And I Darken by Kiersten White
Published : 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.
From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.
Okay people, be prepared, here comes an unpopular opinion!
I received an ARC of this book from the publishers through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
I can’t express how excited I was for this book. From the most amazing cover to the “It’s like Game of Thrones” enticement. And who wouldn’t want to read about a female Vlad the Impaler?! I was super stoked and all I kept thinking about was how bad ass this was going to be and all the action that was going to be in this REALLY HEFTY book.
But I was quite let down. For such a good sized book I felt like nothing really happened. I understand a lot of it was more geared towards the political moves almost like chess. And it made it more of a slow burning book but I didn’t have it in me to keep going and going with such small and sporadic action scenes.
The only thing that really carried me through the book was Whites AMAZING writing. Her writing is beautiful, I loved it. The way she wrote gave me hope that something better would happen, something BIG, ACTION, SHOCKING. And I just missed it really. I think Radu was a redeeming character as well and I had a lot of faith and hope in Radu, and I hope he’s an epic bad ass by the end of the series.
But I really do appreciate the writing, there are so many beautiful quotes one could pull from this book, I adored her fluidity and it felt like every single word was just so precisely chosen for a purpose, it was really beautiful. I can’t emphasize that enough.
I also think Mehmed is also an awesome character. Loved his snark and his first encounters with Lada. I think he brought out a better side of her but there was still something about her that didn’t really sit right with me. I wish almost this book started when Lada was a bit more mature, I think then she would’ve started off with a bit of angst but a good sense of maybe poise and maturity that would just escalate from beginning to the end of the series.
All in all I think this book will definitely be one of those Love It or Hate It books. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it. I think it’s a wonderful book for the right person. I’ve seen TONS of wonderful reviews for this book, which is why I got so excited to read it as well. But I think Kiersten White deserves a very big hand for her strong and beautiful writing throughout this book, and I’m excited to hear more about the rest of the books to follow.