Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
Genre: Alternate History
What did you like about the book? The first book of the Conqueror’s Saga left Radu and Lada in precarious positions, akin to balancing on the edge of a knife as they find their true place in the world. Where the first book was primarily exposition, this novel dedicates its pages to espionage and battles, flying through the story at amazing speed while still finding the time to develop each character and delve into their mindset before executing a powerful move.
White’s writing flows smoothly as the story finds a strong foothold between history and artistic license. The deftly structured plot weaves a web to ensnare readers while building Lada and Radu into well-defined characters finally ready for their story. This installment far surpasses the prequel in style and plot as it gives readers a healthy dose of action and development as opposed to the long exposition of the first novel.
Readers witness the battle of Constantinople and the rise of the infamous inspiration for Dracula through the eyes two siblings at odds with the world.
Anything you didn’t like about it? While this book offers much more adventure than its predecessor, it still has points that focus heavily on inner monologues, stalling the action while thoughts are laid out all too clearly instead of shown through the story.
To whom would you recommend this book? Those looking for more to read after George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones or Melina Marchetta’s Finnikin of the Rock will enjoy the story and style here.
Who should buy this book? Young adult library collections
Where would you shelve it ? Young Adult Fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? If you enjoyed And I Darken, the first of this series, I would first like to congratulate you for making it past the 300 page exposition and then recommend this as a great follow-up! This series cannot really be read out of order, however, so you’ll have to tackle book one first.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Melissa McCleary, Pembroke Public Library, Pembroke, MA
Date of review: May 8, 2017