I first want to say that there is no magical element to this book (maybe something in the series?). I’m not sure why it is labeled fantasy, because there is nothing fantasy-like in this book besides my imaginary heart burst and beating for the first time in over twenty years, but it is really phenomenal anyway!
Reasons why you should read this book as follow:
You don’t have you typical plain-awkward-clumsy-yet-extremely-beautiful-talented-shy main girl. No, the main girl, from the first page she was on, is in your face, strong, and nothing to mess with. She knows what she wants and she is going to get what she wants. You want to screw with her? She will cut your throat. You think she is less because she is a woman? She’s going to show you how much more she is. Lada Dragwlya is who every young lady (old too, though LBR) should strive to be.
Now you do have a plain-yet-smart-and-adorable-and-not-really-fitting-in brother, Radu Dragwlya at play at well. He is more strong in the mind and with wit than with the sword and brute (like his sister). He’s so friendly but fragile. He wants to be seen and accepted, but with the brutality of the world he lives in, he is kind of over looked. But the fun part is that he is most definitely, tragically and beautifully gay. And with the time period this is in, that isn’t accepted.
Now, I’m just going to cut right to the point: This story is so unique in the way of love triangles.
“So the question becomes, Daughter of the Dragon, what will you sacrifice? What will you let be taken away so that you, too, can have power?”
I’m not talking just any love triangle that you roll your eyes at, but like the best kind of tragic love triangle that your heart will hate but your attention craves. You don’t know which why it should go because you love everyone involved and it kind of drives you a little nuts. But in a way like cracking your back feels. It hurts, but it’s still amazing.
This whole story starts out with the siblings being traded to the enemy for safety. They are young, like twelve and eleven I think, and so they are basically raised in the hands of the person they were raised to not like. As you can gather from that, the book is very, very political. There are a bunch of chess pieces at play and you have to keep them straight (which isn’t very hard because the author makes it very easy to follow).
On top of the politics, the not-fantasy, the love triangle and the siblings, you have a lot of historical facts. I’m not really a historical reader, though I do have exceptions, so this is where I started losing a lot of my focus with the book. It didn’t take away from anything, it just added a ton of facts (which isn’t bad, just information overload for me sometimes).
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The ending made me bawl my eyes out. You basically are watching these two siblings grow into adults and bring havoc onto the world. So when you are in pain, it’s like seeing a loved one in pain and it makes my heart weep. I am so anxious for the next book though. That cliff hanger was not okay.