And I Darken by Kiersten White


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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.

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 9.08.13 pm 3/5 stars

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 🙂

13 thoughts on “And I Darken by Kiersten White

  1. Hey – I also loved this book. But it’s so true about Lada just falling for Mehmed. She did have sooo many chances to go save her country and she just ignored them! But yes there so much information based on facts (somewhat?). I don’t know if you watch her videos but Polandbananasbooks on youtube had an interview with Kiersten and the first half where talks about her research was pretty interesting. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I do what her on youtube but I haven’t seen the interview! Thanks for letting me know I’m interested to see how she decided what to include and change 🙂 Glad you liked it, I think I’m going to like the next book better or I hope I will XD I really liked the ending

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lauren! I got it in the YA chronicles box but I had it on my TBR as well because everyone was talking about it 🙂 I hope you enjoy it, there could have been more Killing in my eyes but that may just be me bahhahaha


  2. Sounds interesting, right up my alley… Was all set to buy it, got to the Amazon link and BAM…. I get smacked in the face by the price. $8.99 for a new author after your review? Nah, I’ll pass but watch to see if my library has it, it goes into the KU or drops in price.

    Amazon Life Lesson #1: Get too greedy, people keep looking and find other books. (Greed isn’t inherently bad, but that was a tactical error in this case)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luckily I received it in a book subscription box so I didn’t have to worry about price, it was fairly hyped up so I’m not surprised it’s not the cheapest 😦 Hopefully your library gets it in! It was really interesting but the library seems the safest bet in case you don’t like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I received an ARC of this one, but I’ve been a bit reluctant to dive in. I skimmed a few pages, and the writing felt clunky, which is one of my absolute pet hates. That said, I’m really intrigued by the story, so I’m sure I’ll take the plunge soon. 🙂


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