About My Book Reviews

Thursday, January 23, 2020

And I Darken by Kiersten White

Series: The Conqueror’s Saga #1

Title: And I Darken

Author: Kiersten White

Published: 2016

Genre: Young Adult

Blurb (from goodreads):

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.

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.

But when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, 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.

My Scores:

Writing Style: Solid

I enjoyed the writing style of this novel. Even though it is written in third person the transitions between POV’s are easy to follow. Each character has their own unique voice. 

However, there are just so many references to very adult topics (like sex and alcohol) that I couldn't help but wonder if this novel would have been better established as an adult novel. Or maybe I’m just old fashioned at heart, I’m not entirely sure.

Characters: Memorable

The characters really shine in this novel. Their development throughout really drives the interest and plot of the novel. There are interesting gender role reversals, focus on sexual attraction, and the role of women in a sexist society.

But, again, since so much of the novel centers around sexual attraction (and its proper place in one’s life), I can’t help but think this should be an adult novel.

Plot: Enjoyable

The pacing was consistent throughout. When not focused on the love triangle, the plot shifts to the politics of this world. There is an interesting focus on what women’s role in this society is verses what it could be (along with what it should be).

However, it always felt like the adult characters were conveniently gotten rid of so that the fate of the kingdom depended on the young adults featured in the novel. While I understand the appeal, I personally feel that YA novels often miss out on complex adult characters.

Overall: Enjoyable

Overall, I enjoyed the novel. It just through me out of my comfort zone a little because I’m not used to love triangles being so descriptive in YA novels. I feel that the proper audience for this novel should be more mature than 13 and should be closer to 16.


Goodreads Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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