Review Blog

Jan 25 2017

And I darken by Kiersten White

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Penguin, 2016. ISBN 9780552573740
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Action. You become absolutely consumed in the world of Ladislav (Lada) and Radu Dragwla as you venture with them on their journey throughout the Ottoman empire. And I Darken, the first book in a 3 book saga, is a story about Vlad the Impaler, a ruthless Romanian prince - as a woman. The book also follows the journey of an alternate personality, her brother, struggling to overcome the ruthlessness of the 1400's. The book carries the reader through their early years, birthed as the children of the 'dragon', as they grow and become young adults.
Lada, becoming victim of the social norms of women at the time, grows to overcome expectations and rises to conquer. Whereas Radu, gifted with the tools to achieve an easy life, learns how hard it is to live up to expectations when he struggles to understand the brutality of their father. The well crafted story branches from here, allowing the reader to grasp what it was like in this time, as they face many challenges and deal with life-rendering experiences.
The book was thoroughly enjoyable. The writing style easy and understandable, captures the audience with fluent imagery and enlightenment. Despite the substantial difference in time and context, the remarkable character development allows the reader to understand the characters' motivations in order to experience this journey WITH them. The theme of the book carries a dark tone, incorporating the reader in the book itself, but also on the emotional ride of countless ups and downs.
Overall, the riveting tale of Lada and Radu, the two characters at the core of this story, is an original story and one not to be overlooked. I am eagerly awaiting for the 2nd book to be released.
Ethan Russell (Student)

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