on June 28, 2016
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Also by this author: Mind Games
Genres: Fantasy, Historical
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. 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, 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.
I was going to start off by saying And I Darken was not the type of book I usually go for. Historical fiction has never been my favorite, but I need to reevaluate that after reading this and the His Fair Assassin books. Maybe I just like YA historical fiction with incredibly kick ass heroines? That’s probably it! And I Darken fits that description perfectly.
I’m sure that most of you know that And I Darken is a re-imagining of Vlad the Impaler with a female Vald, right? It’s as awesome as it sounds! This is also a time period that I knew little about, or had forgotten most of it. I was super intrigued by all the history. There’s a lot of details and info to take in, but it never felt like a info dump to me. I was captivated by all the politics and intrigue from the very start.
Lada was certainly my favorite part of the story. She is the epitome of ruthless. She was so violent and completely unapologetic about it. She was very refreshing. The story is also told from her brother’s point of view. Radu is not one to be overlooked. He may appear harmless and weak but he has so much to offer the story. I really grew fond of him throughout the book. The relationship between Lada and Radu was so complex. I don’t think we even scratched the surface on their dynamics yet.
There was actually more romance than I was expecting in And I Darken. Not that that’s a bad thing. There is a love triangle. Before you groan, let me assure you that it’s not one of those annoying love triangles. Not at all. This one is brutal and heartbreaking. I can’t wait to see where it goes.
I’ve read Kiersten White’s Paranormalcy books and enjoyed them. And I Darken is nothing like those. There’s captivating history, wars, compelling relationships and an awesomely kick ass character at the heart of the story. The sequel is already on my most anticipated of 2017 list.