The first part of the book tells Lada's and Radu’s story when they are younger, and all is crucial to know. Furthermore, I really enjoyed the background this added to the characters. They felt real, alive, and ready to leap off the page. Though the pace of the first half is a little slower than the second, it was never boring. The second half is more action-packed, something I normally prefer… but it’s a first for me that I can’t decide because I thought both parts were equally as good.
White’s writing and world building is amazing—it’s exquisite, beautifully phrased and very vivid. I especially enjoyed the setting, exploring the different places where Lada and Radu were, and as I continued reading I was really able to build this world in my mind—to really see it.
AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White offers a new, compelling world with exquisite world building and a story that hooked me from the first page and didn’t let go.
Source: eARC from Netgalley
And I Darken
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.