And I Darken (#1) by Kiersten White
Published by: Delacorte Press on June 28th 2016 (expected)
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance
Source: Provided by Net Galley
Synopsis: No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.
Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.
Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.
The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she’ll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive.
Review: “What if Vlad the Impaler, the brutal prince, had been Lada the Impaler, the brutal princess?”
This is a well-researched historical fiction that makes me want to look into the time period it was set in. It’s not the average YA novel and I love the characters. All the women are portrayed differently which was fun to compare. The romance aspect in this book was so refreshing. There was no instant connections and there was the “unconventional” love as well. I really enjoyed watching Lada grow as a character. How she deals with being a women in this time and thinks it’s ridiculous how she can’t do what all the men are doing yet she strives and works hard and accomplishes what they do anyways. You see her go through the change of girl to woman and I think that was executed perfectly. How she deals with these changes is so real and not how most YA novels would approach it. She’s such a strong character and I like how she doesn’t feel the need to give herself fully to a man. She’s so independent and strong and I can’t wait to see where the second novel takes us in her journey.
What I liked:
- No love triangle!
- How well researched it was.
- The many different portrayals of women
- How odd it was to have the characters so young and watching them age
- The romantic twist was quite the shock and was executed well
- Such a different setting and time period for the novel to be taking place
What I didn’t like:
- A bit of a slow start
- Lada kind of drove me nuts sometimes but her character is strong-willed so it makes sense
Rating: 4.5/5 stars!