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|The New York Times Bestseller!<br> <br> This vividly rendered novel reads like HBO's Game of Thrones . . . if it were set in the Ottoman Empire. Ambitious in scope and intimate in execution, the story's atmospheric setting is rife with political intrigue, with a deftly plotted narrative driven by fiercely passionate characters and a fearsome heroine. Fans of Victoria Aveyard's THE RED QUEEN, Kristin Cashore's GRACELING, and Sabaa Tahir's AN EMBER IN THE ASHES won't want to miss this visceral, immersive, and mesmerizing novel, the first in a trilogy. <br> <br> 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.<br> <br> 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.<br> <br> 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.<br> <br> From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.|
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School Library Journal Review
|Gr 10 Up-The first in a trilogy from best-selling author White, this historical adventure set in the mid-15th century tells the story of Lada and Radu, the children of Vlad Dracul, prince of Wallachia (modern-day Romania). Shouldered with the inescapable curse of being female and the unrelenting burden of her beautiful, sensitive, and physically inept brother, Radu, Lada is perpetually spoiling for a fight. When her father tries to secure his throne by giving the children as hostages to the Ottoman Empire, Lada and Radu must find a way to survive and thrive in a world where no one cares if they live or die. They befriend the young Ottoman heir Mehmet, and the three form a bond of friendship that saves their lives and ultimately shapes their adult destinies. Full of sword fights, assassination plots, and palace intrigues, this novel is ambitious in scope and concept and reveals a fascinating, important, and somewhat obscure slice of history. Compared to White's painstaking development of her characters and the fantastic world they inhabit early in the novel, the ending sequence that sets up the next book in the series seems rather abrupt and haphazard. However, as a whole, the novel is breathtakingly good. The brutality and carnality of this time and place in history are faithfully rendered here, making the volume more appropriate for older teen readers. VERDICT Highly recommended for all high school collections.-Kelly Kingrey-Edwards, Blinn Junior College, Brenham, TX © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.|
|*Starred Review* Lada and Radu, adolescent daughter and son of Wallachian Prince Vlad Dracul, are hostages held by the Ottoman Empire to assure their father's cooperation with the Turks. Radu settles in and builds a life over time, while prickly Lada continues to dream of home. The Sultan's son, Mehmed, soon claims them as companions, and the three grow up together planning for his time on the empire's throne. This historical-romance trilogy opener is an engrossing tale of the Ottoman Empire during the early to mid-1400s. White deftly weaves historical fact (and the real-life figure who served as inspiration for Dracula) into this complex concoction of love, war, politics, homosexuality, religion, loyalty, and friendship. There is plenty of action, but the fully developed characters, who age from approximately 12 to 20 over the course of the book, are the engine by which this expansive story works. Details of court and military life emerge through these characters' interactions, never bogging down the plot, only enriching the tapestry created. The author has left herself multiple opportunities for exploration, and it isn't clear which direction sequels may take, but the next volume will likely be highly anticipated. Maps and back matter, including an author's note, were unavailable at the time of this review. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: White achieved best-seller status with her Paranormalcy trilogy and will get an extra push from the publisher's extensive marketing campaign. Expect plenty of demand for this one.--Welch, Cindy Copyright 2016 Booklist|
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