Now I Rise by Kiersten White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: June 27th, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Alternate History
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.
Nicolae put an arm around Lada, drawing her close. ”Make a deal with the devil until you are both over the bridge.”
”Am I the devil, or are they?”
Too often I read YA fantasy series that make me ask myself, ‘‘Why am I reading this book? What is the purpose of this story? Haven’t I read something similar recently?’’ But with this particular series, the purpose is clear.
Lada wants to be Prince of Wallachia. She will stop at nothing to achieve her goal. She will destroy anything and anyone that gets in her way. There’s nothing I love more than a determined character. It makes me feel invested in the story. Lada is someone to be both admired and feared.
Even when I thought about halting my reading, I couldn’t do that for long. I needed to know if Lada would succeed. Although this is a historical series—not fantasy!—as it’s based on true events, I am unfamiliar with Romanian history. (A shame, really, since I was born there.) So thinking about the fact that what I’m reading is also instructive and realistic sparked my interest. Burst it, really.
Radu and Lada are separated for the entire novel. Lada is gathering allies and Radu becomes Mehmed’s spy. The ugly Mehmed. He’s back. He isn’t ugly exactly—but he’s awful. If you hated him in the first book, you will want to strangle him now.
The separation is truly felt. Both characters are affected by it and so is the reader. Radu and Lada together are quite something. But at the same time, they are getting older and their futures are getting blurrier. They need to make sure they know where they’re going and how to get there.
New characters are introduced. Some allies, some enemies, some somewhere in between. I adored that. Not knowing if someone can be fully trusted spices my reading experience. I liked wondering about people’s intentions and worrying for the protagonists and holding my breath when danger came.
Just like the first book, it took me a few chapters to get into the story. I forgot how the first book ended, so I was confused at first. But the beauty is that even if the story is not written from the first person point of view, it still feels as though we’re reading Lada and Radu’s inner thoughts, making it easier to know what they’re thinking and how they perceive everything that is happening.
It’s so unfortunate this isn’t a TV series. It would be such a winner in my opinion. Plus I would just love to see a kick-ass Lada on screen. Something between a Lara Croft and a Cersei Lannister. Cannot wait for the last book. So sad… last book. Why must it end?
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