review: And I Darken

I finally finished a book! November is being ridiculously slow for me – but here’s my review of And I Darken!

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And I Darken by Kiersten White

Lada is a fierce anti-princess – stab first, ask questions later. Radu is everything she is not: his words are his weapons and he is as likeable as his sister is not. Lada is ruthless, Radu is charismatic.They’re two sides of the same Wallachia-born coin. While Lada feels held captive, separated from her people back in Wallachia, Radu could not be any different: he has finally found a place to call home. It isn’t until they both meet Mehmed – the son of the current Sultan – that everything starts to get a little more complicated.

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TITLE. I don’t think the title is super relevant to the character and plot, but I may have missed something. Still, it seems like a slightly poetic style of title and I think compliments the novel.

COVER. The cover is gorgeous, I think we can all agree – and it encompasses what And I Darken represents for YA fantasy. No pretty dresses or crowns in sight, just Lada’s fierceness.

CHARACTERS. Lada was one of the most complex characters I’ve read in some time. She felt like a breath of fresh air in a cluttered and, at times dull, fantasy landscape. It was fascinating to see both Lada and Radu break so many clichés and turn their back on fantasy convention. If you’re looking for a complex brother and sister duo tied up in politics, murder and revenge – this is what you’ve been waiting for.

PLOT. I’ll agree with a couple of reviewers who have said the plot was slow for the first half. What I found was that around 30% to 60% dragged a little more than I would have liked, but the final 80%-100% was what made me sit up and pay attention. It’s the kind of book I kept picking up and being unable to read for awhile, hence my

OVERALL. I rated And I Darken a 4.5/5. I’m hopeful for this series and will be keeping a close eye on subsequent books (the next of which is currently being worked on, I believe). It’s going to be exciting to see where And I Darken goes from here and how the characters change along the way.darken3


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2 thoughts on “review: And I Darken

  1. Considering I knew nothing about how this book used history for influence—and that being a genre I don’t particularly gravitate to—it was an enjoyable read. Though, like you say, the title has gone over my head unless it connects to Lada directly. Other than that, look forward to the sequel.

    Liked by 1 person

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