4.5 stars

Viki’s Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Published: June 28th 2016 by Delacorte Press
Synopsis: 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.

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It was quite a while since I read anything from Kiersten White and it doesn’t really matter because this story is nothing like her previous books. Apart from the writer, whom works I’m familiar with and like, the main motive I read the book is the beautiful cover. I mean the blurb doesn’t really do justice for the story and not very appealing in my opinion.

The story basically takes place in a very accurate historical era, with the right amount of proven facts and costumes. It’s unbelievable miraculous setting what the author creates for her story. From the smallest detail to the characters and the way things work. Thanks to this the whole book has a strange but for me quite appealing aura. I really liked the way the plot builds up and develops but truly it also gives a muted effect to the story. For me not in the bad way but for those who like the more intense stories with full of drama this one can prove to be a bit more difficult to get into. It’s a bit drier almost like a history book, but the story is so beautiful and endearing that it worth the time.

The main character is Lada, a girl born into the cruel Wallachian royal family. She is ambitious and persistent so quickly realizes that being a girl isn’t easy especially if she wants to reach her goals and gain his father approval. She has to work extra hard. The book follows her transformation from a vicious little girt to an accomplished and feared fighter, soldier and maybe future leader. All of this in a foreign land among enemies, after being betrayed and feeling confused about her own body and feelings. Her childhood is a conflicted one but she conquers it. She needs to make a lot of hard decisions a sacrifices during her transformation. The book is like a preview of her fight to became a leader namely famous Vlad Tepes.

The other to important characters are Radu, Lada little brother and Mehmed, their friend and emperor of the Ottoman Empire.

Radu is the exact opposite of Lada, he is soft, kind and weak. Nobody really pays attention to him but he finds his strength at a young age. He is an excellent listener and can easily read other people. That makes him the perfect ally to have in a court. However he is a really conflicted young boy, about his own feelings and the way Lada treats him. He kind of became bitter after a while toward her sister because he couldn’t understand the reasons behind the girl actions.

Mehmed is a good friend for the siblings but he has a lot of responsibilities abandons them after a while. I could understand his actions but what he doesn’t see is that the only thing he has his power and his life is thanks to them. What I really didn’t like about him is how he kept important information about his life as an emperor from Lada and Radu and I felt like he takes advantages of Lada and doesn’t even tries to see things from the girl side.

The two boys weren’t my favorite characters; they had a couple of really infuriating move during the story. I rather sympathized with Lada. TEAM LADA from my part. I’m really curious how her life and quest will progress during the next books.



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