Sunday, July 17, 2016

5 Star ARC Review: And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga, #1)

Author: Kiersten White
Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr
Edition: ARC courtesy of the publisher
Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository
Goodreads Link
Rating: 5 Stars
I received this book from the publisher when I went to Chicago's C2E2 event; thank you!

I read the Paranormalcy trilogy by Kiersten White many years ago and wasn't really a fan.  I think I was fading out of that genre and it felt like it was meant for a reader younger than I had been, so things just didn't click.  When I heard about this book I wasn't too eager to pick it up even though it did have a surprising description.  But as time passed (and as an ARC landed in my lap) I kept coming across it and being incredibly interested.  So I picked it up and the was one of the best decisions I've made in a long time.

And I Darken is a historical fantasy where Vlad the Impaler is gender swapped and now named Lada.  Lada is vicious, brutal, honest, brave, brilliant, and so many other things in a world that shuts women in a harem.  Lada and her brother, Radu (the other narrator of the book), are, more or less, sold to the Ottoman Sultan in exchange for the freedom of their country.  While at court they are caught up in the politics in a way they never could have predicted.

This is a long, dense book.  It takes its time telling its story and doesn't shy from any details.  It simmers just under your skin as it tells its story and wriggles its way into the corners of your dreams. This book took me much longer than I anticipated to read- and I was grateful for every second of it.  Sometimes books that take me a while make me sick of them.  But this one made me appreciate it more and more.  The reason?  It felt so realistic!  I felt like I was there!  Everything was vivid, not just thanks to Kiersten's wonderful writing, but also thanks to the aura the book cast over everything.

I don't know much about her historical counterpart, but Lada is amazing.  She was everything I wanted and then some.  Going into it I wasn't sure if I would like her character or if she would live up to her description on the back of the book, but whatever I thought was completely surpassed by the character within the pages.  Besides Lada there is Radu and he was a real treat to read as well.  I didn't know there were going to be two main characters.  And I certainly didn't know that they would pull my heart strings in every direction at once.  Sometimes with multiple narrators it's hard to balance a story, but that balance is perfect between Lada and Radu.

This is one of those books you won't regret reading.  Go pick it up immediately!


  1. Great review! I can't wait to read this series (as well as Paranormalcy).

  2. Awesome review! I just added this to my TBR shelf and am really excited about this one. I definitely can't wait to read this series.


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