Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Review: Now I Rise by Kiersten White


Title: Now I Rise (The Conquerors Saga, #2)

Author: Kiersten White

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Note: Mild spoilers for And I Darken, Book 1 of the Conqueror's Saga, below. If you haven't read And I Darken you can read my review HERE.

No one wanted to love Now I Rise more than I did. However, White's middle novel in this series is definitely a weak link, IMO. It picks up not long after where we left off--Lada trying to win the throne of Wallachia and Radu faithfully serving Mehmed--and though I immersed myself in this story completely at first, after a quarter or so I began to slow down. I struggled, or at any rate pushed myself, to continue to at least the half-way point of the story.

For me, Radu's perspective is where the story constantly lagged for me. Although And I Darken was split between the two siblings, it felt like Lada's tale through-and-through. It's important, then, in this sequel that Radu has his own story separate of Lada. But, Radu's perspective was bogged down by a lot of repetitive thinking; his thoughts cycled through an endless stream of insecurities regarding his friendship with Mehmed, how the outside world perceived their relationship, and his own jealousies. It was tiresome. I think a large part of this is because Mehmed is a character I don't like or respect all that much, so it becomes difficult for me, as the reader, to understand or sympathize with Radu's struggles.

I will say, though, that Radu undergoes a lot of interesting change in this book and the impacts of that aren't felt, or won't be felt, until the finale releases. And I am so on board and excited for that! But, in this book, Radu left a lot to be desired and I couldn't always understand his motivations or sympathize with his plight. My frustrations with Mehmed, though, extend to Lada's half of the story, too. But, with Lada, things are always so simple. I always understand why she chooses a particular path and I fully support her decisions, rash though they seem.

Lada's story in Now I Rise is remarkable, badass, and awe-inspiring. I love that this book forces her to look at women in a different light, in a lot of chapters, and I especially love that she uses her skills and power to empower other women. I love that Lada notices and cares for the women because no one else does. I am so excited to see where the sequel takes Lada and so proud of how far she's come. I especially enjoyed that, for perhaps the first time, we see Lada miss Radu. We see her acknowledge the skills he has and how she is less without him. We all too often see that with Radu but not enough with Lada and I loved that though these siblings have such complicated feelings for one another and are separated by so many miles, they are still in each other's thoughts.

Unfortunately, something about Now I Rise just didn't "click" for me but I'm absolutely on board for the sequel and cannot recommend this series enough. It's not a favorite for me, but it's still incredibly unique, creative, and badass. If you haven't already picked up this series, don't wait! You'll want to be all caught up for when the final novel releases, trust me.

6 comments:

  1. The library has it so...one day

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  2. I still haven't read the first book. I'm actually dreading it but I have to read it because this sequel was sent to me by the publishers. It does sound tiresome, to be honest so I might have to hold off a little longer.

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  3. I agree, the characters grew and changed a lot in this sequel, although not all of them for the better but still I think it was all understandable. I love this series and how different and dark it can be. Its definitely a change from the normal YA fantasy.

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  4. Sorry to hear Radu's perspective was a bit repetitive and negative, because that can be so tiresome. It seems Lada's perspective made up for it a little bit. Glad to hear you're looking forward to the next book in spite of some issues. Wonderful review, Keertana! :)

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  5. I'm sorry to hear that this one didn't wow you like you hoped. I loved And I Darken as well and I just haven't bought a copy of Now I Rise yet because hardcovers are expensive and I have to really want to spend my money. Hopefully the third book will be much more fulfilling. Great review, Keertana!

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  6. Totally understand what you mean. I think I struggled a bit with this one than I did with the first. What I did like is the change both went through and that made the book for me. I also loved that the change didn't necessarily lead to the conclusion that was easy or that made sense. It felt more real because of that. It also made me more curious about the next book and where it was going. This one may be made better with the addition of the next book. We shall see! :)

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