Skip to main content

And I Darken

Review

And I Darken

It is the year 1435 and Vlad Dracul, the duke of Wallachia, must protect his state from the oncoming threats of the Ottoman Empire. Vlad's son, Radu, is an elegant, young boy who is tormented and dismissed due to his inability to be a warrior. Instead the role is taken over by Vlad's daughter, Lada, who is a brutal, unladylike warrior who strives to win over her father's approval. But when Vlad sells his children off to the Ottoman Empire, Lada and Radu must survive within the brutal walls of the Ottomans. That is when they meet Mehmed, the son of the sultan, and the two siblings are forced to face the reality of their relationships.

"AND I DARKEN is a beautifully crafted novel that combined the difficulties of a brutal empire with the difficulties of maintaining a stable sibling relationship."

Kiersten White (one of my favorite authors) and this book definitely didn't disappoint. AND I DARKEN was a very original, suspenseful story that I thoroughly enjoyed, but my favorite thing about the book was definitely the characters. About the first 100 pages were dedicated to developing both Lada and Radu, and I thought that the author was able to do this very well. There was never a point at which I felt that the book was getting boring or the plot was too slow. The author was able to find the perfect balance that continued throughout the rest of the book with a great plot as well.

The plot was very original and informative as well. I had never read a book that took place during the dominance of the Ottoman Empire, and I actually learned a lot about their ability and the brutality of their rule. Also, there was a large sibling relationship throughout the novel that took the centerpiece of the plot, even over Lada and Radu's relationship with Mehmed. There was a large contrast between their personalities, but the author was able to display the bond between siblings and how it can be both broken and repaired. I would almost compare it to the concept of Jandy Nelson's I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, so if you enjoyed that book I would definitely recommend this one.

AND I DARKEN is a beautifully crafted novel that combined the difficulties of a brutal empire with the difficulties of maintaining a stable sibling relationship. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it to those looking for a suspenseful, historical fiction to read this summer. And to anyone who has read any previous Kiersten White novels, I would say pick this one up as well because it doesn't disappoint!

Reviewed by Harleen K., Teen Board Member on June 28, 2016

And I Darken
(And I Darken #1)
by Kiersten White