Hello! I have decided that instead of writing a review for every book I read, I will only upload reviews for books I love here on my blog. If you want to see reviews for everything I read then feel free to follow my WeeReader Goodreads account!
And I Darken by Kiersten White – The Conquerors Saga #1.
- UK paperback – 484 pages.
- Release date: 28th June 2016.
- Published by Corgi Childrens
- ISBN: 0552573744
- Goodreads page for And I Darken here!
This review is spoiler free!
And I Darken is one of my favourite books of 2016 and I already can’t wait for the next book in the series! It is a unique, dark, fascinating and emotional historical YA that I highly recommend.
Firstly, I absolutely loved that this historical fiction takes place in the 1400s mainly in Transylvania and the Ottoman Empire. This is a time period and location that I have never read about before in YA and so that made it very unique and interesting. Reading it made me realise that I really need to learn more about Eastern Europe’s history especially countries such as Romania, Turkey, Albania and Serbia, so I’ll be doing some research into those.
The main characters Lada and her younger brother Radu are brilliant. This first book follows them through key moments in their lives, beginning with their birth and following them up until they are around sixteen years old. This meant that the character development was very thorough and we got to see what shaped them into the people they became. Lada is quite a dark character, but she still loves others and struggles with her emotions which was great to see. She wasn’t just pointlessly dark. Her brother Radu was great and clever but I felt so sorry for him at times! I just wanted to wrap him up in a blanket and protect him from the world! The marketing for And I Darken has focused a lot on Lada, but I think Radu is one of my favourite characters in YA!
This book has multiple LGBT main characters which was brilliant to see in YA. Their sexuality was never the main part of their character or their main plot point. It was also done very realistically considering this book is set back in the 1400s in quite a religious empire. The romance in this book was never instant and so it was interesting watching the relationships develop and grow over the years.
You may know that the Ottoman Empire (sometimes known as the Turkish Empire) was a predominantly Muslim society and so it was great to see Muslim characters in YA! I will admit that my knowledge of Islam is lacking and so I do not know how realistic the portrayal was, however I have seen Muslim reviewers (such as Icey Books) praising this book for its portrayal. It was great to see Islam portrayed in such a positive light!
I read an ARC of this And I Darken thanks to Andy aka BritBookBoy on Bookstagram who kindly let me borrow his ARC because he knew I was dying to read it. The cover shown in my picture is not the final cover, you can see that over on the And I Darken Goodreads page!