BONUS BOOK: And I Darken by Kiersten White

“Sometimes she imagined a shadowy figure standing at a stone alter. She would hold up her hand, and he would take everything she had for himself.”

Genre: Adventure, Fiction

Book Jacket Synopsis: “No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla 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, 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.”

Review: Mehhhhhhhh. I don’t know, for a book that has gotten almost 4 stars on Goodreads (3.96 to be exact), I really expected more from And I Darken. The plot sounded intriguing enough, and the single glowing praise I have for this book is that Lada definitely works as an antihero. I certainly appreciate how badass and unapologetic she is.

“Lada awoke with a hand over her mouth. She punched twice in rapid succession, aiming for the kidneys.”

At times, however, her never ceasing brusqueness became quite tiring. Mehmed was a somewhat interesting character as well, but I think the book could have benefited from allowing him to narrate chapters, instead of just Lada and Radu. On the note of Radu… don’t even get me started. HE IS SO BORING. All he does is whine about how hard his life is, how mean Lada is, how Mehmed will never realize how he truly feels about him. It’s exhausting to read the chapters that are written from his perspective. I think this novel could have been saved if White did a better job of pulling her reader into the Ottoman world, but even it fell flat. All in all, it was hard to make myself finish this book. While improvements were made as the trio aged, the overall plot and relationships were dull.




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