BOOK REVIEW: And I Darken – by Kiersten White

Title: And I Darken
(The Conqueror’s Saga #1)
Author: Kiersten White

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
First published: June 28th 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Finished reading: June 8th 2017
Pages: 498

“There is power in stillness. There is power in watching, waiting, saying the right thing at the right time to the right person. There is power in being a woman – oh yes, power in these bodies you gaze upon with derision.”

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I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since I first heard about it last year, and not just because of the beautiful cover… Because the combination of medieval setting, potentially strong main character and intriguing plot just sounded to good to be true. Why didn’t I pick up And I Darken earlier, would you say? Part of the reason is most likely the enormous hype around this story, because hyped books and me don’t really go along in general. I’ve seen quite a few mixed reviews out there, making me feel a bit hesitant to pick it up… But I just couldn’t resist the historical setting and reference to Vlad the Impaler in the end. And while I had a few minor complaints that made me remove a star from what I initially thought would be a perfect rating, I ended up enjoying And I Darken so much better than I thought I would. It’s my first experience with Kiersten White‘s writing style (if you don’t count her short story in My True Love Gave To Me, which I LOVED), and it has been a very positive one. Her writing style is beautiful, rich and very engaging and made this story so much more enjoyable.  Both the worldbuilding and descriptions are extensive and well executed; it really felt as if I was transported back in time and fully merged into the world along with the main characters. The plot is very intriguing and full of twists, secrets and surprises. I could have done without the love triangle/ forbidden love parts, but I guess that is just me not liking romance in the first place. As for the characters: some of them are not exactly likeable, but I ended up being able to connect to most of them anyway. I found myself to be fully absorbed into this story and rooting for those characters I favored more… I didn’t approve of every decision they made, but the character development in general is without doubt excellent. In short I had a great time raeding And I Darken in general, and I can’t wait to continue with Now I Rise! If you like reading YA fantasy and find historical twists and retellings just as intriguing as I do, definitely give this series a go.

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Lada Dragwlya might have been born a girl, but she is by no means the weak and docile princess her father suspected her to be. There is a fire in her, something that seems to be missing in her gentle younger brother, Radu… But that didn’t stop him from abandoning them both to be raised in the Ottoman courts as a form for the sultan to control their father. Lada and Radu are now pawns in a vicious game and their lineage makes them both special and targets at the same time. Lada only really want to find a way back home to Wallachia and claim her birthright, but Radu only wants to find a place where he feels safe. Both seem impossible, but everything changes as they meet Mehmed, the son of the sultan… Things are never as they seem and feelings can change, but what will happen to them in the end?

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It took me a long time to finally pick up my copy of And I Darken, but I’m definitely glad I’ve done so. I’ve fallen in love with Kiersten White‘s writing style and her ability to create an extensive worldbuilding filled with excellent descriptions and an intriguing plot. And while it wasn’t the 5 star read I thought it would be after reading the first few chapters, there is no doubt a very much enjoyed reading Lada, Radu and Mehmed’s story and I can’t wait to find out what the future has in store.


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17 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: And I Darken – by Kiersten White

    • It’s definitely one that is worth the try! I can understand why it wouldn’t be for everyone, but I personally really enjoyed it. I hope you will as well if you get to it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  5. So happy you enjoyed this one! I think a lot of the mixed reviews (at least the ones I read) had to do with this book not being what they expected… many people wrote that they were expecting a fantasy read. It is very much a historical fiction, which tends to be a slower pace too…

    Anyways! I really enjoyed this book too! I still need to pick up a copy of the second book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was actually happy this was more of a historical fiction read since I love those! 😉 I love her writing style and I’m definitely looking forward to read more of her work now. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one! Now I Rise is out on the 27th. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s always nice to visit a new release a little after all the hype dies down. 😛 I find that it gives us time to enjoy the book when the time is right and remind others of a great books (hopefully) and make people want to pick it up/reread it! 😀 Great review though, and I’m glad to see how much you love this author’s writing style!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha very true! I guess that might have worked in the book’s favor… Although I did enjoy this story a lot. I guess the series will get a lot of attention anyway now the sequel is about to be published, but I’m definitely hoping more people will want to read this now the hype has died down a bit.

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