ARC Review: “And I Darken” by Kiersten White

Thanks to and Random House Children’s for giving the opportunity to read this book!

I really flew through it  because it sounded so awesome, but unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed and rated this lower than I initially expected to.

As always, a spoiler-free review below!

And I Dakrne

Title: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Expected Release Date: June 28, 2016
Length: 496 pages (hardcover edition — though I read this on Kindle)
Genre: Young adult, historical fiction
Synopsis: (taken 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. 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.”

My rating: 2.5/5 stars

That cover, tho. ❤

This isn’t really what I expected it to be. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I think I’ve said this before but there seems to be a trend in YA that is fascinated with the Middle Eastern and/or Indian mythology or era and we get that in this, although two of the three main characters would be considered Caucasian (please correct me if I’m wrong).  That doesn’t fully apply to this book because it’s also a bit like a Vlad the Impaler retelling… Sort of. See? I don’t know how to describe this book, I’m so confused.

The writing is great. I haven’t read anything by White before so this is my first experience with her writing and she does a great job. She created multi-faceted characters, but they got tiring after a while. I was tired of hearing both of them complain. Yet they all seem to complement one another in a different way, filling up aspects or characteristics that the other doesn’t have.

I like sibling stories too but I’m afraid this series won’t end well at all, especially with the torn allegiance. I do agree that there is a “toxic triangle” going on because their allegiances and motives all differ though Lada, Mehmed, and Radu all still want to remain friends. But like I said, I don’t think it’s going to tend that way at all.

At times the plot was slow and seemed to drag on but this is supposed to be a series so I can look passed that a bit. This was one of the reason why I rated it low.

This book isn’t really my cup of tea despite the synopsis, which really made me think I was going to love it. If you like historical fiction, awkward love triangles, strong female characters (which I do!), angst (because there’s a lot from one particulate character), you might like this book.

You can read a spoiler-ish review on my Goodreads. 😛