Title: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Publication: July 7th 2016 by Corgi Childrens
Genre: Young Adult ~ Historical Fiction
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Kobo
Review copy received in exchange for an honest review.
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.
Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.
Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.
The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she’ll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive.
This book is about the life of Vlad the impaler. The twist in this story is that it’s genderbended so Vlad has become Lada. I thought this was such a great idea for a book and it totally works in this story.
Also, this book doesn’t have any paranormal of fantasy elements. It’s more like a historical fiction since these things did happen to the real Vlad. I actually know a bit about his life and the Ottoman Empire since I’m a bit of a history nerd and I thought it was great. But keep in mind that the author had to take some liberties with writing this book.
The book is written in both points of view of Lada and her brother Radu. This made it all interesting because they both were so very different. Lada is a very brutal character. She is a warrior inside and out, who just doesn’t want to be forgotten. She also hates the Ottoman Empire. She wasn’t a very nice person and actually kills some people in this book but I did love her. She was so very different from other YA female characters.
Radu was a whole different story. He started out as having a rather weak personality and always being bested by his sister, Lada. Unlike her, he actually is nice and everyone likes him. He learns to find his place in the Ottoman Empire. The only thing they have in common is their feelings for Mehmed, the sultan’s son, who eventually becomes the sultan also.
This book really did hit all the right spots in my heart. It had the right amount of history, action and it was written wonderfully. I had a hard time putting it down and actually stayed up until 4am to finish it. I also thought the little bit of romance that was in this story was actually done so greatly.
Overall, And I Darken was nothing short of brilliant. It’s my favorite book by Kiersten White right now and it’s definitely her best book yet so far, in my opinion. I just loved it!
Kiersten White is the NYT bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy, the Mind Games series, Illusions of Fate, The Chaos of Stars, In the Shadows with artist Jim Di Bartolo, and the upcoming historical reimagining, And I Darken. She has one tall husband and three small children and lives near the ocean, where her life is perfectly normal. Visit her at www.kierstenwhite.com.