- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Corgi Childrens (7 July 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0552573744
- ISBN-13: 978-0552573740
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
And I Darken (The Conqueror's Trilogy) Paperback – 7 Jul 2016
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"A dark, gritty, and seriously badass epic that will have you dying for more . . . required reading for every feminist fantasy fan" (Buzzfeed)
"Epic and intense . . . fans of dark history [will be] hooked from the outset. Think Game of Thrones transported to the Ottoman Empire" (Lovereading4kids.co.uk)
"It's delicious" (bustle.com)
"Fierce and dark . . . A superb offering" (theyoungfolks.com)
"Lada – so ugly and mean that readers will adore her – stubbornly rejects gender roles . . . and the characters . . . benefit from complex motivations and an unconventional love triangle. Addictive intrigue" (Kirkus)
An epic coming-of-age drama starring a kick-ass anti-princess who knows how to wield a swordSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I didn't love it quite as much as I was prepared to do, but I still liked it enough that I will definitely read the next book in the trilogy.
This might end up being quite a long review, and it's going to be filled to the brim with spoilers, so I'm warning you all now that if you hate spoilers, you might want to look away.
I'll start with what I loved:
1) The writing. Despite being nearly 500pgs long, this book charges ahead as fearlessly as its protagonist. White maintains a breathless pace throughout. The scenery, the history and the characters are wonderfully and richly depicted.
2) The dual narration. Having the story narrated simultaneously by Radu and Lada just worked. They are so distinct, with very separate voices and motivations.
3) The love-triangle. I'll be the first to admit, that I'm not usually a fan of the love-triangle element. But this one was different. Two siblings in love with the same person. We get both of their perspectives, but never Mehmed's. Usually love-triangles focus on the decision of the central love-object, but in this book, we only get the thoughts of the two people who both love Mehmed. The ways Radu and Lada express their love are as different as night and day. Radu coming to terms with his sexuality is heart-breaking and done so subtly and tenderly. Lada softening as a result of her love, but ultimately remaining true to her independence is fierce and poignant. I also just loved Mehmed.Read more ›
Vlad is now Lada, the bold, ugly, daughter of the shifty voivode of Wallachia. This book (first in a trilogy) takes Lada and her little brother Radu – to whom history gave a kinder reputation and the nickname ‘the Handsome’ – from childhood in Sighisoara and Tirgoviste, to adolescence as political hostages in the Ottoman court, where they grow up alongside one of the Ottoman sultan’s sons, Mehmed.
White has written a fabulous political thriller, with a side-helping of YA love-triangle served up absolutely fresh: Lada’s growing and suppressed attraction to Mehmed, his arrogant yet sincere affection for her, and breaking my heart all over the page, Radu’s reluctant and all-consuming love for Mehmed.
It’s a gripping tale, and White doesn’t shirk the detail and intricacies of court and military life. The story propels you along – you pause only to admire delicious turns of phrase. When an ally is shot during an ambush, the victim ‘looked up at Radu, a half smile on his face as though the arrow were the end of the joke he had been in the middle of telling. And then he fell off his horse, tangling under the wheels of the supply wagon behind them.’
The book holds many more rewards, not least a wonderfully nuanced depiction of Islam, and a gorgeous little F/F romance glowingly illuminated in the margins. White brings to life not simply her protagonists, but their whole milieu. I loved Lada, Mehmet, Kumal and Nazira – and especially Radu – and can’t wait for the second in this series.
There was a fair deal of buzz surrounding this book before I approached it, and I had heard good things, so I was definitely looking forward to getting stuck into the story.
First of, this was unlike any other book I have read previously; the setting was unique - predominantly situated in Turkey, and Romania. The Eastern European backdrop provided a distinctly novel atmosphere, which was much appreciated. Set among many concurrent wars, there were consistent feelings of tension and struggle throughout the novel.
In terms of the characters, there are a few main, and a wealth of supporting characters to keep you occupied. The main 'duo' is Lada and Radu, daughter and son of Vlad Dracul, a cruel man who has no love for his children, and barely sees them, let alone tolerates them. He despises weakness in people, and whereas Lada is strong, feral, aggressive, and lacks compassion (despite being a girl), Radu is her polar opposite. He is frail, weak, caring, handsome, and loving.
The book is fairly character driven, and we follow Lada and Radu from their childhood all the way to their early twenties. The story is told from their third person perspectives, which allows you to feel close to the characters, but still retain a sense of detachment, which is just as well if you end up preferring one character to another. For me, I adored Lada, as she is so unlike any other female lead I have ever come across. She definitely does not try to be the hero, and although slightly entitled, she has great ambition and yearns to break free of the 'feeble woman resigned to marriage' archetype that has been laid out before her.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When I originally read the blurb for this I immediately thought "must read". Seriously, gender bending Dracula story, how could I resist.... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ali @ I Wuv Books
"Souls and thrones are irreconcilable."
I could literally scream forever about this book and nothing I ever write could truly do it justice. Read more
This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review:
" This is a tale of two people, two very different characters – one who accepts a new reality and strives to... Read more
This is my dream book. A female Vlad the Impaler fights sexism in that society that just won't let her be as evil and murdery as her heart desires, because she's a girl. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lauren James
Lada Dragwyla is not the typical type of Princess. She is tough, brutal; a complete warrior. She plans to overthrow the empire that holds her and her brother, Radu, captive. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Read.Dream.Live
I loved loved loved this book! This is the first novel I've read by White and I'm eager to try more of hers let alone wait for the sequel! Read morePublished 4 months ago by NaomiReads
Lada Dracul is one of the most compelling main characters for years - a phenomenal antihero. I was cheering her on throughout this book as she constantly showed she was tougher... Read morePublished 4 months ago by YAYeahYeah
I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into when I picked up this book, but I found myself pleasantly surpraised by the idea of a gender swapped historical figure who is often... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sadie
Lada is the daughter of the dragon, she is strong and vicious to anyone that would harm her or her brother, Radu. Read morePublished 6 months ago by lilistar
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