And I Darken by Kiersten White

Posted June 22, 2016 | 27 Comments

And I Darken by Kiersten WhiteAnd I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Published by: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Format: eARC
Pages: 496
Source: Publisher

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.

Yes! Yes, yes, so much yes! And I Darken rocked my socks off.

I love history. Once I start researching and learning about a certain historical figure, time period, or event, I go at it hard. That’s how I am with pretty much any subject. I was only vaguely familiar with Vlad the Impaler, just the general knowledge stuff. How vicious and brutal he was, and how the legend of Dracula came about. So finding out White wrote a book with a female version – I couldn’t contain my excitement!

I decided to wait until after I read the book to really delve into researching the real guy, because I wanted to enjoy the story without judging or comparing. White did a wonderful job, though! Even down the Lada’s physical description.

I can’t even tell you how happy I am that White doesn’t edit certain things out, like: the harems, wives, sexuality, etc. I would’ve been bummed if she had cut all that out just because some readers prefer sappy hearts and rainbow type of romances. No, she keeps it real. And all of this stuff is shaping who Lada will eventually become.

Lada. Oh, my dear, Lada. I adored you from the moment you tried to suffocate your infant brother and claimed him as yours. I cracked up at how she bites people, because, hello, “Dracula”. She is vicious, rebellious, and tough – do not mess with her. What I love is she shows she cares in her own way, even if no one else understands it.

With that being said: It’s a fairly long book, but it’s such an easy and quick read. There’s nothing dry or boring about it, either. All the characters are interesting and complex, each playing a vital role in what is to come.

Gah! I just loved the hell out of And I Darken! Totally engrossing and had me completely hooked from beginning to end. I desperately need the second book already!


27 responses to “And I Darken by Kiersten White

  1. I’ve struggled with this author’s books in the past, so I kinda dismissed this one, but omg you are killing me with this review. Lada sounds so interesting and badass. And I love that it’s dark and stays true to its roots.
    I’m so glad this was a hit for you! 🙂
    Great review, Christy!

  2. Woot, woot!!! The whole time I read this, I kept looking up details about the Ottomans and old maps, trying to place everything. I loved the publicist’s letter at the beginning, too! I agree, this was fantastic!!!!!! And I didn’t even notice it was long. It just took me a while to take it all in 🙂 Great review, girl!!!

  3. Nathan

    I loved your review. While a bit long, and maybe a bit dark, it sounds good. It could be a read I could like 🙂

    • Christy

      Thanks, Nathan! It’s long in the number of pages, but it has an ease about it that makes it feel much shorter.

  4. I have actually steered clear from reviews for this one. But okay, I need this! I love that the author kept Lada true to Dracula. Also, I actually stopped reading when you said she suffocated her brother. I went, “Wait, what?” Lol.
    Is this like Katie McGarry’s Nowhere But Here in terms of length (if you read it)? Because that book is crazy long but I read it in no time!

  5. I’ve just added it to my Goodreads before even finishing your review Christy, you’ve completely sold me. I love retellings, even more so when they use what have always been traditional male characters and really shake it up. Lada sounds like such a brilliant character, unintentionally funny and completely entertaining. I need this book in my life. Brilliant review, loved it! <3

  6. This sounds great. I don’t think I’ve heard of it until now. I’m going to have to check to see if it is available on audio. If not, add it to my read pile. I have some knowledge on Vlad the Impaler. I watched a show (probably on this History Channel, but can’t remember for sure). It was about the history of vampires. It covered Vlad, but not in a lot of detail. He does sound like an interesting character that I wouldn’t mind learning more about, just like Countess Bathory (another person of history that I learned more about in the show). Great review.

  7. A female version of Vlad that sounds interesting. I don’t really know much about Vlad the Impaler only what I’ve heard from vampire books/ movies that mentioned him.

    I love the more sappy romances where everything is happy, but there’s something to be said for a more gritty and real book and sometimes I just want a book like that. So it’s nice the author didn’t out those things. I am glad to hear you enjoyed this so much and I hope the next book is just as good.

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