Today I will be sharing with you my thoughts on this word-filled wonderfulness.
image via goodreads
And I Darken written by Kiersten White is a historical fiction novel based in the Ottoman Empire and follows Vladmir Dracul’s children Lada and Radu and their journey in fighting for their home. Once they figure out where or who home is of course. Lada is a I-take-no-f****-and-give-no-f**** kind of girl. She is tough and will walk right over you if you get in her way. Then there is Radu who sweet, gentle and frightful. The exact opposite of Lada, who has to live in the shadow of his confident and loud older sister. When abandoned by their father and have to figure out how to maneuver in a cruel and unloving enemy empire, these two siblings will be tested in loyalty, love and wits.
What I Liked
The Characters: I fell in love with many characters in this story. Firstly there was Lada. Lada is the absolute definition of a badass-fighter-determined girl. She is stubborn and has no time for your or anybody else’s foolishness. When she sets her mind to something she gets through to it. I mean it is not always smooth sailing but she makes sure she gets what she wanted. She does not need a man to protect her or order her around, she does that plenty on her own. It is just really cool to see how Lada is confident but still has her doubts and understands that some of the decisions she makes are rash and wrong. Then we have Radu, who is like my spirit animal. He’s all soft on the inside but has his secrets and knows how to use them to his advantage. I can relate to him about living in a shadow. Since I have a friend who resembles Lada, in the way in which she is able to speak her mind, be loud and have confidence. While I am there at the side, not saying much but listening on everything I can. Radu grows a lot in this story. He goes from being a wimpy, scared little boy to a clever grown man. He also goes through some major changes in his life, all so that he is able to be true to himself. Then there is Mehmed who I liked, but he just never really stood out to me. I understand that he played a big role in the relationship between Radu and Lada. However I never anticipated his arrival in any scenes, to be honest I was more caught up in how Radu and Lada we going to get out of the immense trouble they were in. I like Mehmed and hopefully as the story continues I can warm up to him more.
The plot: I loved the timeline I went through. Beginning the story with the birth of Lada followed by Radu was very interesting. Seeing them grow up in the circumstances that they did really helped me understand how and why they grew up the way they did. It also saved the time of having to go through back story and flashbacks because we got to see their whole past through the first half of the book. Secondly, I was attracted to this book for the whole Daughter of Dracula idea and I was not disappointed. Although it was mostly set in the Ottoman empire instead of Wallachia or Transylvania, it was interesting to read about Radu and Lada’s life in enemy territory.
The cover: I’m a sucker for covers. I know it is against the code of reader law to judge based on covers, but we all know it’s a dirty little secret some of us possess. I mean look at it! Then look at the UK cover.
image via goodreads
Ugh! She just looks so fierce and fabulous I just could not handle it. I read the first line of the synopsis and put it on my TBR in a split second. I just love the cover so much!
What I Disliked
The lack of Vladmir Dracula: I know that this story revolves around Lada and Radu. And follows Lada and Radu. And is in perspective of Lada and Radu. But I wanted more Vladmir. Going in I thought that I would get to see more about him and have more scenes showing his character. But that did not happen, really all we saw of him was the few scenes at the beginning and few flashbacks. I just wanted to see more of him.
Training dragged on but not a lot of action: A lot of this book contained training and practicing, but few scenes of actual battle. There were plenty fight scenes (most of which included Lada-obviously), but it was just not enough action for me. It did however make up with the political intrigue that kept the suspense in the story going.
Over all I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars! I enjoyed it very much and am looking forward to the next one.
Lastly I must share my ultimate favourite part:
“I am the dragon.”
I won’t tell which part it is from or who said it, but I will let you know I anticipated this line since the beginning!
Definitely pick up this book if you like historical fiction, badassery, lgtb themes and some brutal, BRUTAL killing scenes. Ce livre est pour vous!