Kelly's Reviews > Now I Rise

Now I Rise by Kiersten White
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it was amazing

Ok, I had to review the book now because I couldn't stop thinking about it. I've managed to turn my rambling mess into slightly more coherent thoughts. :)

I loved this even more than I loved And I Darken and I’m fairly certain I read it faster. This was one of my top book releases this year and it certainly deserves it. Here are some initial thoughts which I will go into more detail about:-

- Radu/Cyprian and Nazira/Fatima need to get back to each other safely. They have to. I know Kiersten White has said no lesbians will die, which is a relief and wonderful to hear from an author, but still. I need them all to be ok.
- The battle for Constantinople was interesting and terrifying to watch being played out, and added is the fact that it happened in real life.
- Lada and Radu spent the whole book apart but were still both amazing. They really came into their own. By which I mean, Lada became even more ruthless and why would anyone think it’s sensible to cross her or underestimate her just because she’s a woman?!?!
- Radu being separated from everyone he knows but Nazira and still becoming his own person. Including his feelings for Memhed changing because let’s face it, he really used Radu in this book. I can’t hate him, but…I don’t like him anymore. Radu is too precious and deserves so much better.
- Lada came home to Wallachia!! I was so happy and proud of her. Despite everything she’s done, it’s her homeland and birthright.

Lada is more brutal and ruthless in this book because she has to be. Only Hunyadi and her own men who know her can see her for what she will be. Everyone else thinks they know what she is because she’s a woman. Lada always proves them wrong.

“The daughter of Wallachia wants her knife back.”

First off, I love that line. Though this book had less of her character arc, I really felt at times for Lada’s internal debates. She wants to get home and take hold of her throne, yes, but there are times when she wonders if she’s doing the right thing by her men. Times when she misses Radu. A lot. Times when she hate Memhed for putting him in danger. Lada shows kindness to some of the side characters in her care and treats them all with respect (said side characters are also great, but I don’t want to make this too long!)
She does care about the people around her, but she knows letting that show too much can and will be used against her. Lada has to fight her way to the throne, regardless even of any doubts she has about herself.

“They were her people. This was her country. This was her throne. She needed no intrigues, no elaborate plans. Wallachia was her mother. After everything she had been through, all she had done in pursuit of the throne, she was left with one thing only: herself.
She was enough.”

Now, about our precious Radu. This book is his coming-of-age book and I couldn’t be prouder. At first, he always thinks about what Lada would do were she with him, but in the end, he doesn’t need to. He does what he thinks is the right thing.

His friendship with Nazira is upped and she is so supportive and caring for him. Their banter always had me smiling and I can see why Fatima loves her. I could happily talk more about Nazira but again, I would make this review too long. Radu has so many struggles of many different kinds during the war and it made him so human.
Coming to care for those who he thought were his enemies, including Cyprian- please let them just be happy together- and realising how brutal and ugly the war was.
He just wanted it to end- and it was Mehmed who put him in that position, let’s not forget.

“Whichever side won, neither would triumph.”

I liked Mehmed in And I Darken. From the first few pages of Radu’s arc, I didn’t like the way Mehmed treated him, just because he was now the sultan. He kept his supposed friend in the dark about lots of things, and knew our precious child has feelings for him. Mehmed can happily live alone for the rest of his life, for all I care about him now. He doesn’t understand Radu at all.
I’m so glad Cyprian came into the story. He treats Radu with so much respect and they come to genuinely care about each other. Radu was so confused since he still felt things for Mehmed, but their friendship-turned-into-more but such a slow thing. Cyprian is amazing.

I don’t know how I’m going to manage until next year for book 3 though now. Possible re-reads are on the cards if I can find time. I’m a little nervous for the characters and how this will all end, given it being historical as well. But Now I Rise completely deserves the full 5 stars.
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Quotes Kelly Liked

Kiersten White
“Do not lose that hunger. You will always have to fight for everything. Even when you already have it, you will have to keep fighting to maintain it. You will have to be more ruthless, more brutal, more everything. Any weakness will undo everything you have accomplished. They will see any crack as evidence that they were right that a woman cannot do what you do.

Hunyadi knew what he spoke of. Her merits, her accomplishments, her strength would never speak for themselves. She would have to cut her way through the world, uphill, for the rest of her life.”
Kiersten White, Now I Rise

Kiersten White
“I wonder if anyone gets through childhood without being broken. I certainly did not.”
Kiersten White, Now I Rise

Reading Progress

August 1, 2017 – Started Reading
August 1, 2017 – Shelved
August 1, 2017 –
page 124
27.02% "So that went by fast and in just under two hours. Our Lada is wasting no time either, by being her usual amazing yet very ruthless and scary self. And Radu is still just as precious. I've missed them."
August 2, 2017 –
page 260
August 2, 2017 –
page 374
81.48% "Radu and Cyprian...come on. They need to be together.
Our precious, terrifying Lada is finally home.

Also, thank you to Kiersten White for being another author I can add to the list of those whose women have periods. Like in real life."
August 3, 2017 – Finished Reading

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