This post was imported from my old blog xbelleofthebooks.com
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
And I Darken by Kiersten White is the first of three genderbent retellings of the story of Vlad the Impaler. For a first book in a trilogy, I’m super impressed. I always feel like the second book in a trilogy is what really packs a bang, but And I Darken did not disappoint me. While it took me about 10 chapters to really get invested in, the wait was well worth it. Once the story progressed a little bit, I was hooked.
The novel follows three characters very closely, though the main protagonists are named Lada and Radu Dragwyla. They are the son and daughter to the prince of Wallachia, and they are abandoned by their father and left in the heart of the Ottoman Empire to be raised by tutors and used as leverage for the Sultan. Radu and Lada meet Mehmed, who is the youngest son of the Sultan, and often forgotten. He requests that Radu and Lada stay with him as his companions, and they soon become best friends.
Things are happening in the empire though, and Mehmed’s leadership skills are put to the test, along with the loyalty of the Dragwylas. The three of them vow to stick together, and we watch them grow up, mature, and learn to put their heart second, and their duties first.
And I Darken is just that; dark, taunting, and will capture your heart almost immediately. I could barely put it down.
Think Game of Thrones meets A Thousand and One Nights, and you get And I Darken. I definitely recommend this book. I don’t give 5 stars often, but 5 stars to And I Darken by Kiersten White! This is my third 5 star read this year, alongside Lady Midnight and The Lovely Reckless.