Hi, Hey, Hello!
This is the 3rd series of books that was on my reading list for this year and was supposed to be the last, but that isn’t happening anymore, but more on that later. I was gonna read this book earlier this year but then I got panicky and realised that I wanted to read the rest of the series straight through.
And I was so glad I did that.
This book was a ride.
A ride that I both loved and hated. I mean, I hated it mainly because it stressed me out so damn much. White’s style of writing is just so damn good and it gets you hooked so quickly and then it keeps you there. And then it stresses you out beyond belief but still keeps you there and then it just ends and I was so glad that I had the foresight to know that I was going to have the 3rd book to just dive straight in to.
I continue to love this reimagining of Vlad the Impaler. I love that Lada is just as ruthless as Vlad was and that she stood by her guns and she knew what she wanted and how she wanted to it even if it was a terrible decision. I love how she continued to defy all the expectations of what is is to be a woman in the world that she lived in and how all the men she surrounded herself with were like ‘yep, lead the way’. I like that it meant that you got to see that Lada has layers, she ruthless yes, but she is not totally cold and heartless. She does care about some people beyond her country.
I found Radu incredibly annoying the first book. I honestly cannot remember it all that much because I read it like 3 years ago now, but I do remember that for whatever reason I found him incredibly annoying. I think it was because he was in such direct competition with Lada and Lada knew what she wanted. Now though they are separated and so it feels like as characters they have a bit more space to breathe. And as such I became hella invested in Radu and his damn happiness.
Every time he thought that Mehmed was going to through him a bone, every time that he had to dodge the theory of there being a male harem, every time he found himself hoping that maybe Cyprian felt the same way and they could in some way be together and then he had that dashed my heart broke a little bit for him. He is the anti-thesis of his sister and whereas before I found that annoying this time around I found myself appreciating it massively.
Radu plays a game. He plays the game. He plays the exact same game as Lada, but he plays it differently and I was so invested with it by the end. And also I was very invested in his happiness. I was so stressed out any time that Cyprian might be in danger. Same goes for Bogdan actually. So much stress for these secondary characters. Also Nazira, the development of that relationship was stunning.
Like I mentioned, this book let Lada and Radu breathe a bit more, but it did kind of feel like it came at the expense of Mehmed, which was slightly weird just because it felt like we got to know him quite a bit in the first book, but I guess that was due to geography, however it did mean that for the most part I wasn’t really rooting for him, mainly because I was simultaneously rooting for both Lada and Radu even though they were on different sides.
I preferred it to be honest. Love triangles are kind of overdone, and don’t get me wrong that one still bubbled a little under the surface but it wasn’t so far at the forefront and I appreciated that. That being the point of tension between the two of them (Lada and Radu) just felt like it could only go so far. And it was thrown mostly out of the window and as such all the characters grew.
This book moved on massively from the first one. It developed the story line and it brought up so many new underlying themes and struggles for both Lada and Radu that I was so excited to see play out in the final book. Especially after that ending…
Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!
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