Title: Now I Rise
Author: Kiersten White
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House imprint)
Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she's always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada 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.
Now I Rise is the continuation of an epic tale of power and family, of faith, of sacrifice and determination.
Lada is continuing forward with her mission. her dream. It's time to take back Wallachia, to become its prince. But it's not that simple. She needs men, more than those currently loyal to her. And she needs the nobles of Wallachia and Hungary to stop seeing her as a useless girl with only one purpose. Determined, stubborn, ruthless, bloodthirsty, Lada will stop at nothing. But when battle turns to negotiations, Lada is as subtle as a punch to the nose. What she needs is Radu's way with words. But she can't have him. Radu is too busy hiding. Hiding in his marriage, hiding his feelings for Mehmed, hiding the conflict in his heart. The regret he feels for not following Lada. But he can't escape Mehmed, can't escape what he feels for him. And when Mehmed asks for his help? Radu is willing to do anything. But pose as a spy? Leave him for Constantinople? He's not sure if he can do this, not sure if his heart can be pulled in so many directions. Not sure if he's willing to make the sacrifices it could take.
It's hard to describe this book. The story is continuing from where the first book left off. Lada is still hungry, hungry for power and respect. Hungry for the throne. And Radu is still conflicted, not sure where to turn when caught up in Mehmed, Lada, his feelings, his faith, and the battle he sees coming. If you enjoyed the epic journeys and the conflicted, battered hearts of the first, you will relish this second book while cursing the wait for the third.
(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Random House through NetGalley.)