ARC Review: And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1) by Kiersten White10:00
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Author: Kiersten White
Published July 7th 2016 by Corgi Childrens
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 an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. This in no way impacted on my view.
Like most other people, I was dying to get my hands on this book. A retelling of Vlad the Impaler - who's actually a girl - sounded like the best novel ever. Lada Dracul is the daughter of Vlad, and knows that her sex automatically makes her worthless to him. She'll do anything to prove that she is as strong as he is, and a better heir than any of his sons, particularly better than Radu. Because of this, her relationship with younger brother Radu has always been problematic, but it grows worse as the book progresses. The politics of the world leads of Vlad having to leave his children in the Ottoman Empire as prisoners. While they're there, they meet the sultan's son, Mehmed, and though Lada hates in on principle, she falls for him as time progressed.
One thing I disliked about this book was how slow it was. It took me three weeks to get through, and I'll tell you, there were many times I thought about just DNFing it, because I wasn't connecting. For the first book in the series, it was dry, as it set the scene. And, it went through a lot of time jumps, so I don't really know how the rest of the series will go.
Lada was an interesting character. There were times I liked her, and times I found her so, so annoying. The time period that this book is based in is my favourite to study, so I understood her issues with her gender and lack of opportunities, but felt she sometimes went a bit too far. Radu was a bit wet, and it took a long time to grow to him. I did like him, but wouldn't say I loved him. Same with Mehmed, tbh. All the characters had some positive things about them, but also negative aspects.
I did enjoy the book, but definitely didn't love it. I'm glad I read it, but I sometimes think I must've read a completely different book from all the 5 star reviews I've seen. I'll probably read book 2, but don't think I'll be in a hurry to do so.