ARC Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

14 Jun 2016

Book Title: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1 
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy

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.

So this is one of those days that I can't decide how I felt about a read I've just finished. When I saw the blurb of this book two months ago and had badass heroine screaming all over it, I just knew I had to get my hands on this one. Lada Dragwlya proved to be a fierce, no-nonsense princess that could kill you under a minute. Basically, not a girl to be messed with and I give her HUGE props for her character. 

We also have a co-hero, Radu who is Lada's brother. A polar opposite of Lada; he's more compassionate, sensitive and on the softy side. He've always admired his sister and wishes to be recognised in the same way she is. So what does Lada and Radu have in common other than being from the same blood? That would be their interest in Mehmed, a sultan's son of the Ottoman empire.  
But then, there's also other things that had me feeling all meh about the read especially the pacing of the story. I had to put down this read and come back to it again several times because I just couldn't get into it long enough. At times, there was just too much of politics talking and so little action that I would have loved to encounter. 

The romance on the other hand- I'm pretty much on the fence about it. For the first half of the book, I wasn't even sure there was going to be a romance? It only became more evident around the 45% mark and even that left me rather confused. It's like suddenly both Lada and Radu realized their feelings for Mehmed at the same time and I was all like whaaa-t? I think it did made the story a tad more interesting with the conflicting love triangle between the three of them but, I just wasn't all that invested in the story.

If you're a lover of medieval politics and doesn't mind a love triangle in the mix, this book could be for you. Amongst the reasons why this book didn't work for me is that there were parts which I found to be boring and slow. Also, I wished I could say that I cared more for these characters but I don't. Mehmed didn't really come off as a Sultan for me, but instead more like a young boy who's trying to figure things out. I felt like I was also expecting for something to happen as the story progresses but hardly much had kept my interest. 

ARC kindly provided by Random House via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Kiersten White

KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy; the dark thrillers Mind Games and Perfect Lies; The Chaos of Stars; and Illusions of Fate. She also coauthored In the Shadows with Jim Di Bartolo. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further away times. Visit Kiersten online at and follow @kierstenwhite on Twitter.

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