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, who’s expected to rule a nation, 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.
Oh. Oy. I don't think I expected this book to be quite as dark and violent as it was. The blurb doesn't really give you a real clear picture of the brutality and horrors this book contains. It is graphically violent and full of brutality and man, if I would have known that before I read it, I probably would not have picked it up because I am a bit squeamish when it comes to things like this.
For me, this book contained so much heartache and despair and so little hope. I kept trying to find the good, the light, the hope and every time I thought I found a glimmer, it was taken away in some violent, unhappy way. It was hard.
I will say that even though the subject matter was not to my taste, I can easily recognize the amount of research it took to create a story crafted like this. The writing was good- the story pulls you in and doesn't let you go. I am still thinking about this book days after finishing it.
Bottom line is that this just wasn't the kind of book I personally enjoy reading. It's a personal preference and has nothing to do with the author, her abilities or writing style. I would say this book is best for those 18+. If this were a movie it would be rated R.
Content: graphic violence, sexual situations without details within a harem, multiple wives and concubines, same sex attraction, swearing, innuendo
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.