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.
I would to start by thanking the author, publisher and Edelweiss for allowing me to read this fantastically well written and developed story in exchange for an honest unbiased review. Although the first 1/2ish of the book was a little slow it was necessary as it was where most of the world building was done.
I have never read a book that retold the story of Vlad the Impaler in fact I have to admit that I don’t really know much about the person himself but now I have read this book I will read more about him. I loved the fact that the author twisted Vlad into a very dark, brutal anti Princess who was born in a time where she was viewed as little more than a chattel to be married off as soon as she’s old enough.
Lada Dracule was a really strong and brutal character who loved her brother Radu without hesitation although could be the most horrible to him of anyone at times. Her relationships with other characters throughout the book were interesting. I loved the love triangle of sorts between Lada, Mehamed (the Ottoman prince) and Radu. The way the author handled the fact that Radu was dealing with the fact that he was gay in a very mans man world was both very touching and sensitive.
The authors writing weaved together the topics of politics, history, sexuality and religion in the story in such an exquisite way that it drew me as the reader in to the story while making you realise what a brutal time it was to live in for anyone but especially a woman.
I loved this book from cover to cover so as you can imagine cannot wait for the next book in the series to how the story develops futher and without question will read this one again. it also goes without saying that I without hesitation will recommend it others as well as buy a finished copy for myself/anyone I think will enjoy it.