed to drag, but that could also be because it wasn’t super exciting in the first place. It just took so long for something to actually happen between the characters that was genuinely meaningful.
The story follows the perspectives of siblings: Lada and Radu as they suffer through their terrible childhood while being tossed around like objects by their selfish father. When they find themselves in a city where everyone is a stranger, they accidentally encounter the future sultan and soon become entangled in the politics of the country and the cut throat methods necessary to gain power.
Lada is one of the most infuriating and difficult to like main characters I’ve encountered. From the get-go she is insufferable to everyone around her, including her brother who is the only person who has ever truly loved her. Don’t get me wrong I appreciated her resilience to be herself and defy feminine stereotypes, but to put it plainly, she was a bitch. It was very hard to distinguish genuine emotion from her. Radu’s character didn’t instill anything in me but pity for his very unfortunate situation. And really, his life and hopelessness didn’t improve much throughout the story. Then we come to the romance, in which I essentially felt nothing for! There was no real love there whatsoever!! I just couldn’t grasp on to it.
The conclusion was kind of a cliff hanger, kind of…I’m just not feeling reading the next book. I truly do wish I had enjoyed this story more, but I just didn’t. Sorry for the negative review guys!