Book Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

Sunday, 8 May 2016 05:05
Title: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Publication Date: June 28th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Rating: 3 of 5 stars


She plucked a rose and held it to her face. She hated the way roses smelled, their sweetness too fragile. She wanted a garden of evergreens. A garden of stones. A garden of swords. 

Who wouldn't love a character as feisty as she is?

This book was an utter delight to read! I couldn't put this book down, couldn't look at another book while this was still uncompleted. It hooked me from page one and I couldn't get enough of it. 

The reason why this book and I clicked right off the bat is because I simply love anti-heroes. Lada, the daughter of Vlad Dracul is the polar opposite of sugar and everything nice. She is spice. She is fierce and strong. She is like a breath of fresh air. 
As soon as Lada was born, her father was disappointed in her not being a boy. But as the years passed, Lada quickly proved him wrong. She proved to him that she can be better than a boy. This book deals with what it was like to be a woman in that era and questions whether a woman can truly hold power without a man. Lada was always surprising me constantly with her very different way of thinking and dealing with things which mostly included beating the crap out of people and coming out with ingenious plans. 

Lada's brother Radu is sugar and everything nice. He's sweet whereas she's vicious and he wants to be recognized and praised like his sister. He loves her for being so bold and she hates him for his weakness. Their relationship was strained at first when Lada always ignored him for being weak and chose to play with other boys who could take her. It changed as Lada, even though she despised him for being scared and weak all the time, slowly began to care for him.

"'If anyone is going to kill you, it will be me. Understand?'
Her brother nodded, snuggling into her shoulder. 'Will you protect me?'
'Until the day I kill you.'" 

This literally warmed my heart.

Moving on, the story takes place in the background of an unorthodox setting. Eastern Europe was beautiful in it's own way and as it was completely new to me, I devoured every bit of it and relished it. White writes in a such a way that transports you to another era and as you near the end, you'll want more of it. Her writing makes me want to actually read more about the history of Eastern Europe since she made it sound interesting as hell!

The story spirals around these two characters and their exhilarating journey. It is a dark, gritty and a brutal tale with even darker characters. I did feel like I dozed off in the middle because nothing much seemed to be happening. I didn't really enjoy how it dragged on and on and how Lada did absolutely nothing and how our duo had such conflicted emotions all the time. I expected gruesome fight scenes and some gut-wrenching twists. Nothing like that happened so I was slightly disappointed. I feel like I'm being generous with the rating mainly because of Lada but I guess she deserves that. She is one hell of a character.

Overall, this was a good read that could have been better. Recommended.

P.S: This book does not have a Game of Thrones vibe to it and it is not anything like it even though it is being marketed so. Do not go in with such high expectations. 


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