An unusual story. Lada the heroine is not pleasant in her demeanor nor is she pleasant in appearance. As a child she is brutal to everyone but in turn is treated brutally by her father the prince, whom she aspires to be respected by. She has a mean older step brother and soft and plyable younger brother who she protects and threatens in turn. They are sent as hostages to the Ottoman Empire to ensure their father keeps to treaty terms. They are adopted as a source of unusual amusement by the Sultan's youngest son, who in all likelihood will never receive the throne. OK that is a terribly dry description of the plot line. In truth the book is about a complicated tryst between the three children who grow up together and form what becomes a powerful alliance. They have each other, they have a place and in Lada we have a deeply disturbed and yet wonderfully described kick ass female character. I cannot even begin to guess where she will take us in the sequel book.
I thought this was a well written book, a complicated plot explained well. However, particularly at it's beginning and less so towards it's climax the story didn't 'flow'. It was more like reading a series of diary entrances rather than a plot. Incidents were described without the dots being particularly joined. I was pleased to note this diminished and ceased altogether as the book progressed. Almost as though the author planned to use all these incidents to establish the rationale of the major characters but wasn't quite sure how to paste over the gaps between highlights, so decided not to bother and rushed onward toward the meet of the story. Did it matter? Hell no a great book was born. Can I ignore it? Well obviously personally I can't hence 4/5 stars,
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