Now I Rise
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.
“Hold hands with the devil until you are both over the bridge.
Or kill the devil and burn the bridge so no one can get to you.”
― Kiersten White, Now I Rise
The motto of book two of the “The Conqueror's Saga”!
… and so it continues….
Lada and Radu are still on opposite sides. Divided by their loyalty, not divided by blood, they both take different paths in the next step of their ultimate conquest.
One of them will fight for Wallachia, the other on Mehmed’s side for Constantinople. Both of them face their ultimate challenge, as Lada may never be seen as prince and ruler, and Radu may never overcome his good nature to kill for his cause and alliance. Will they succeed in their own right, that is the question? Will they reunite or continue to despise one another?
Casting alongside are familiar characters we met in the first novel. Some of them turn out to be loyal and true, as others turn out to be back stabbing, sly enemies. Unfortunately, Mehmed has become one of the latter. But there are also new and interesting ones that come into play, and I hope to read of them in the next book as well. I have a feeling…. something big is brooding there!
As you can tell, I don’t want to give much away. I really like the authors' writing and I am smitten with this time period and place. Kiersten White continues to paint a vivid atmosphere of Constantinople’s city and people. In the forefront of the action stands the Hagia Sophia, and I just can’t get enough of that place.
On another note though I have to admit, that there seemed a slight dreary dark undertone in the novel throughout. Unlike in the first book where Lada, Radu and Mehmed were still younger and carefree, their mission in this novel was simply darker and grimmer. No more childhood play, no more smell the roses kind of moments. The writing was well done and fast paced. I just missed a little joy in the whole of it.
This book contains the biggest bag of a backstabbing cast members and twists, turns and guesses to take, that I have read in a while. I am looking forward to the finale in the next book. I am so hoping for a happy ending! Are you? Who are you rooting for?