Author: Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Published by: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
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!