And I Darken

And I Darken

eBook - 2016
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9
Random House, Inc.
The New York Times Bestseller!

“Absolutely riveting.” —Alexandra Bracken, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Darkest Minds

This vividly rendered novel reads like HBO’s Game of Thrones . . . if it were set in the Ottoman Empire. Ambitious in scope and intimate in execution, the story’s atmospheric setting is rife with political intrigue, with a deftly plotted narrative driven by fiercely passionate characters and a fearsome heroine. Fans of Victoria Aveyard’s THE RED QUEEN and Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES won’t want to miss this visceral, immersive, and mesmerizing novel, the first in the And I Darken series.


NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.

“A dark and twisty fantasy . . . think Game of Thrones, but with teens.”—Seventeen
 
“Sinister, suspenseful, and unapologetically feminist.”—Buzzfeed
 
“Will completely spin you into another time and place.”—Bustle
 
“Takes no prisoners, offering up brutal, emotional historical fiction.”—NPR.org

An ALA Rainbow List Top Ten Selection

Baker & Taylor
Ever since Lada Dragwlya and her brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival, and when she meets Mehmed, the heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against, complications arise as Lada, Radu and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point. Simultaneous eBook.

Baker
& Taylor

In this first book in a trilogy a girl child is born to Vlad Dracula, in Transylvania, in 1435--at first rejected by her father and always ignored by her mother, she will grow up to be Lada Dragwlya, a vicious and brutal princess, destined to rule and destroy her enemies.

Publisher: 2016
ISBN: 9780553522334
Branch Call Number: E-Book TEEN
Characteristics: 1 online resource
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PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 26, 2019

I recently watched a negative review of this. The reviewer said that she wanted more women characters who to be able to be strong while still in a traditional female role. I guess the problem with that, is that in the 1400s most women didn't have a lot of power, and those that did gain power, b... Read More »


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emfaha
Mar 01, 2019

I got completely swept up in this world, story and the dynamics of Lada, Radu and Mehmed. I thought this book could've been more concise but I forgive it for that and cannot wait to continue the series.

PimaLib_ChristineR Jan 26, 2019

I recently watched a negative review of this. The reviewer said that she wanted more women characters who to be able to be strong while still in a traditional female role. I guess the problem with that, is that in the 1400s most women didn't have a lot of power, and those that did gain power, by trying to beat men at their own game, usually wound up dead. Just ask Joan of Arc.

So I think that this historical re-imagining is both entertaining and historically interesting. Lada is the young daughter of the Wallachian prince. She will grow into a female version of the historical Vlad the Impaler. She and her brother, Radu (based loosely on the historical brother of Vlad, Radu the Handsome), are given over to the care of the Ottoman sultan as security against him attacking the expanding empire. Lada and Radu become friends with one of the sultan's sons, Mehmed, being raised and educated with him.

In this retelling, White explores what might drive a character like Vlad/Lada. Lada sees that her mother is weak and her father has no respect for that. When he tells her that her mother is the country, that she is born of Wallachia, she takes that to heart, putting her country before all else except trying to achieve the approval of her father, never realizing that she's had it all the time. Her feelings of invisibility are what drive her to train as the men do, hoping one day he will see her and value her.

After being abandoned to the Ottomans, Lada and Radu must make a new life. Here's where the book slows down somewhat. There are intrigues, but if you're looking for a typical YA fantasy or adventure, this isn't it.

White does look at the power women held in the Ottoman Empire. Here the women of wealth are kept in a harem. It is clear that many of the wives and concubines have power within and outside the harem, yet in the end, they are subject to the authority of their husband.

White uses this novel to really explore the questions of how our loyalties can be divided. How we can love an individual but hate what they stand for. How history, and even contemporaries, can see a person, or a country, as bloodthirsty and power-mad, while from another perspective he/she can be seen as a freedom fighter, a great leader, or a country bringing enlightenment and peace to the divided nations around it.

This is asked in the big questions like the historical figures of Mehmed and Vlad. While Mehmed would go on to be Mehmed the Conquerer, strengthening the Ottoman Navy and bringing Constantinople and therefore the remains of the Byzantine Empire into his fold, Vlad would go on to fight for Wallachian freedom for the remainder of his life, becoming Prince of Wallachia three different times.

But it's also asked in smaller ways, like the relationship between Lada and Radu. What Lada sees as necessary, Radu takes as coldness. Lada and Radu must both come to terms with people they care for and respect working for different ends than their own. And both Lada and Radu must decide where they stand in the dispute between the Ottoman Empire and their Wallachian home.

I'm excited to see how White continues this saga, now that Lada has reached adulthood and settled her priorities.

b
Bookiewookie247
Dec 03, 2018

SPOILERS

I mean, it’s frustrating when Lada is torn between Wallachia and Mehmed. Like, GIRL, chose your country or your lover boy! I love and hate this book. Like at first you want her to be with Bogdan—her long-time childhood friend— and then you want her to be with Mehmed—the sultan’s son— and then you want her to be with Nicolae— her sparring buddy who’s a Janissary solder. BUT her ‘love’ for Mehmed is ‘too strong’ to see that Bogdan still loves her, but it’s more than a best friend now. And nicolae only sees her as a sister lmao. Then there’s Mehmed. He is too selfish and manipulates Radu’s—Lada’s brother—love to get what he wants. Radu is gay—yes pople—GAY. I mean, I’m reading the second book “Now I Rise’ and SO FAR, it’s okay. Not a fan of Mehmed and Lada’s love. But I ship Bogdan and Lada.

4 star

j
jinxed_gem
Jul 16, 2018

Halfway through and it's an excellent read. Basically this is an alternative history of Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) as a woman. The perspectives are from her and her brother after being taken as collateral for their father's loyalty by the Ottomans. T

kirstd31 Mar 06, 2017

I was disappointed with this book. It was drawn out and boring.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Jan 30, 2017

If anyone really likes historical fiction, here is your prize! The story centers off of three characters in the time of the Ottoman Empire. Lada, a fierce princess of Wallachia, is raised a warrior more dominantly than a girl. Her younger brother Radu inherited the good looks, but clearly not the fire inside of Lada. Enter the Sultan's youngest son, cast off to the side of his family because of his mother's status. When the Sultan holds the siblings in captivity, they form a bond with Mehmed. But with him representing a life unlike what they ever imagined, they must choose what they are willing to sacrifice, and whom. Excellent read, but the bloodshed and gore was a bit much at parts. 4/5 stars
- @Siri of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

And I Darken combines fantasy, action and emotions into a tight-packed bundle of pure amazement. As a reader I was hooked from the first page and just couldn’t stop flipping the pages after that. Every small paragraph in this book was interesting and well thought out, never left the reader in boredom or repeated customs that have become mandatory in most teen books nowadays. Vlad Dracula has gone to every height and measure to secure himself the throne as prince of Wallachia, but what he never expected was a daughter to get in the way of his legacy of sons. Unable to give his younger children attention, and his wife Valissia in a constant state of sickness, a nurse upbrings Ladislav and Radu alongside her own son Bogdan. Lada and Radu are separated by a mere year but the two could not be more different in their hearts; Lada with her strong fists and Radu the punching bag for the troublesome boyar sons. On a day in which Lada meets her father for the first time, as a young girl, she begins to worship him and treats her country Wallachia as her mother; always feigning to come in the eyes of her father as she grows and show him who she has become. But when Vlad exchanges Radu and Lada to the sultan of the Ottoman empire for the security of his throne, Lada comes to realize he is not the dragon she once believed he was; and he is weak. With a knife nicks away from falling down upon their necks, Radu and Lada begin their journey in the Ottoman empire and meet the fiery son Mehmed; and that is what joins and breaks them apart. I absolutely loved Lada, Radu, Mehmed, Halima, Mara, Huma, Nicolae and all the different threads the author has ties together in this story that touched base on religion, love, and war to encase the reader in a world in which the enemy cannot be seen easily. I loved Lada especially at the end when she defied every stereotype that I have encountered in books and neglected love for her own country, for her own self. Rating 5/5
- @jewelreader of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

ArapahoeCatherine Aug 31, 2016

I was dubious when I saw the rather uninspiring cover but am glad to say, it defied all of my expectations. This is a dark account of the children of Vlad the Impaler. Lada is fierce and independent and her brother troubled and often-overlooked. Fantastic historical fiction!!

ArapahoeKara Aug 24, 2016

I loved this alternate historical tale of Vlad the Impaler's daughter. Lada is a fierce, prickly, unconventional female character and so refreshing for the YA category. Looking forward to the sequel!

p
Persassy
Jul 14, 2016

it was okay

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