Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.
But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point. @goodreads
Vlad Dracul's heavy brow descended like a storm when the doctor informed him that his wife had given birth to a girl.
Oh, little did he know that he would have one of the most brutal, bad@ssed girl known to man!
Lada waved the knife at him in answer to the question she did not understand. Vlad raised an eyebrow. He was wrapped in a fine cloak, an elaborate hat on his head. It had been nearly a year since Lada had seen her father. She did not recognize him.
"Lada!" the nurse whispered. "Come here at once."
Lada stood as tall as her short, stocky legs allowed. "This is my home! I am the Order of the Dragon! I kill infidels!"
I am totally in love with the character of Ladislav Dragwlya (Lada). She is beyond bad. She just doesn't care and she will attack anyone. She wants to be equal with men. She doesn't care to be married off. She doesn't care to do women stuff. She trains to be a soldier, a warrior woman. She bad to the bone from the get go.
Radu had braced for another blow when Aron's shout made him open his eyes. Aron was spinning in a circle, trying desperately to dislodge Lada. She was not supposed to be here, but somehow her presence was unsurprising. She had jumped on the boy's back, clasping her arms around him and pinning his arms to his sides. Radu could not see her face through her tangled drape of hair until Aron twisted to the side, revealing Lada's teeth sunk into his shoulder
I wish I could have been like her with all of the bullies in school :-)
Radu is Lada's younger brother, but she doesn't coddle him or give him comfort like a normal sister. She will take up for him but she will smack him around as well. Although, when they get a little older she's not as bad to him.
I was thinking this was going to be a cool book about the awesome Vlad and his kids but Vlad is like a little sissy compared to his daughter Lada. They sort of switched places.
This book took a lot of time building up to what I'm hoping is going to be an awesome saga. With that ending I do believe so.
Vlad let Halil Pasha take Lada and Radu to the Ottoman Court. He turned them over to an enemy. Although, he wasn't bad to the kids. He gave them schooling and decided to marry Lada off when the time came. Oh and that decision went down well, so she got sent off to another place with one of the sultan's sons to do more schooling with the son, Mehmed and her brother Radu.
Lada spoke with a quiet, clear voice, and the room hushed in surprise. No one expected the girl to speak. She was probably not allowed to. Radu knew Lada would not care either way. "On our wedding night," she said. "I will cut out your tongue and swallow it. Then both tongues that spoke our marriage vows will belong to me, and I will be wed only to myself. You will most likely choke to death on your own blood, which will be unfortunate, but I will be both husband and wife and therefore not a widow to be pitied.
There is no one like her. To be that brutal and not take no sh*t in those times is just beyond coolness!
Lada eventually started training with the Janissaries. They are a form of soldiers that are paid a good wage. She became friends with them when she didn't take crap from them either. She eventually got her wish of becoming one of them, but oh so much more.
"Not very pretty for a whore." The soldier behind her tugged on a strand of her hair. She ducked under his arm, grabbing his wrist and twisting it behind his back to pin him. It was a trick she learned under the harsh tutelage of Mircea and perfected by practicing on Bogdan and Radu. The soldier shouted angrily and tried to pull away, so she twisted harder, pushing up against the joint. He yelped in pain.
"You are prettier than I." She put more pressure on his arm. "Perhaps you could offer yourself as whore instead."
Lada, Mehmed and Radu bond, as much as Lada allows herself to bond. I really enjoyed all of that storyline. There are some love interests in the book but they don't really go too far with that because it's more about kicking arse and getting the story set up.
Lada huffed, exasperated. "Very well. What exactly does a friend do?"
"I have never had one. I was hoping you would know."
"Then you are even stupider than you look. Radu is the one who makes friends. I am the one who makes people want to whip me."
"Good. In the spirit of friendship, I must tell you that I am bitterly jealous of the time you spend in the Janisssaries' company. I want you to stop training with them.
"And, in the spirit of friendship, I must tell you that I do not care in the slightest about your petty jealousies. I am late for my training." She hooked her foot behind Mehmed's ankle, then slammed her shoulder into his, tripping him and throwing him to the ground.
At some point Mehmed becomes sultan when his father just decides to retire. There is a whole other story line going on there too, but I don't want to give out spoilers on certain things. Lada does end up saving a bunch of lives and there are more wars and what not.
Either way, I loved this book. I love Lada and I look forward to the rest of the books! Please be good!
"Not Dragwlya," she said. "Lada Dracul. I am not longer the daughter of the dragon." She lifted her chin, sights set on the horizon. "I am the dragon."
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