Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

July 21, 2016 Uncategorized 16

Book info:
TitleAnd I Darken  
Author:  Kiersten White
SeriesThe Conqueror’s Saga #1  
Genre:  YA alternate historical fiction/fantasy
Published:  June 28th, 2016
Source:  ARC received at bookstore where I work from 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, 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.

I really enjoyed this story!  While it was a change in the actual history, the bits of real history that were woven in were enough that I really became very intrigued about the time period.  I guess I hadn’t realized quite how far back in the history of Vlad that the author was going to go.  And I was really thrilled to learn it all. 

I loved the characters. While at first Lada was kind of rude and you could definitely say unlikable, I really understood her irritation and reasons for behaving the way she did. And, I really liked her by the end.  The love story for her was so good, heartbreaking, but good.  And then to learn about what her brother really wanted in life, and how he grew up and began to see the way she had treated him.  All the love and family and friendship in this book made for emotions and tension, and a great story.  I loved the battles, and learning about the women’s lives in the harems.  The religion itself was also a big part of the story that I hadn’t actually ever thought about with what I knew about the true history of Vlad the Impaler.  But I also loved Mehmed, and while I understood Lada’s reasons for keeping herself separate as much as possible, I wanted them to be together more than anything. 

When I went online to update my progress as I read on Goodreads, I realized it was a series, and the way this ended, and how it didn’t get to the part of Vlad’s life that I really knew about, I am so glad to know that.  A great read, and two more on the way to finish up the story.  The author was so detailed with both the history and the life and characters, that I am sure to be more involved after each new book.

16 Responses to “Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White”

  1. Alyssa Susanna

    Hey, I liked this one too! I gave it 3.5 stars — I didn't love everything about it, but I rounded up to 4 stars. The romance was one of the things I didn't like. Love triangles are not my thing, especially this type! I hope it disappears in book two. 😀 I hope you enjoy the rest of the series, Lisa! Wonderful review. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Lisa Mandina

      Love triangles don't bother me that much, I just see how they are in so many classic movies/books that people love and don't mention for those. This was a very intriguing love triangle, I really enjoyed its uniqueness actually. Yeah, I'd like to not see it anymore in the next book though, it would be interesting to see that go a different way. But we'll see! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Amber Elise

    Yeah I guess we really didn't get to see her 'Vlad the Impaler' side in this one. I was actually surprised that this was going to be a series!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I didn't realize either about it being a series, but I'm glad, because it didn't reach what I was thinking would be there. Thanks for visiting!

  3. whispering words

    Ooh, I didn't know this book was meant to be part of a trilogy. I haven't had a chance to read yet but I've heard nothing but good things so looking forward to picking it up 🙂

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, I didn't know until I went to update Goodreads, but I'm glad it is! Hope you enjoy it when you do pick it up. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Danielle H.

    This is a piece of history that I don't know anything about. I'm so glad the characters are really good. This is one of the most important parts of a book for me. I have to have well-rounded 3D people, not just cardboard cutouts.

  5. Alyssa

    I'll be reading this for a readathon. I've been feeling doubtful about this one because it got mixed reviews on Goodreads. And most are saying that this book is boring. I hope I'll enjoy it as much as you did when you read it. 🙂 I'm not fond of history, will that hinder me from enjoying And I Darken?

    Alyssa @ Diary of a Book Maniac

    • Lisa Mandina

      I've heard some people say it is boring. And there are a few bits that might be a bit slow for sure. But it kept me going. As for the history part, I don't feel like it was just reading history facts, it was more that the story had the history as the setting, characters, plot, etc. I hope that you enjoy it. I sure did!

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