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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. – Synopsis taken from goodreads.
And I Darken is a retelling of Vlad the Impaler gender swapped so Vlad is a woman. I was surprised by how much information is actually fact
not all info is but I was assuming most of it was a work of fiction by the author I liked the whole idea, story, and character roles.
There are a lot of political struggles, warring for the crown, religion vs state, state lines, sultans, and princesses, Kings, and a slave army to keep this plot up and the action moving along. But the beginning dragged for me, I felt like this story could have been 200 pages shorter and been just as good if not better.
It starts off with Ladaslav Lada as a child, we see her grow up in fast forward and become a warrior before her time. Lada doesn’t want to be a lady, she doesn’t want to shut up and sew. Lada wants to learn, to be respected, and to fight. Unfortunately in her time there’s not too much opportunity for this. Lada and her brother Radu end up in the hands of The Sultan to satisfy the empire and keep peace in her Fathers country.
Growing up in an empire that speaks another language, enemies all around, and having to protect her Brother Radu, Lada is lonely, angry, and dreams of her own country. When Lada finally hits puberty she tries to hide it as long as possible.
**MILD SPOILERS ABOUT THE PLOT LINE IN RED (nothing huge but be warned if you want to go into this blind)*
In steps Mehmed; The bastard son of the Sultan.
This is where my problems started. I didn’t like Mehmed. I thought he was an annoying preachy boy and he centered in the middle of a love
triangle Octagon. The Sultans have Harems and many wives so call it what you like, there are plenty of contenders for his attention.
The thing that really annoyed me about Lada is she had so many opertunities to run but she didn’t take them because of a boy *eye roll*
This disappointed me so so much! I loved that she was so independent and before her time but to throw that away for someone who has a harem at his service? No girl that’s not how you should roll!
I was thinking where did my strong female protagonist go? Why are we left with this silly, jealous girl?
*Mile spoilers over*
The ending made the book for me and I will read the next book, hopefully Lada will return to killing and gaining her land back and not be too much of a lovesick puppy.
Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the story and characters but I felt like I liked the side characters more than I the mains. Also all the murders were pretty fantastic.
Have you read this? What did you think about Radu’s character? or Lada’s?
Did you know much about Vlad the Imapalers history before this? I know I went on wiki right away to get some more background info and it’s pretty interesting 🙂