This book laughs in the face of categorization. It is a quixotic, enthralling blend of genres, best enjoyed with a dark, vibrant bottle of Malbec.
It is a riveting expose of the brutality and elegance of the Ottoman Empire. It is a deep dive into the conflicted psyche of a teenage girl determined to forge her own path and escape the boundaries of her gender. It is a fantastical re-imagining of Vlad the Impaler’s legacy.
Above all, Lada Dracul is a survivor. She bears burdens with a relentless iron will, and screams in the face of anyone who is slow enough or ignorant enough to come between she and her goal. She will tell you up front that any treachery is rewarded with a knife to the gut, while she watches as your life bleeds away like your intestines trailing on the ground. And then she will throw your remains to a pack of wolves.
It will shock you and haunt you -and you will hear its insidious whispers long after the ending.