Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Number of Pages: 475 (Hardcover)
Description from Goodreads:
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.As soon as I heard about AND I DARKEN, I knew that I absolutely HAD to read it! The book sounded absolutely fantastic, and I was pretty sure that I wouldn't want to put it down...and as soon as I started it, I knew I was right!
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.
I loved EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of this book, and I really loved Lada!! She was so fierce and strong, and I loved seeing her exert her control in a time when women didn't have much control at all! I definitely couldn't be as fierce as her, but I really admired her strength, and I sympathized with her when she was insecure about things. I especially loved seeing her relationships evolve and I enjoyed the dynamics that she had with the other characters, including Mehmed, Radu, and all of the Wallachian soldiers. I liked Radu too, but I really loved this book for Lada. :D
I'm not super familiar with Dracula's story, so I wasn't critical with how Lada's story fits in with the historical side while reading, but I still really liked how it was clear that Lada = Vlad...it was so neat!! After finishing AND I DARKEN, I did look into Vlad the Impaler a little bit though, and I thought it was super interesting to see the narrative of his history, and to see how Lada's story overlapped with Vlad's history. Vlad's history is pretty dark, and it doesn't have the happiest of endings, so I'll be very interested to see how Kiersten White continues to explore Lada's story! I'm crossing my fingers that it isn't quite as bleak...but even if it is, I know that she won't go down without one hell of a fight!
Overall, I absolutely LOVED AND I DARKEN! Lada is un-apologetically fierce, and I loved seeing such a strong female character who wasn't afraid to show just how dangerous and deadly she could be. I also loved seeing her take charge! I can't wait to read the next book, NOW I RISE, and I'd recommend AND I DARKEN to anyone who loves fierce heroines, especially if you have a soft spot for historical fiction!
What do you think?
Does the idea of a female Vlad the Impaler intrigue you?
And if you've read AND I DARKEN already, what did you think?