ARC Review: Now I Rise by Kiersten White


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.

arrows★★★★★(5 stars)

First and for all, I would like to inform my dear readers the fact that I have included in my review of And I Darken some of the things that are quite general for the whole series. To make this review short and not redundant, I decided to just state only the things that I have observed in the second book of the series. If you want to read my review of the first book, click here.

I have received an advance readers copy of this novel from Netgalley and the publisher for an honest review.

Lada has abandoned everything for her persuit of the Wallachian throne including her brother, Radu and the love she has always pushed aside, Mehmed. But when getting the crown became a challenge Lada knew she couldn’t face alone, she bested her pride and asked Radu for help.

On the other side, Radu is torn between his love for Mehmed and his sister’s desperate request for aid. When his choice became clear and his mission to Constantinople was set, he starts to wonder if his decision was for the best. For everything comes with a price and sometimes, it is something one, is not willing to give.


  • It is a historical fiction based on significant true life events. I have been dazed with this series ever since the beginning and I admit, the second book never failed to amaze me. You can see how meticulously researched this novel is and you can tell by the way that it is written that the information is not forced. All in all, I love how the author combined fiction with real events.

  • Each battle scene is not too difficult to imagine. As someone who is as visual as I, battle scenes can be the most challenging part in reading a novel. In this book, the author has written such scenes with finesse. It is never a pain in the ass trying to imagine everything. In fact, as I read along, I can see what the author is trying to make the readers witness.

  • World building. If And I Darken is for the series’ character building, Now I Rise is for its world building. This book includes Constantinople’s fall and Lada’s claim to the Wallachian throne. Here we can see how each parties struggle to get what they want and how the sacrifices mentioned in the first book takes part in their lives.
  • Lada and Mehmed’s relationship. I think I should burn for shipping them so hard. I mean, this book is not a romance novel with sweet steaming hot scenes or whatnot but I love how the author made the readers feel the emotion of longingness between the two especially for Lada.
  • The humor of Lada’s existence. I love this part of the novel the most. Lada’s fierce character is sometimes coupled with naiveness especially when it comes to the problems of being a female. It made her character more human and realistic. I also love the banters she had with her men and that ending! Man how witty that ending is! All in all, Lada sure is one unique heroine.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I recommend this book to everyone who wants some historical fiction with a twist. I hope you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did!

Till my next review everyone!

Queer Young Adult/New Adult


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