Started: June 11, 2017
Finished: June 17, 2017
Rating: 3/5 stars
Her spine was steel. Her heart was armor. Her eyes were fire.
I had planned to read this later this year, but then I received an ARC for the second book and pushed this up to read now in June.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed.
It reminded me a lot of a history book. Which, by the way, is not a bad thing in my eyes. I’m the kind of person who read through history books for school on the day we got them, while everyone else in class only read the bits and pieces they needed for the next lecture. History isn’t bad to read – but it has to be focused on something in order to be entertaining. I felt like this novel was far to unfocused to be entertaining. It covered everything, regardless of how unimportant one chapter turned out to be compared to the next. Sure, it gave you a lot of background information on the differences between Lada and Radu, and Mehmed, but I almost feel like that would have been better presented by being written as flashbacks and not in chronological order. It became too much.
I can honestly say that, if I hadn’t already received the ARC for the next novel, I would have DNF this after about 1/4. At that point I rated this novel 1, maybe 2 stars. The second half of the book was better and pushed my rating – and interest – up somewhat. It was paced better, had more intensity and the characters developed into something I could actually support. I found I liked Radu a lot – him being a Christian converting to Islam, and homosexual. It was something unique, something that I do feel Kiersten White should be praised for writing. We need more characters like Radu, set in modern as well as historical settings. Lada and Mehmed remained a bit boring/annoying to me, but Radu grew in my eyes. And he’s definitely a good reason for me to read the next novel, but probably not as soon as I would have liked.