The New York Times Bestseller!
“Absolutely riveting.” —Alexandra Bracken, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Darkest Minds
This vividly rendered novel reads like HBO’s Game of Thrones . . . if it were set in the Ottoman Empire. Ambitious in scope and intimate in execution, the story’s atmospheric setting is rife with political intrigue, with a deftly plotted narrative driven by fiercely passionate characters and a fearsome heroine. Fans of Victoria Aveyard’s THE RED QUEEN and Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES won’t want to miss this visceral, immersive, and mesmerizing novel, the first in the And I Darken series.
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.
“A dark and twisty fantasy . . . think Game of Thrones, but with teens.”—Seventeen
“Sinister, suspenseful, and unapologetically feminist.”—Buzzfeed
“Will completely spin you into another time and place.”—Bustle
“Takes no prisoners, offering up brutal, emotional historical fiction.”—NPR.org
An ALA Rainbow List Top Ten Selection
And I Darken.
This book viciously and unapologetically explores the intricacies and perspectives of two siblings; each misunderstood and influenced in wildly differing ways as they grow from children to adolescents.
I believe it is imperative that I encourage anyone interested in this book to read it even if they find the synapses dull or uninteresting. I admit that I didn’t think too much of the concept of the story, and only read it with a vague curiosity due to a comment suggesting this was a spin off female version story of Vlad Dracul
This is an attempt at being as cautious with giving away anything about the book, while still touching on the aspects which (I feel) are the most significant.
There is plenty of action. What is exciting is the action does evolve with the main characters. There is a steady incline of brawling, sword play, wars, even capers and assassination. The main characters experience each in differing ways, and it all (mostly) contributes to the characters development. Incredibly, it goes from aggressive and feral, to focused and vicious in such a reasonable manner,it reads comfortably organic. Sometimes those developments are small and sometimes they are drastic and affect the entire plot. The concept of warfare, both physical, and intellectual are touched on (and if truth be told, some of that could have been pushed a bit more, but I do digress: this is a “YA” series).
The romance involved plays a critical part in the interaction of the main characters, but not on the characters actions or behaviour when interacting with their environments and other (secondary) characters. It was not overly cliche as to seem unbelievable, and introduces unique opportunities for the plot. Most important: romance is not a focus of this book!
Sexuality, and sexual orientation finds a decent foothold in the story. Each main character gets an incredible dynamic which pushes and pulls the main characters together and apart simultaneously. Imagine a Rubix cube twisted continuously and never achieving a completely solid face, then destroyed to try again. No character ever fully understands themselves, and they grapple with how each individual feels and how to cope with not being accepted for their true selves, by either society or amidst each other.
While the plot progresses each struggling with their own issues; many of which are very modern concepts being utilized in a historic setting , and entirely outside the realm of common reasoning for that period. The characters each develop their own ‘rational thought processes ’, and apply them differently. It’s exciting and depressing, fascinating and discouraging, at times humbling to explore each in contrast.
Most outstanding; the story is set in a time period and part of the world which is so rarely explored and poorly understood. Even if the plot were not enticing, the description of the setting and environment is fantastic itself. The description and interaction to the environments of the main characters and how some of them internalize them in such contrast is at times endearing and at others liberating (for bothering the reader as well as the character in question).
In summation, ‘And I Darken’ walks a reader through a world intricately imagined. With though provoking concepts and events which might challenge readers morals and values in return.