I DNFed this at 11% in July 2017 and reviewed it then. I read this as an arc, and as always, this is my honest opinion. I read this as part of my arc catch up challenge over on Twitter.
I went a little out of order with this book, because I haven’t finished the other arc I’m currently reading, but I needed to read something on my phone to kill time so why not.
However, I had a feeling I would DNF this, so I’m not surprised I’m writing a DNF review.
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.
I read until chapter 8 which is roughly 11% of this book on my kindle. The part where our main characters are wrenched to the Ottaman court hadn’t happen yet, so I can’t talk about what happens later on in the story and if it’s good.
I can talk about the bit I read which takes place over the growing up of Lada and Radu, which I technically skimmed through because it wasn’t holding my attention.
This was not my cup of tea. I didn’t like the narrative and subsequently skimmed over it. It feels word heavy and like you’re stuck paragraphs before you can move on. I noticed this when I tried to read The Chaos of Stars and I think White’s writing style is not for me.
Lada feels so forcedly brutal that I couldn’t take her seriously. She’s supposed to be bloody and savage, but she came off as over the top and ridiculous.
The concept is interesting, and Dracula is one of my favorite novels, but this whole story didn’t work for me. I wasn’t bored per se, but I wasn’t too intrigued either.