A unique historical... And I Darken by Kiersten White (Review)

And I DarkenAnd I Darken
(The Conquerors Saga #1)
by Kiersten White
YA Fantasy, Historical
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 496 Pages
June 28th 2016 by Delacorte Press



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.

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My Review

AND I DARKEN was an intriguing, dark, and vengeful tale from the first page. With complex characters readers will equally want to strangle and cheer on all while learning to love, a constant feeling of danger, and romance that is also complex and risky, all are sure to be pulled in to this story. The crudeness of the historical time period is accurately displayed and not shied away from, allowing the reader to feel immersed in this setting. If you enjoy dark historical tales with a strong heroine and everything fighting against a happily-ever-after, then this book is for you.

These characters are so unique and complex. I don't think I could say that enough. But I loved them. There were so many emotions and various perspectives and it was easy to always find something to relate to in some way. I felt for these characters and their struggles as they try to survive what fate has thrown at them.

Then there was this crazy plot. I didn't know the direction it would head or if I would enjoy the journey or the ending destination. I also didn't know who could be trusted. Add to that the danger of the situation and a unique love triangle and the plot just became more complex. The good thing is I really liked where this book ended and where I feel it leads.

Almost verbatim from my final thoughts from the Read-Along... I get grossed out by same-sex stuff. I get it, I do, and I get how accepted it is. I also know other bloggers who totally go for that. It's just not for me and I don't like reading it in books, especially when it's fairly blunt (which it is here) and it's from an author that I've always been able to recommend and now will not be able to, especially as I share my books with tweens. There is also a lot of references to other sexual content. Some of it is contextual (I mean the sultan does have a harem and it's expected that he has several heirs with them), but then other stuff went beyond or was more descriptive than I like. So, those of you who don't care about that stuff won't have any issues and those of you who do, have been warned. For me, I expect this from some other authors, but not from this one and so it was disappointing.

In the end, was it what I wished for? It was a good, intriguing read. I wanted to love it and didn't quite get there, but I'm planning on continuing the series.

Content: Crude and blunt language, some sexual content (including same-sex) that was not overly detailed.

Source: Purchased

If you haven't been following along with the Read-Along, check out today's post here.

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