October has been horror month for me, in terms of reading & work… I acasually read this a few weeks ago but my life has been completely taken over with work stuff, so I’m behind on both my reading and reviews. Oops.
I chose this book because it is based on the story of Vlad the Impaler. Vlad was a Romanian prince who became infamous for the brutal way he would impale enemy soldiers on the battlefield, and imspired Brahm Stoker’s Dracula.
From the blurb :
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.
In this retelling Vlad is a girl, Ladislav, shortened to Lada. As the oldest legitimate child of the Prince, Lada should be the heir; she is intelligent, passionate about her land and heritage, aan absolutely brutal. However, because she is a girl, her brother Radu will be the heir. Radu is shy, gentle and beautiful, the complete opposite of his sister.
The Ottomans have conquered Lada’s kingdom, and her family are kept close to the King, they are treated as guests but are really prisoners of war. They are raised by the Ottomans to keep Lada’s father from breaching a truce and taking back his lands.
Lada is ferocious, she learns early in life that she is worthless except as a bargaining tool. Her future has been planned out; she is expected to marry to establish a political union with another powerful country, and bear heirs. No one believes that Lada herself could be a powerful leader and soldier.
When Lada & Radu meet Mehmed, the son & heir of the Ottoman king, they become friends. Radu is happy to stay in the palace with his friend, but Lada yearns to escape the Ottomans and fight for freedom, for her country and herself.
This book was very interesting but not what I was expecting. To be honest, I was expecting a Vampire book. This is a young adult historical fiction novel, the only fantastical part is the fact that it is rre-imagined with a female protagonist.
The first 100 pages was very difficult to get into, it was dense with historical facts and descriptions, but if you stick with it the characters really grow on you. It’s also quite violent and a bit gooey. If you like politics, Game of Thrones and historical fiction you will enjoy this book. Settle in for the long haul though if you plan to read it – it’s about 500 pages long.
Let me know your thoughts and what you’re reading for Halloween in the comments below.