NOW I RISE Review and Giveaway!

NOW I RISEI’m so excited to get to participate in the blog tour for Kiersten White’s latest novel in The Conqueror’s Saga, Now I Rise. I truly think that Lada is one of the most unique and captivating characters in YA, and she more than lived up to all my expectations once again!

Wine Pairing 

One of the many things I love about these books are the wonderful nods to the Dracula mythos woven throughout the story, so I paired Now I Rise with this Draculea Vlad the Impaler Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, not to mention the fact that Lada is one FIERCE, gender-swapped version of Vlad the Impaler.

 *All wine recommendations are strictly for those of legal drinking age only.*

About And I Darken

And I DarkenTitle: AND I DARKEN

Author: Kiersten White

Pub. Date: June 28, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook

Find it: Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Audible, TBD, Goodreads

And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.
Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.
But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

About Now I Rise



Author: Kiersten White

Pub. Date: Jume 27, 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 496

Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDAudible,  Goodreads

Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. 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 to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed 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.

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. 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. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will 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.

Now I Rise Review


AND I DARKEN was one of my favorite novels of 2016. I absolutely fell in love with the concept of a gender-swapped, anti-heroine take on Vlad the Impaler! That premise is, quite frankly, badass. And I found all the little nods to the Dracula mythos absolutely brilliant.

I was thrilled to get to read an early copy of NOW I RISE as part of the blog tour, and this book certainly did not disappoint. I am absolutely addicted to this series and fascinated by the evolution of both Lada and Radu’s characters.

This book spends a lot more time in Radu’s perspective than the previous book did, and it was so fascinating to observe his character arc throughout this novel and the struggles he is faced with in fitting in to his society, choosing sides between two warring nations despite split allegiances, and questioning his faith. I fell in love with Radu in book one and feel like he definitely stole the show in book two.

While I would have liked just a bit more of Lada’s perspective in this story, when we were in her POV, it was so fascinating watching her further develop into that iconic character of the Impaler. I love the fact that even though Kiersten White does show some of Lada’s more humanizing characteristics and weaknesses, she still absolutely reads like an anti-heroine. I feel like that is something that truly sets her character and this story apart.

The first book covered a very large expanse of time and seemed to stay in the MG age for a large portion of the story. This second book is more focused on a shorter period of time and really zeroes in on these characters during a YA age. Honestly, I enjoyed both equally. I feel like the pacing in the first was a bit faster, because of how much material it covered, while in NOW I RISE the pacing is a bit slower, but you really get a lot more detail about the characters, setting, and political machinations.

The amount of research that White puts into these books absolutely shines through the text. The historical events that White does feature in the story are immersive and feel like they could be very accurate representations of how things may have transpired.

There were also some really powerful scenes with Mehmed in this book. I won’t go into detail, so I can avoid spoilers, but his character is becoming more and more fascinating to me as the series progresses as well.

I cannot wait for the next book to come out already. I am so excited to see more of Lada’s character and where White takes this story from here.

About Kiersten White

Kiersten White

Kiersten White is the NYT bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy, the Mind Games series, Illusions of Fate, The Chaos of Stars, In the Shadows with artist Jim Di Bartolo, and the upcoming historical reimagining, And I Darken. She has one tall husband and three small children and lives near the ocean, where her life is perfectly normal. Visit her at

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Enter the Giveaway

3 Winners will receive a finished copy of NOW I RISE, US Only.



Follow the Blog Tour!

Thanks to Rockstar Book Tours for hosting this tour for Now I Rise! Be sure to check out their site and the other amazing posts on this tour!

Week One:

6/19/2017- Bookfever– Excerpt

6/20/2017- Lisa Loves Literature– Review

6/21/2017- Two Chicks on Books Interview

6/22/2017- Fiktshun– Review

6/23/2017- Carina’s Books– Review

Week Two:

6/26/2017- Dazzled by Books– Review

6/27/2017- Books and Things– Review

6/28/2017- Rattle the Stars– Review

6/29/2017- YABC– Review

6/30/2017- Once Upon A Twilight– Review

Week Three:

7/3/2017- Adventures of a Book Junkie– Interview

7/4/2017- Seeing Double In Neverland– Review

7/5/2017- Fiction Fare– Review

7/6/2017- YA and Wine– Review

7/7/2017- Little Red’s Reviews– Review

Did you read And I Darken? Have you gotten a chance to start Now I Rise just yet? Who are some of your favorite female characters in YA lit that don’t conform to traditional gender roles?

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34 thoughts on “NOW I RISE Review and Giveaway!

  1. Beware Of The Reader says:

    Wonderful review Kirsty! I can’t wait to read the next book even if I personally love Mehmet less and less.


    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Thanks, Sophie. I would agree that he’s less likable, but that kind of makes him more interesting for me. More like the historical figure I’d expect.


  2. TeacherofYA says:

    I just recently got And I Darken in a trade and I’m looking forward to reading it! They had Now I Rise at ALA but I felt bad asking for it…because I hadn’t read the first book yet.


    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Oh you’re so nice. I totally would have still asked for it. LOL. I hope you enjoy it! I’ll definitely watch for your review!


      • KrystiYAandWine says:

        That really is a good thing though! I think the book world can get a little cut throat and nasty sometimes. Overall, I do feel like it is a phenomenal community to be a part of. It just has its moments. 🙂


  3. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    Great post, Krysti! I’m glad you enjoyed the second book as much as the first. I’ve heard people complain about Mehmed a lot, so I’m happy you like him 🙂
    I can’t wait to try this series! But maybe I’ll wait for the whole trilogy(?) to be out first? Hmm…


    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Well, goodness. Your comments have been landing in my spam again. But, anyway…so the reason I like Mehmed is that he’s becoming more and more of a villain and really stepping into that historical role. I like a good villain. So that’s why I say I like him and totally understand why people don’t. It’s an I am loving starting to hate him thing. If that makes sense. LOL.


  4. ravenblake99 says:

    Great Review! I enjoyed reading the first book but i didn’t loved it. I’m looking forward to read Now I rise because I’ve been hearing great things about it and I really hope it doesn’t disappoint me.


    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      These books are definitely the type that people either love or they just are not their thing, which is probably because they’re so different from most other novels. I adore them, but I really love the anti-heroine and all the great historical information. I hope you enjoy NOW I RISE!


  5. Amanda @Cover2CoverMom says:

    This is one of my most anticipated books of 2017! I really enjoyed And I Darked at the end of last year. I think White did an amazing job at this retelling, and was shocked at how much research must have went into these books. I am excited to hear that this book has more of Radu’s perspective, as he was my favorite character in the first book. Can’t wait to read this one 🙂


    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      I’m so glad to hear that! I loved And I Darken, so it’s great to hear that you did as well. You can definitely tell that she did an insane amount of research for these books. I wonder how long it took her. She’s going to be here in a few weeks, so I’ll have to ask her! Radu was my favorite character after book one. Lada is my fav after book two. 🙂 Enjoy it!!!


  6. The Hermit Librarian says:

    I remember reading And I Darken last year and loving it because Llada was able to be so stabby. Princesses or whatever it is that Llada is are usually something else but here she was being so bad ass that I wish I’d had more books to read like this growing up. Kiersten did an amazing job giving us this character.


    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      I absolutely agree. She is an anti-heroine that actually reads like an anti-heroine. It seems like authors usually give them a backstory that makes them more of a heroine by the end, but Lada is still so firmly anti-heroine, and I LOVE that.


  7. Ashley R. says:

    Your review was awesome Sauce and so much fun to read! I love every single book written by Ms. White, I have been cheering with happiness when a new book she has written comes out and I can go to my library and get my favorite oreos and dive into the beautuful and magical stories she creates! Paranormalcy is one of my all time favorite series, it made me smile with every page and I so excited for this new book in her series!!!


    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Thank you so much, Ashley! I really appreciate that! I agree that Kiersten White is just a phenomenal author. She’s an auto-buy for me as well. Oreos and books sounds like a fab combination! I hope you enjoy this one as well! 🙂


  8. Harini says:

    I recently completed Now I Rise and omg , but that’s one book that’ll always be my favourite . I guess it’s one of the best books on 2017 ❤ . After the disappointment with ACOWAR , I actually went into this looking for a sequel syndrome but gosh , this book turned out to be even better than And I Darken ❤


    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      It’s such a phenomenal book. I love how original it is. I was disappointed with ACOWAR also unfortunately and I 100% agree about Now I Rise being even better than And I Darken!


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