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.
So… the Plot?
So… I have some serious issues with this book because… the plot. Or rather I should say: “What plot?” Sadly, there wasn’t one. Rather, this was a story following a girl and her brother from birth to their mid-teens, which… isn’t quite what I would’ve liked. For one, it doesn’t offer any direction for the story and lacks the tension required to keep me interested and wanting to know what will happen next.
Second, so much was missing. Large chunks of time would be skipped and important events would just be mentioned and never explained. Not to mention, the scene/time jumps just felt very disconnected like getting snapshots of a person’s life and not really knowing what’s going on in between. Thus, the story lacked continuity.
*sigh* What do I say about the characters? Do they grow? Maybe? Kind of? Some of them? I wish I could say that I cared about the characters in the story, but… two didn’t change, the third did… and then reverted. Not to mention they just didn’t seem like strong characters. They were very wishy-washy and that left the story unsupported, and I felt like their motivations weren’t… believable.
Frankly, this story felt like more romance than actual plot, which I find sad. Even romances have better plots than this (not that read romance), but I know people who do. This story tried to throw in romance as motivation, purpose to live, the plot, the action, and well… everything. It was like the romance was extra heavy to make up for all the bald spots in other parts of the book and then still couldn’t really do that. Really, quite disappointing.
I’m sorry. I wanted to root for him, but it’s really hard to root for, or even care about, a character who has such little self-worth that they can’t even stand up for themselves. I know he tried to play the role of the ‘spider,’ learning everyone’s secrets while appearing innocent (which he was, unfortunately), but… none of it ever seemed to actually make a difference, never took affect or changed anything. And his only motivation was pining for someone who will never love them back or even truly appreciate what they do for them. *shake my head*