This book was one that I had been waiting a long while for but to be honest half of it wasn’t what I was expecting. This book wasn’t bad but I only enjoyed reading about one of the perspectives because the other just annoyed me to no end. Overall this book was one that I found myself skim reading at points but still enjoyed most of the time.
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
I really do love Lada and enjoyed reading every other chapter that was in her POV. She is a strong woman and she really does a lot to get her home land back from those who are harming it. She does some questionable things but I understand most of her choices because she is attempting radical change.
I tended to skim read any section about Radu talking about how much he loves Mehmed and how he will do anything for him. I liked him in the first book but I couldn’t agree with how he pined after someone who knew he liked him and used it to better themselves. He just ended up becoming someone who I found myself annoyed with but I really did love his “wife.” She’s someone who really loved her religion and wasn’t doing everything because she was pining after someone who didn’t love her back. She had someone, in fact, we got to see more of her relationship with her girlfriend in this book and I really enjoyed those parts of the book because it showed that even in the past, homosexuality has been a thing.
I was also surprised to see how easily Ladas men follow her and listen to her orders. I really liked reading about a woman in charge of an army. It’s not often that you find a book where there is a female commander and it was really something to read about.
I don’t feel like I have much to say about this book but I really did enjoy it as a whole and would recommend the duology to anyone who likes a strong female lead. I would recommend reading this book directly after the first book because there were some characters that I had forgotten about.