Review: Now I Rise by Kiersten White

Monday, July 3, 2017

Now I Rise by Kiersten White
The Conqueror's Saga #2
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 27th, 2017
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: Trade
Format: Physical ARC
Pages: 496

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

Now I Rise was a little bit of a rough read for me. While I did enjoy And I Darken last year when I read it, I found it to be a bit slow and boring. I felt much the same way about Now I Rise.

This book alternates chapters between Lada and Radu. In the beginning, Lada is terrorizing Transylvania for revenge against a man who promised to be her ally and then sent an assassin after her. She has no means to accomplish her ultimate goal of taking back Wallachia. So she is just kind of floating for a little bit until she starts to investigate some new leads to gain allies.

Lada's chapters were my favorite. She is just as vicious and determined as ever. She is on a path and that path is only going to end with her on the Wallachian throne. She will cut down whoever she needs to in order to get there.

One thing I remember thinking about Lada in the first book was that I wanted to see a more human side of her. Like, I thought it was really unrealistic that she had no feelings besides rage. I definitely thought she was more human in this book. She was still ruthless and cold, but she had OTHER FEELINGS and I loved it.

Radu's chapters on the other hand, I had to REALLY force myself to read in the beginning. I wanted to start skipping/skimming them so badly. I'm glad I didn't because while I think that this book is long, there really isn't anything unnecessary in it. I would have missed something probably.

Mehmed is still set on taking Constantinople as his capital. While he prepares to start war with the city, he sends Radu inside to get information and turn the tides in their favor. In the city, Radu meets many new people that he grows to care for and respect. He's really torn about what he is supposed to be doing, but he really wants to impress Mehmed. 

The most infuriating things about Radu's chapters in the beginning was the fact that they were entirely about his feelings for Mehmed with a little bit of plot/story thrown in. I didn't really care for Mehmed when I started, but I absolutely hated him by the end because I was so sick of hearing about Radu's unrequited feelings for him. I GET IT, RADU! Until the siege started, Radu's chapters were so boring, I was really struggling to want to keep reading.

The siege on Constantinople and how Radu felt so torn between his loyalty to Mehmed and his new friends in the city were so much more interesting than his love for Mehmed. When it started to focus more on those things, his chapters started to feel a lot more readable.

The romance in this book mostly consisted of both Dracul siblings pining after Mehmed. Both of them have strong feelings for him. While Radu's feelings are unrequited, Lada's aren't so much. But she's too in love with Wallachia to go running back to Mehmed. Radu started to develop feelings for someone in Constantinople that I really hope can go somewhere in the next book. I don't think it's super promising at this point, but dang it, I'm sick and tired of hearing about Mehmed.

So overall, this book was mostly slow and boring, but I am invested in the Dracul siblings and I want to see where they end up when this series ends.

Have you read this series yet? What did you think of it?


  1. Slow and boring was what I was afraid of when I saw this book (as well as Now I Darken).. it's just so scarily huge that I assumed it's something you'd have to trudge through, even if there might be exciting parts. That was my problem with The Reader and some other huge books, so I tend to avoid them. Maybe I'll give this entire series a listen via audiobook after it's completed. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. It is definitely a series that you have to trudge through. It might be better with audio because you can tune out the boring parts. Haha!


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