Title: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Rating: 2 Stars
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Hardcover: 496 pages
Stand Alone or Series: First book in the Conquerors Saga
How did I get this book: Netgalley Review Copy
Why did I read this book: Historical Fictions are huge love of mine so when I heard this was a gender swap on Vald the Impaler I had to read it also I read an excerpt of the first two chapter and they were magnificent!
Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.
The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she'll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive.
Let her be strong.
Let her be sly.
And let her be ugly.”
Something that really rubbed me the wrong way was that I had no idea this books had more than one major LGBTQ character and the synopsis and marketing for this book didn't mention that at all and so I was just annoyed. The main Gay character in this novel also falls in love with a straight guy which I feel like is an unnecessary troupe.
The POV was also something that I did not enjoy. This is written in third person limited and I just want to know more about what the main characters are thinking or what motives they have behind their actions.
I did LOVE Lada's brother, Radu, as a character and I was really hoping that his romantic prospects panned out. On the topic of romance the one person I wanted Lada with went out of the picture early in the novel only to come back later in the novel. It should have been this big moment for a reunion and it was just glossed over a huge missed opportunity for a great scene.
The theme of Lada being ugly was a big part of the novel. Lada, knowing she is ugly, strives to be independent so she never has to depend on a man to support her and I think that is a great message for YA readers. Not every YA heroine needs to be beautiful and not every male character needs to fall in love with her!