ARC Review ||| And I Darken by: Kiersten White

July 01, 2016

Series: The Conquerors Saga (#1)

Page Count: 496

Published: June 28, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Thank you to Brittany from Brittany's Book Rambles for the ARC!

"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."


And I Darken was nothing like what I thought it would be. Not that that's a bad thing. I had assumed that the book would be a fantasy novel with lot's of action and maybe a little bit of romance in the mix. Instead I was given a historical fiction ( I just accidentally wrote fantasy instead of fiction *SIGH*) novel that heavily dealt with religion and politics. Oh, yes, and the romance was a gi-freaking-normous part of the plot.

I'm not going to lie, I hesitated picking this one up because trusted book friends weren't enjoying it. 
And though I definitely see why someone may not enjoy the book I definitely did end up enjoying the book.

Since I'm a huge lover of history I found myself immersed in the story. While the story & its characters may have been fictional, readers still get to learn a thing or two about life in the Ottoman Empire (which I found to be pretty interesting.)

I'm not really sure how to feel about the characters. Lada may have been badass but she definitely wasn't my favorite. She's horrible to everyone and I'm not sure I agreed with her decision that she made at the end of the novel. Then again, she's a female version of Vlad the Impaler so...
Then we have her brother, Radu. Who I really liked, until he has a bit of a personality flip. His feelings towards his sister were totally justified... but I found myself not agreeing with them? 
I'm very confused about my feelings.

I definitely liked where the story took place. It was great to read a story that took place around Romania. (Since most YA novels take place in super popular, cliche areas in the US/Europe.) I also really loved the vivid descriptions of architecture in the novel. The setting of And I Darken was a breath of fresh air that made it stand apart from other YA books.

Something else I really appreciated was the addition of lgbtq characters. I feel there's lgbtq characters in contemporary books but when it comes to other genres they just... disappear. 
There's a scene in the book where a pair of lgbtq characters, I won't say who since I don't want to spoil, have a great moment that gave me all the warm fuzzies. Just saying ;)

The conclusion of the story was just UGH.
Who do I root for? Who do I trust in book 2?

Overall, I really enjoyed the story and I'll definitely be continuing the series.

I would recommend this book to people who love History and YA books that focus on politics.

I also created a Pinterest board for the series recently! I'll be adding to it as I continue on with the series. View it here!

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

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  1. Great review Faith! This wasn't what I was expecting either. The romance was interesting but I did think it was overload on the history aspect for me.

  2. Great review Faith! This wasn't what I was expecting either. The romance was interesting but I did think it was overload on the history aspect for me.


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