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Now I Rise
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Now I Rise
The Conqueror's Saga, Book 2
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The highly anticipated, mind-blowing New York Times bestselling sequel to Kiersten White's New York Times bestseller, AND I DARKEN—the series that reads like HBO's Game of Thrones . . . if it...
The highly anticipated, mind-blowing New York Times bestselling sequel to Kiersten White's New York Times bestseller, AND I DARKEN—the series that reads like HBO's Game of Thrones . . . if it...
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  • The highly anticipated, mind-blowing New York Times bestselling sequel to Kiersten White's New York Times bestseller, AND I DARKEN—the series that reads like HBO's Game of Thrones . . . if it were set in the Ottoman Empire.

    A SISTER FILLED WITH RAGE
    Lada Dracul has no allies. No crown. All she has is what she's always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares cross her. She storms the countryside with her men, but brute force isn't getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed, the defiant Ottoman sultan, 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.
    HER BROTHER CAUGHT IN THE CROSSHAIRS
    Lada needs the support of her diplomatic younger brother, Radu. 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. And for the first time in his life, when Lada asks him for help, he refuses . . . leading his sister to make the darkest of choices.
    THE ULTIMATE POWER PLAY
    Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, Radu knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, would 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.
    Fans of Victoria Aveyard's THE RED QUEEN and Sabaa Tahir's A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT won't want to miss this riveting and gorgeously written novel—the second in the And I Darken series.
    "Gorgeous, rich, and rewarding."—Booklist, starred review
    ★ "Absolutely devastating in the best way."—Kirkus, starred review
    "A+, 5 knives."—Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling co-author of the STARBOUND and ILLUMINAE FILES trilogies

    "Fierce, epic, and crazy fun."—Melissa Albert, New York Times bestselling author of THE HAZEL WOOD
    A Teen Choice Book Award nominee!

    Praise for And I Darken:

    "A dark jewel of a story, one that gleams with fierce, cunning characters—absolutely riveting." —Alexandra Bracken, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Passenger

    "A dark, gritty, and seriously badass epic that will have you dying for more . . . required reading for every feminist fantasy fan." —BuzzFeed

    "Evocative . . . this book takes no prisoners." —NPR

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    1

    January 1453

    Hell was a party.

    At least, Radu was fairly certain that whatever hell there was would certainly resemble this party.

    Music drifted like perfume on the air, enough to sweeten but not overwhelm. Groups of musicians were scattered across the island; they could be glimpsed among the hardy green that had survived the winter months. Though the main meal would come later, blue-clad servants floated through the crowds with food-laden trays shaped like lily pads. On either side of the island, the Tunca River flowed leisurely by.

    Whatever else he had been, Murad—Mehmed's dead father and Radu's onetime benefactor—had not been one to skimp on luxury. The harem complex he built on the island had been out of use since his death, but it had not faded in glory. The tiles gleamed. The carved stones of the walls promised luxury and peace. The fountains tinkled in cheery companionship with the surrounding river.

    Radu wandered between buildings painted like geometric gardens, pulled along as surely as the course of the river. He knew it was useless, knew that it would not make him feel better. But still he looked.

    And there—next to the bathhouse. Radu was drawn to him like a leaf spun on the river current. Mehmed wore his now-constant deep-purple robes and a swirling golden turban. A jeweled chain fastened a cloak around his broad shoulders. Radu tried to remember Mehmed's full lips parting in a smile, his eyebrows rising in mirth rather than mockery. The two young men, both having finally finished growing, were the same tall, lean height. But lately Radu felt small when Mehmed looked at him.

    He would have taken even that today. But Mehmed did not look his direction, immune to the connection Radu could not escape.

    "Truly glorious," Halil Vizier said to Mehmed, his hands on his hips as he looked up at the new bathhouse complex. Three connected buildings, with domed roofs echoing those of mosques, had been added in the past few months. They were the first new construction anticipating Mehmed's grand palace complex. It would rival anything his father had ever built—anything anyone had ever built. To celebrate this investment in the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed had invited everyone who mattered.

    Ambassadors from various European countries mingled freely with the Ottoman elite. Mehmed stood apart, but was free with his smiles and sweeping promises of future parties at his palace. Along with his usual attendants, he was joined by Ishak Pasha, one of his most powerful spahi; Kumal Pasha, Radu's brother-in-law; and, as always, like a bitter taste that could not be swallowed, Halil Vizier.

    Radu hated thinking of his old enemy Halil Pasha as Halil Vizier. He hated even more that it had been his own plan to put Halil in a place of trust and power to keep a closer eye on him. Maybe Lada had been right. Maybe they should have killed him. Things would be easier, or at least they would be more pleasant. That should be Radu's place at Mehmed's side.

    As though sensing Radu's poisonous envy, Halil Vizier looked at him. His mouth curled in a sneering smile. "Radu the Handsome," he said. Radu frowned. He had not heard that title since the end of fighting in Albania, when Skanderberg, their foe, had coined it. Mehmed glanced over, then away as soon as their eyes met. Like a butterfly alighting on a flower and finding it lacking.

    "Tell me," Halil said, that nasty smile still on his bearded face. "Is your pretty wife aware this is not a functioning harem yet? I fear...

About the Author-

  • KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of the And I Darken and Paranormalcy series, and many more novels. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further away times.

    kierstenwhite.com
    Follow Kiersten at @kierstenwhite on Twitter and @authorkierstenwhite on Instagram.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from April 1, 2017
    The Dracul siblings experience power's price in this middle volume of a trilogy that imagines a female Vlad the Impaler.Despite Sultan Mehmed's initial backing, Lada has made little ground in securing the Wallachian throne. She writes Radu a letter asking for his assistance, as she lacks his interpersonal strengths and way with courtly politics. Radu, however, desperate to close the distance between himself and Mehmed, prioritizes romantic love. Lada must make her own (violent) way as she struggles to be seen, and she makes her own dark choices on both sides of tough betrayals. Meanwhile, Mehmed sends Radu away to Constantinople as a double agent right before launching a brutal siege. This puts Radu (and Radu's wife, Nazira, a believer in Mehmed's cause since her true wife suffered greatly at the hands of crusaders) in position to sabotage Constantinople but also to admire enough of the people for it to hurt. The siege's depiction is viscerally painful--brutality and atrocities from both sides shake Radu deeply. The complex politics and sprawling world make for a dense, rich read. Human nature's contradictory depictions are exquisite and painful. Tender-hearted Radu cares for Lada, but it's brutal Lada who loves Radu; and great, good people commit terrible acts. The multiethnic cast features strong LGBTQ representation and nuanced religious diversity. Lada, Radu, and Mehmed are well on their way to remake the world--but at the cost of their souls. Absolutely devastating in the best way. (dramatis personae, glossary, author's note, acknowledgments) (Historical fiction. 15-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2017
    Gr 10 Up-In this sequel to And I Darken, White continues to weave a dramatic tapestry of espionage, passion, and conquest. Lada returns to her homeland after her long exile among the Ottomans, but without allies she struggles to become the vaivode, or prince, of Wallachia. The young sultan Mehmed seeks to establish his legacy and looks to conquer Constantinople and make it his capital. Lada's brother, Radu, is dispatched on a secret mission to the besieged city and, as he fights alongside those whom he will ultimately betray, becomes immersed in the horrors of war. The author crafts a compelling story that also asks important questions about the lengths to which people can and should go to achieve their destinies and defend their god. The pace of this volume is perfect for its setting, and the language is evocative, making the hefty tome eminently readable. The subject matter has become even more mature as this lush and ominous retelling of the Vlad Dracul legend continues, but teens will be entranced. VERDICT This chilling and thrilling new episode in the historical fiction trilogy is highly recommended for all high school collections.-Kelly Kingrey-Edwards, Blinn Junior College, Brenham, TX

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist, starred review "Gorgeous, rich, and rewarding."
  • Kirkus, starred review ★ "Absolutely devastating in the best way."
  • Melissa Albert, New York Times bestselling author of THE HAZEL WOOD "Fierce, epic, and crazy fun."
  • Justine Larbalestier, author of MY SISTER ROSA and LIAR "Kiersten White is a genius."
  • Cynthia Hand, New York Times bestselling author of the Unearthly series "Kiersten White at her absolute best. The epic story will thrill you, the Transylvanian setting will transport you, and the characters (especially the fierce, take-no-prisoners Lada) will capture your heart. Don't miss it."
  • Rachel Hawkins, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author "Sweeping and epic, AND I DARKEN is a gender-bent take on history that gives us a fierce and brutal heroine, a fascinating time period, and a beautifully intelligent look at love, family, and power. I loved every twisty, bloody moment of it!"
  • Robin LaFevers, New York Times bestselling author of the His Fair Assassin series "As richly complex and glittering as the Ottoman Empire itself, AND I DARKEN is daring in its scope and brilliantly executed. The fiercely dark Lada is a razor-edged sword tempered in the blood of family betrayals and the fire of her own passions. I was instantly and utterly smitten. She haunted me long after I turned the final page and left me craving more."

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    Random House Children's Books
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