This is the second book in the Conqueror’s saga (I wrote a review for the first book, ‘And I Darken’, which you can find here). This review might include some spoilers for the first book.
In ‘And I Darken’, the siblings Lada and Radu Dracul are brought to the Ottoman court as hostages by their father, meeting Mehmed, the heir to the Ottoman throne. Quickly, their friendship grows, and over the course of the book fierce, vicious Lada and soft-spoken, intelligent Radu help Mehmed to secure his position. But her home, Wallachia, is always on Ladas mind, and when her father dies even her feelings for Mehmed can’t stop her from returning to her castle to reclaim her throne. Meanwhile, Radu stays at Mehmed’s side, tortured by his feelings for his friend that he thinks are wrong, and that he knows will never be returned.
In ‘Now I Rise’, the first book’s main characters are split up: Lada leads her loyal men to Wallachia, trying to secure alliances and fighting obstacles and throwbacks to finally claim her throne. Mehmed sends Radu to Constantinople as a spy, while he prepares the ultimate attack on the city. Accompanied by his wife, Nazira, and the Constantinian ambassador, Cyprian, Radu follows the order, but soon starts to second guess Mehmed’s reasons for sending him away.