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  • 4 persoon vond deze recensie nuttig

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    An epic story!

    This was a truly epic story. This story spans a lot of years and tells a sometimes brutal story. I was hooked by the book from almost the first page. I really couldn't get my mind to focus on anything besides this story until I had reached the end. It was a bigger story than I had expected with a lot of intricately woven layers. The characters were amazingly written and I found myself cheering for both Lada and Radu. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this wonderful book. Lada is the daughter of Vlad and she is fierce. The book opens at her birth and even as a very young child, Lada is brutal when needed. Her brother, Radu, does not share the same trait. In every way that Lada is brave and fierce, Radu is sensitive and needs protection. Her father is force to leave both Lada and Radu in the Ottoman courts and they fear that they may never see Wallachia again. By chance, Lada and Radu cross paths with Mehmed as children and from an unlikely friendship. Mehmed is third in line to the throne of the Ottoman empire, a throne he knows he will most likely never hold. He keeps Lada and Radu by his side largely because Lada will not treat him as anything but her equal. I enjoyed the characters in this story. Going into the book, I thought I would fall in love with Lada. Who doesn't love a fierce female character that can hold her own? She isn't pretty but she is brave. I did like Lada a lot but I was more taken with her brother's character, Radu. I didn't realize that there would be as much of a focus on Radu in the story as there was. Radu really grew as a character over the course of the book and he was a character that I found I had a lot of respect for. He was really as resourceful as his sister and could be brave when it was necessary. Mehmed is a character that really left me with conflicting feelings since there were things I loved about him and other things I disliked. The setting of the story was perfectly written. I really could envision this place filled with uncertainty and brutality. The descriptions of everything from the Head Gardeners duties to life in the harem really helped to bring this world to life. I thought that the descriptions of religion in the story was well done and I liked that it was an important part of some of the characters' lives. I would highly recommend this book to others. The story really has so many great elements from the historical setting, great characters, political intrigue, and even a bit of romance. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in this planned trilogy! I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Children's - Delacorte Press via NetGalley.
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    Great book

    Seamless weaving of fact and fiction into a wonderful novel.
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    Intriguing alt-history

    I admit to knowing next to nothing of this time in history. Kiersten White does an amazing job breathing life into famous/ infamous leaders in this era, asking: what childhood and life would someone need to have to become a great leader or an evil tyrant who impaled many and inspired Dracula!! She has a lovely writing style and you can’t help but care for the Draculi (?) siblings! The story lags towards the last third, but then BANG! You’re right back in the thick of it! Drop what you’re reading and pick this up. You don’t know what you’ve been missing!
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    AMAZING!!!!

    One of my favourite books of all time... funny, action packed and we'll written.
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    Could have been better

    I like historical fiction, and this novel does a nice job painting a picture of the Ottoman empire. But it essentially only has three characters in it, everyone else was just background. The story would have been richer if more characters had been developed.
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