Book Review: “And I Darken” by Kiersten White | Spoiler-Free

Hello! Today I will be discussing And I Darken by Kiersten White, an alternate history book about a gender bent Vlad the Impaler, who was the real-life inspiration for Dracula. This book is not for the faint of heart. It is very violent because it is so accurate. Vlad was not a gentle person. He was violent and could be ruthless. But this book really shows a different side to Vlad’s story, I think. Because Vlad is a girl and girls in this time were only known to be good for breeding, for giving them an heir. But Lada is not like that. She is ruthless and crazy violent, but she also hates that men look down on her because she is a girl. Let’s just go ahead and get into the review!

Synopsis:

“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, 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.”

My Thoughts:

THIS BOOK WAS SO GREAT. I really loved the interesting love triangle and all of the characters. Lada was an interesting character, an unusual one in that she was so brutal and violent. I think she really sets a precedent to stomp out the stereotypes of women even today. Radu while he was not as violent, was equally as brutal, I think. He can weave himself into someone’s life and learn all their secrets without them even knowing. He is quickly underestimated and I feel like he is a force to be reckoned with. Mehmed was a confusing character. I like him, but I don’t trust him. I think he will end up being a main villain, according to history anyway. It was really cool to see the translation where Vlad was a girl in this book. The story line was interesting and intriguing and action-packed as well. I feel like I learned a lot by reading this book! I loved the writing style and just the way Kiersten weaved her characters into situations. Highly, highly recommend this book!
9
5/5 hearts

What is your favorite alternate history and/or historical fiction novel? This is my first alternate history novel, but my favorite historical fiction novel definitely is Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys just because it really represents and helps us learn about this dark part of history, the worst maritime disaster in history. But that is going to be it for this review today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time.

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