Title: Now I Rise
Author: Kiersten White
Series: The Conqueror’s Sage #2
Publication: June 27th 2017 by Delacorte Press
Genre: Historical Fiction ~ Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada 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.
Now I Rise was more than a worthy sequel to And I Darken. Things were definitely way more intense in this one, I must say. But the story was just magnificent. I absolutely loved it!
There’s something I want to say first before getting around to the rest of my review. I know a lot of people think these books are fantasy. It is definitely not. It does not have a single fantasy element. To remind everyone, it’s about a gender-swapped Vlad the Impaler and it’s (mostly) set in the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century with events happening that actually took place.
So let’s be honest, Lada is one of the most brilliant main characters out there right now. She is terrible and terrifying and I absolutely love her for that. In this book she was quite brutal in how she would do anything to secure the Wallachian throne, which is exactly what she did. A lot of the things she did were really questionable but I wouldn’t expect any less from her.
Radu was probably my favorite character this time around. I felt like he was in the spotlight a lot more in this book than his sister. His part mostly takes plays in Constanstinople where Mehmhed has send him to be a spy. His wife Nazira comes along with him, which I thought was a very good idea. Although their relationship is purely platonic, I love their dynamic. But it sure wasn’t easy everything he went through in Constanstinople and playing a double agent.
A lot of the secondary characters were really great to read about as well. I already mentioned Nazira but I also liked the new character of Cyprian who ended up being friends with Radu and ultimately they both broke my heart… With Lada I really liked that Bogdan remained so loyal to her. I actually really like all of Lada’s men who follow her. Their loyalty was something Lada really needed. Mehmhed wasn’t a lot around in this book because the most part took place away from him so I don’t actually have a lot to say about him.
Overall, Now I Rise was every bit as amazing as And I Darken Was. Maybe even a little bit more so. I have said it before and I will say it again, these books are Kiersten White’s best work so far. I can’t wait for the next book!
Kiersten White is the New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken, Now I Rise, the Paranormalcy trilogy, the Mind Games series, The Chaos of Stars, Illusions of Fate, In the Shadows with artist Jim Di Bartolo, and the upcoming Beanstalker and Other Hilarious Scarytales. Kiersten lives with her family in San Diego, California.
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