I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.And I Darken by Kiersten White
Also by this author: Paranormalcy, Illusions of Fate, In the Shadows
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Narrator: Fiona Hardingham
Length: 13 Hours 26 Minutes
Published by Random House Children's Books on June 28th 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Historical, Medieval, Religious, General, Royalty, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Buy on Amazon
This vividly rendered novel reads like HBO’s Game of Thrones . . . if it were set in the Ottoman Empire. Ambitious in scope and intimate in execution, the story’s atmospheric setting is rife with political intrigue, with a deftly plotted narrative driven by fiercely passionate characters. Fans of Victoria Aveyard’s THE RED QUEEN, Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING, and Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES won’t want to miss this visceral, immersive, and mesmerizing novel, the first in a trilogy.
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.
Why Did I Listen To And I Darken by Kiersten White?
I am a card carrying member of the Kiersten White fan club. Or, at least I would be if there was a fan club and there were cards. I’ve loved her books ever since Paranormalcy. She’s one of those authors where I have eagerly anticipated and read every single thing that she’s written. Of course, I was eagerly awaiting her newest book – And I Darken – with grabby hands. I rejoiced when I was approved on Netgalley for this book. THEN! It came out on the Volumes App under Books For Review and I basically threw a dance party because that meant I would be able to get to it sooner rather than later because of how much easier it is for me to fit audiobooks in my schedule.
What’s The Story Here?
So, And I Darken basically stars this girl named Lada who is a princess. She is fierce and tough and totally kicks ass. By the way, if you are expecting lighter fare from this book, you have come to the wrong place. Lada and her brother Radu have basically been dropped off by their dad from their Wallachia kingdom to the Ottoman Empire. He then goes to the store to buy some milk. So, Lada and Radu are stuck in the Ottoman Empire and are basically pawns. They hate it. Until they meet Mehmed, who is the Sultan’s son and heir to the empire. Of course, both of them end up with a whole lot of romantic love for Mehmed, but it’s all tangled up and complicated and there’s a whole lot of pain and messiness. So, if you love drama, then you are going to love Kiersten White’s And I Darken.
How’s Lada As A Character?
Lada comes off as really prickly and sort of a jerk at first. I mean, she lets Radu get punished for her and is not very nice to her tutors. Yet, I think that it will all make sense once you get to know her and all her reasoning for her actions. I have a soft spot for strong female characters who would win in any fight you put them in, so I loved her. I also love how she’s kind of like a warrior and that she totally knows bitches get shit done. So, of course, like all the other Kiersten White books I’ve read, I find myself admiring the main character and rooting for her.
How Is The World Building?
Obviously Kiersten White is on her A game. The world building in And I Darken is quite realistic. I mean, obviously this is a fictional book. However, it feels pretty realistic. I mean, reading this book I was like, oh yeah that could totally happen. I also felt like I could picture the landscape and scenery pretty well. In all, And I Darken contains a well depicted world.
What Did I Think Of And I Darken?
In all, I enjoyed And I Darken. I thought it was a different side of White’s writing that I have not seen yet. I feel like White is a really versatile writer. This book is, for lack of a different word, dark. It is really ridiculously good. The characters are all so fascinating – even though I only talked about Lada and not Radu. Radu is a complex character who happens to be gay. I love his inclusion. The romance was pretty okay too!
How Is The Narration?
So, I kind of wish that I didn’t listen to this on audio or at least via a different app from Volumes. And I Darken is narrated by Fiona Hardingham and is 13 hours and 26 minutes unabridged. The audiobook feels ridiculously long – but I say that from the point of view of a person who has been listening to audiobooks at a speed of 1.25x as opposed to the 1x. The Volumes app does not allow for listening speed changes, so perhaps due to the app, the narration felt so slow. Hardingham is a competent narrator. This book was easy to follow along with, but due to the length I did zone out every now and then.
Sum It Up With A GIF:
This GIF is an accurate representation of Lada.
Other reviews of And I Darken by Kiersten White:
Nice Girls Read Books – “a hit for a lot of people, but sadly I can’t count myself amongst them”
Pretty Deadly Reviews – “stunning and sweeping”
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