Publication Date: June 28, 2016 or July 7, 2016?
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Goodreads Rating: 4/5 stars
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.
Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.
Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.
The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she’ll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive.
Opening Line: “Vlad Dracul’s heavy brow descended like a storm when the doctor informed him that his wife had given birth to a girl.”
This book is dark, brutal and something completely different then you’ll ever read.
Are you familiar with Vlad the Impaler? You know, the guy that is the originator for the legend Dracula? Also the guy known for impaling his victims from the rear-end. yeah not a pretty picture. Now take all that and imagine that Vlad has a daughter. Who is just as dark as he is in mind and spirit. Well, that is where our main character derives from. This is not your pretty-pretty princess story. No, this is a story of an anti-hero Lada.
Lada, the daughter of Vlad Dracul is everything Vlad wanted, only in a son. He’s angry that he has a girl for a first born and when Vlad finally has a son and this son is everything a boy ought not to be; Well, he just abandons them to the Ottoman nation.
Lada- our “anti-hero” or “anti-princess” or our female Vlad the Impaler. I don’t know– pick. From the moment she was born she was dismissed by her father the warlord since there is no use for a girl other then to sell her off in marriage. She is fierce the day she was born and she only gets more fierce and brutal as the story goes on. Lada is all hate, anger, vengeance, and dark. “At her hip was her sword, and on her wrists were her knives. Her spine was steel. Her heart was armor. Her eyes were fire”
Radu-the son of Vlad is everything that Lada is not. Beautiful, graceful, kind, compassionate and to a warlord- completely worthless. His goodness only grows throughout this story and is evident through the whole thing.
This is a story of two unwanted children that are complete stark contrasts of each other. Yet there is a bond and love for each other that makes their relationship extremely complex. Add the fact that they’ve both been abandoned by both parents to the courts of Ottoman and them trying to survive and you’ve got one really deep complex story. I wonder if the relationship between these two siblings was possession on one side and desire to be loved by the other. “‘If anyone is going to kill you, it will be me. Understand?’
Her brother nodded, snuggling into her shoulder. ‘Will you protect me?’
‘Until the day I kill you.’”
The whole building and historic setting was perfect for this story. A girl fighting against the customs of her gender. A boy completely overshadowed by his sister and fighting to get out of that shadow.
Then add in another boy who is heir to the Ottoman nation who befriends Radu and falls for Lada and you’ve got one crazy complex relationship between all three.
Romance-there is a nice undertone of romance. I can’t tell if there is a love triangle or not. And it seems by others who’ve read this book that some say there is and some say there is not. Whatever it is, the romance in this story is extremely sad and complicated.
This book was very different and I think many will like that but I felt this quote from the book is what it was all about, “So the question becomes, Daughter of the Dragon, what will you sacrifice? What will you let be taken away so that you, too, can have power?”
Overall this is not your typical YA book. I think many will love it because of how dark and brutal this story is.
*A HUGE THANK YOU to Delacorte Press for the book, which I got in exchange for an honest review*