Title: And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga, #1)
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: RHCP Digital
Release date: 7th July 2016
Blurb from Goodreads:
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.
Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.
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.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Penguin Random House UK Children's and NetGalley*
Lada Dragwyla worships her father, a cruel man who sees Lada as a disappointment because of her sex. She does everything she can to make him notice her - she acts like a boy, is cunning and ruthless.
Then Lada's father leaves Lada and her brother, Radu, at the courts of the Ottoman sultan - both of them pawns in a political game.
Intent on not betraying her homeland and vowing to protect herself and Radu, Lada trains as a warrior.
Lada and Radu's lives become more complicated when they meet Mehmed, the sultan's son and heir.
Will Lada and Radu ever return home?
Will love tear them apart?
I was really intrigued by the premise for And I Darken - a YA book with a female version of Vlad the Impaler as the main character? Yes please!
While I did like Lada and Radu, I didn't feel like I really connected with them and there were times that I found them annoying. Lada is meant to be 'brutal' and at times yes she was but I'm not sure I'd call her an 'anti-princess'. I felt sorry for Radu but at times I just wanted to shake him and shout at him to pull himself together.
The pacing was too slow for me and it didn't feel like much happened. The book definitely didn't need to be as long as it was and it dragged a lot.
I wasn't a fan of the romance - it felt a bit forced to me.
Overall this was a disappointing, okay read.