This is me on twitter while reading this book.
— Judith Moore (@judithcmoore) August 4, 2017
Keep in mind those ‘things’ were moving into and unpacking our new flat. That’s how much I was captivated by this book.
If you haven’t yet, why not travel back in time to read my review of the first book in The Conqueror’s Saga And I Darken?
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.
I never ever in a million billion years would have seen such an epic sequel coming. It had everything I loved from book number one in spades. There was more Lada being a badass and coming to terms with the fact that you can be a powerful ruthless leader and a woman (a lesson the rest of the world has yet to fully comprehend) and more Radu being amazing and adorable and oh so conflicted about everything and I just relate so much to him.
I also feel like I’m going to have to go back and read actual history books about Vlad the Impaler otherwise he’s going to come up in a trivia situation and I’m going to start talking about his queer sister in law and it’ll be a hot mess.
I don’t want to spoil anything for you so I shall resist just frothing about this book but suffice to say it stands up to book number one. There’s character development, plot development and broken trusts and promises that could fill a whole fourteen books but it’s edited down so beautifully that it is literally unputdownable (is that a verb?).
Understandably in a story such as this there are some scenes that some readers may find upsetting, there’s a fair bit of violence that the book doesn’t shy away from. But it isn’t like Godblind where the violence feels utterly gratuitous and adds nothing to the plot. You can see how all the things they encounter shape the lives of these characters and everything makes sense.
If you thought it couldn’t get better than And I Darken you were wrong. I adored this to pieces and I hope you will too.
My rating: 5/5 stars
I bought this book myself and all opinions are my own.
What say you? Have you read Now I Rise or And I Darken? Want to froth about it together? Let’s chat in the comments below!