Title: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Series: The Conqueror’s Saga #1
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Published June 28th 2016 by Delacorte Press
“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.” -Goodreads
AAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA NO WAY
So, if you dont know, I do not like historical fiction. Have I really read a lot of historical fiction? No. But I was never really into it and sometimes I would pick up a book just to get bored with it. I especially hated the American historical fiction (weird because I am American) because I basically knew what was going to happen, I did not care, etc.
But I know nothing about the Ottoman Empire except that they like fail in the end. I thought this would make me dislike the book even more and I was so scared to start it.
(Disclaimer: When I bought the book, I had no clue that it was historical fiction. I only found out when I started reading, oops.)
I began reading and I instantly liked it. It started off with like a nice little montage of the two main character’s Radu and Lada’s childhood. I thought it was really entertaining to see them grow up.
I mean you know a book is good when:
“Let her be strong.
Let her be sly.
And let her be ugly.“
is one of the first major lines.
With the timeline ion the book, I did get a little confused later on because one minute they were 13 and the next chapter they were nearing 18 or were 18. That was a hiccup I could not quite wrap my head around.
The way this book reads is a lot like Game of Thrones. A lot of time chunks get cut off. I think this was to account for the real-life time of the Ottoman Empire.
It turns out that the Murad and Mehmed in the book are actually real people. Radu is also real but I am not so sure about Lada. I cannot really look too much into it because every time I search her name it takes me to wiki fandom links about the series, AND I CANNOT GET SPOILED.
If Lada isnt real I will cry. But I dont think she is so…
Lada was a great character. I think that she stayed a petty static character throughout. Yes, she had some changes but not life changing personality changes, in my opinion. I think she was pretty badass though. She stays strong from childhood on ward. I wish she had been a little more trusting of her brother and had not kept things from him, but I guess that is just because I also know Radu’s side. She is a crazy intense character and I cannot wait to see how she develops in the second book.
I mean she really is such a strong lady in a time where woman were not taught to be strong.
I am loving the books I am reading with these strong female leads.
Radu is a great character in my opinion. I do think he has some weird shifts in character and he kept too many secrets too. The gay sub-plot was exciting and I knew nothing about it. I definitely would have loved to see more of it, so hopefully the next two have a bit more of this.
Mehmed is someone who I hate. I absolutely hate him. Sure, he seems like he is nice, but he is too set on his goals in life. Even when everyone around him, including his dearest friends, are telling him he is wrong, he still believes he is right. The ending was so annoying because of this BASTARD.
Look at this happy cute little fanart of the three of them:
The book was really good. It was extremely tense on some parts and then somewhat dull in others. I think at the end the big climactic moment ends WAAAAAY to short. Like honestly, I did not even know it had ended, that is how short it was. That was kind of sad.
But the way it ended was phenomenal (other than Mehmed whom I still hate) and I am excited to read the others.
If you like historical fiction, this book was meant for you. If you do not, this book might get you hooked into historical fiction. I am not sure if I will venture out into that genre after this series, but who knows?
As always, thanks for reading,