Book: And I Darken by Kiersten White
Series: The Conqueror’s Saga #1
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Date Published: June 28th, 2016
Date Started: May 14th, 2016
Date Finished: June 27th, 2016
Other Books Reviewed: N/A
NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. 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.
From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.
When I first heard about And I Darken, I knew that I needed it. I LOVE studying about Vlad the Impaler, Dracula, and all the blood and gore that comes with it. But when I heard that it was a female Vlad named Lada, I was already in love.
It Deserved My Full Attention. And Thats What It Got.
I picked up this book right away and found that the pacing was slower than I expected. (This is a good thing!) At the time, I needed something fast paced with tons of action since I was always on the go with wedding stuff. So I put it down for about a month. I think this is a book you definitely need to be in the mood for. I was definitely in the mood for this book this week after the whirlwind that was the last two months and everything finally slowing down for a bit. But just because I put it down temporarily doesn’t mean I wasn’t in love with it. Right off the bat I knew I would love it. I was already in love with it. I just wanted to wait until the right time when I could give it my full attention that it deserved. And I’m glad that I did this, because I devoured it this week. I stayed up until 3am last night just to finish it. Its that good.
Its Full Of Secrets In The Dark.
I know that when people see this book, they’re expecting the typical Vlad that impaled people and drank the blood of his enemies. But And I Darken is more about character development. Its about political intrigue. Spies. Secrets in the dark. All of these things are so important to the story of Lada. I felt as though her brother, Radu, was just as important as Lada. They were complimentary opposites to each other. His light to her darkness, but both being characters walking in a grey moral area. If that makes any sense. I feel like in lots of stories, you can easily decipher who is good and who is evil. But in And I Darken, there is no defining line. There were good characters who did bad things and vice versa. I thought I had Lada and Radu figured out from the beginning, but as they grew up, they changed and evolved. Seriously, the character development was so wonderfully done. Oh, and how Lada addresses her womanhood? I loved every bit of exploration of her character. I need more.
As For the setting and world building, I cannot sing this book’s praises enough. With every sentence, that I read, I could just see and feel how much research and care White put into creating this book. All the vocabulary, the cultural norms, the real characters from the past, and so much more. It was just wonderfully written, and I need more historical fiction books written like this.
I cannot recommend this book enough. I stayed up until 3am to finish this because I couldn’t get enough. If you love historical fiction or darker stories, you definitely need this one!
*I was given a free electronic ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.