Title: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Source: E-Galley provided by the publisher
This is my first review in awhile, so stick with me here, okay?
I was provided with a free e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion on the book.
1. Ladislav is the most bad ass heroine I’ve seen in a long time.
Lada’s father is awful. Like, I’m not sure he’s even capable of love kind of awful. However, Lada is just like her father. He is vicious and cruel and wild. While Lada is the unwanted, weak female in a world that values males, she tends to surpass her brother, Radu, in everything – even though he is a boy. Lada fights for everything she wants. She is seen as ugly, but she is so strong-willed that she is noticed by the soldiers, her father, and feared by her brother. She is more vicious and ruthless than any boy her age running around her castle. I can’t tell you a lot about the story, because a lot happens, but Lada was definitely my favorite part.
2. There is a lot of questions about religion in this book. Normally, this would make me uncomfortable, but when I considered when this took place, it actually made a ton of sense.
Because of some unforeseen circumstances, Lada and her little brother Radu end up in the grasp of the Ottoman empire. The two siblings came from a world of one religion (usually fire, blood, sacrifice, and death) and thrown into the Muslim-run country that they were brought up to adore. The more he learns about The Prophet (peace be upon him), the more Radu is drawn to the foreign religion of his adopted land. Lada rages against the Prophet, and is violently angry toward the religion. She is desperate for her home of Wallachia, and will never forget it until she is returned to it, so anything non-Wallachian is horrible to her. A lot of this book is a question of morality, what is right, love, and religion. Normally, that would be something that would make me roll my eyes, but this is done extremely well. White does this in a way that doesn’t intend to try and sway her readers into believing what her characters believe – simply there just for a story, which I LOVED.
3. This is my third Kiersten White book, and there was NO. PARANORMAL.
This is something that I’ve come to expect from White, but honestly there is no complaint from me here. It’s like historical fiction – except the horrible man in charge is changed into a female, which is so awesome! The preview I read on Amazon says that it’s for fans of Game of Thrones, and that is definitely correct. If you liked the Song of Ice and Fire books, then this YA version is most definitely for you. Kiersten White did a fantastic job with this. It may seem heavy, but it is most definitely a feminist book. In a time when females were NOT valued, Lada makes a name for herself and is powerful when she shouldn’t be. What’s better than that?!
OVERALL: 4 STARS! I know I didn’t tell you a lot here, but that’s because SO. MUCH. HAPPENS. I honestly don’t even know what you would consider a spoiler because there is just so much here. It feels like the entire history of Lada’s life, and the end catches up with her present. This was beautifully written, especially if you like historical fiction. This book comes out on June 28, 2016 so if you’re down for some medieval adventure, go forth and preorder!!