Historical Retelling of Vlad Dracula as a Girl – And I Darken {Review}

Posted June 27, 2016 in Reading, Review / 4 Comments

Historical Retelling of Vlad Dracula as a Girl – And I Darken {Review}And I Darken by Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Publisher: Delacorte Press (2016 - June 28)
eARC (496 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Reading Challenges: 2016 Retelling Challenge, 2016 Royal Challenge, Read 2016


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.
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.

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My Review

How does a retelling of Vlad Dracula as a female sound? Throw out the vampires, focus on the historical, and you get something like And I Darken.

Lada is vicious and shrewd. She knows what she wants and she will do whatever is necessary to secure her country, Wallachia.

Radu is basically the exact opposite of his older sister. He is handsome and has a way with words. He wants only peace and has embraced Islam. He has made the Ottoman Empire his home.

Mehmed is the heir of the empire. He takes an interest in Lada for her honesty, which can be brutal at times but which an heir often won’t receive. It is because of Mehmed that Lada and Radu may be able to survive.

However, Lada was never one to wait for others. She insists on learning to fight. She refuses to be placated by the Ottomans. She won’t be the spoiled princess. She wants Wallachia back.

The historical setting is fabulous. The descriptions of the Ottoman Empire were interesting. I enjoyed how Lada stayed true to herself, refusing to fast during Ramadan simply because everyone expected her to.

Lada hides her emotions as she thinks they make her appear weak. She saves her brother only to tell him that she is the only one allowed to kill him. Despite that, she really loves him a lot as the last member of her family after her father leaves them with the Ottoman Turks. Lada promises to survive the Turks and find a way to Wallachia.

There were parts of And I Darken that were slow and parts I did not particularly care for. However, overall, I really liked And I Darken. I cannot wait to read the sequel. After that ending, I can already tell it will be amazing!


I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley for
review consideration. This in no way affects my opinion of the title
nor the content of this review.

Have you ever thought of Dracula outside of the vampire stories?

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