“That is the thing with giving your heart. You never wait for someone to ask. You hold it out and hope they want it.”
Rating: 4.5/5 soul-shattering stars
Haunted by the sacrifices he made in Constantinople, Radu is called back to the new capital. Mehmed is building an empire, becoming the sultan his people need. But Mehmed has a secret: as emperor, he is more powerful than ever . . . and desperately lonely. Does this mean Radu can finally have more with Mehmed . . . and would he even want it?
Lada’s rule of absolute justice has created a Wallachia free of crime. But Lada won’t rest until everyone knows that her country’s borders are inviolable. Determined to send a message of defiance, she has the bodies of Mehmed’s peace envoy delivered to him, leaving Radu and Mehmed with no choice. If Lada is allowed to continue, only death will prosper. They must go to war against the girl prince.
But Mehmed knows that he loves her. He understands her. She must lose to him so he can keep her safe. Radu alone fears that they are underestimating his sister’s indomitable will. Only by destroying everything that came before–including her relationships–can Lada truly build the country she wants.
Claim the throne. Demand the crown. Rule the world.
I have one word for you all to sum up this book.
My heart is shattered into a million pieces. I finished this two days ago and I keep going back and rereading the epilogue to make sure I read it right. While I understand that there is no better way for this trilogy to end, it doesn’t hurt any less. In fact, it probably hurts so much more. If you have not read this trilogy before it’s basically a YA historical fiction story that follows the most badass, ruthless, brutal, and bloody MC’s we’ve ever seen, Lada Dracul. I cannot stress how much I love her. Even though I didn’t agree with all the choices she made, she will go down as one of my favorite YA females ever because I love to love her and I love to hate her.
In case you thought I was lying about the bloody part…
“What sustains you?”
“The blood of my enemies.”
This is going to be short since it’s the final book in the trilogy and basically everything is a spoiler, but there are a few things I want to talk about.
- This book is slightly shorter than the other two and I think that made it so much better. Historical fiction can sometimes become a snooze fest for me but not in this book. I found with the other two books they were a bit slower than this one, but this one just hit the ground running and never stopped. I mean the middle of this book was INSANE and so brilliant.
- Radu, is still infuriatingly blinded by his love for Mehmed and I was so shocked by some of the choices he made throughout this, and as much as I’ve always wanted to hate him… I just can’t.
- Mehmed is absent for the majority of this book and clearly I’m fine with it since he’s the actual worst. Somethings just never change.
- I STAN NAZIRA AND FATIMA FOREVER AND ALWAYS
- There’s a certain twist to the story for Lada, but I had a feeling for a long time it was going to happen. I’m just really not sure how I feel about because I have A LOT of emotions towards it, both good and bad.
- THE EPILOGUE. Gosh, I want to talk about this so bad, but I won’t because it will spoil everything. Ugh, it was just everything I could have hoped for and everything I was afraid of all in one.
“He could not have conversations about his future as though his past were not looped around his neck like a noose, choking him with regret and sorrow.
“Why were men always trying to claim different parts of her? Her body, her name, her soul. Why should they care where its allegiances lay?”
“It was enough.”
“”Impossible is where my sister excels,” Radu said. “That and never backing down.””
All in all, despite how heavy my heart is, this was still amazing. I don’t think I’ll ever love a YA historical fiction story as much as I love Lada, Radu, and Mehmed’s. These characters will always have a part of my heart despite how infuriating they all could be. If you enjoy politics, romance, blood & gore, and betrayals on top of betrayals on top of BETRAYALS, than look no further than this trilogy. It will hurt, but it’s worth the pain.
Until next time!