Book Review – Now I Rise by Kiersten White

 Now I Rise (The Conqueror’s Saga, #2)
Author: Kiersten White
Publish Date: June 27, 2017
# of Pages: 471
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Buy it*: Amazon


(From Goodreads) She has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself.

After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada Dracul 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.


Rating (1-10, 10 is exceptional)
Quality of Writing – 9
Pace – 5
Plot Development – 6
Ending – 7
Characters – 9
Enjoyability – 6
Ease of Reading – 6

Overall Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️


Now I Rise by Kiersten White is the second book in the Conqueror’s Saga. This is a book of war and ascension, love and betrayal.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel, though I had some gripes with it. The book is beautifully written, a quality I tend to expect with White’s books. The author does a fantastic job of dropping you into the setting–it’s easily imagined, and the emotions of the characters feel so real.

The pacing of the novel is one of my gripes. Parts of the book are so slow I felt as though I was watching paint dry. I found myself losing interest on and off; however, perseverance paid off, because this book was still worth the read.

The plot development was also so-so in my mind. The events that happened were awesome and written with care, but really, not much happened in the book.

The ending of the novel was intriguing and sets itself up nicely for the last book in the trilogy. I’m very curious to see how Lada’s relationships with Radu and Mehmed continue to develop.

The characters in this book are rich with detail. Lada is such an interesting character. I like her, but some of her actions make it difficult to like her. She’s ruthless and shows no mercy when it comes to the throne. Radu, sweet Radu, was awesomely complex in Now I Rise. I liked how conflicted he was in this book. He no longer has a clear-cut answer of what’s right and wrong and who’s good and bad. I like the level of complexity the events in the novel added to his character. I’m eager to know how everything plays out. Will Radu continue standing with Mehmed? Will he join up with Lada? Will he strike out on his own? The characters, truly, make this book.

Again, overall I’m glad I read this book, and I still think it was worth the read. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, and I hope the last book drives the trilogy home in a fantastic way.

Check out my review for the first book in the series: And I Darken 


None recorded.

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Have you read Now I Rise? What did you think of the pacing? Are you fans of Lada and Radu, or do you dislike them?

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17 thoughts on “Book Review – Now I Rise by Kiersten White

  1. I loved this book. The whole series is one of my favourites! And while I agree that the pace is quite slow and dragging at some points, I actually enjoyed it because it helped me to feel the whole atmosphere of the world. I just love Lada so much, whereas I’m pretty annoyed with Radu for most parts. But his character is written so good and as you said, complex. So it is really hard to be annoyed but I am nevertheless 😀


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lada is such a cool character! I love her and hate her at the same time. I want her to succeed yet I hate some of the things she does to get to the top. And then there’s Mehmed in this book…. 🤦🏻‍♀️ I’m still looking forward to reading the next book, though I was admittedly disappointed by this one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. okay, Mehmed is such an ass, really. He can just… I don’t know, jump into the bosporus and not get out again or something, idk.
        The cover of the third one is SO PRETTY!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it says something about me that I love Lada’s ruthlessness XD I remember in the first book Radu was an issue for me, I have yet to get to this one (despite it being on my shelf) but I’ve heard a lot of good things about his character development, so I’m hoping to get to it soon 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lada is a great character! She’s such a beast, and I love that she shucks societal norms left and right. Radu’s character developed a lot in this book. I think it did his character a lot of good. I’m curious to see how it all plays out in the next book.

      Liked by 1 person

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