Wednesday, June 15, 2016

And I Darken by Kiersten White {blog tour review}

I'm super excited and honored to be participating in the blog tour for one of my long-time fave authors and her new title! Today I'm reviewing the incredibly epic 
by Kiersten White! 

by Kiersten White
♦publisher: Delacorte Press
♦release date: June 28th, 2016
♦hardcover, 496 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: The Conqueror's Saga, book 1
♦source: ARC from publisher for honest review

And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

Review: AND I DARKEN has a vast epic feel and scope that I really enjoyed.  It followed it's characters, the hard and seemingly heartless Lada, and the tender-hearted and gentle-souled Radu from their birth into their teens and really gave the reader a chance to know them. There is so much that happens in the course of their lives but at the heart of it is a brother and sister, their familiarity, their rivalry, their protectiveness of each other, and how love will shape both of their lives. 

I have certainly never read about a princess like Lada--and I loved her! Though admittedly I was also terrified of her by the time she turned the not-very-sweet age of 5! Her bravery, her stubborness, her fierceness, and her insistence to be treated as an equal to the boys and not as incapable simply because she was a girl were all things that I couldn't help relishing as I watched her character grow. Radu faces challenges just as immense, as he constantly struggles to prove himself and later when he is forced to face a truth in himself that he doesn't even have a name for. I also loved the focus on his spiritual journey and how it strengthens him. 

While it's a huge brutal and exciting tale, there were a few sections of the story that I found to be really slow going. Also, as much as it might have made sense for Lada and Radu to be hardened and matured by the harsh situations they found themselves in,  there were still some actions and dialogue that I couldn't picture a 12 and 13 year old doing or saying. The story almost immediately picked up for me though when they turned 15 and 16, and stayed a twisting, engaging, emotional roller coaster until it's very end.  There were a few nights this one kept me up until 3 am, completely unwilling to put it down! This is nothing like anything I've read from Kiersten White, but it was definitely another piece of incredible and creative storytelling from her!


KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy; the dark thrillers Mind Games and Perfect Lies; The Chaos of Stars; and Illusions of Fate. She also coauthored In the Shadows with Jim Di Bartolo. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further away times.


Purchase And I Darken:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon

Be sure to visit the rest of the tour stops for AND I DARKEN!

Monday, May 30thIcey Books, Review

Tuesday, May 31stBookiemoji, Guest Post (Character Profiles)
Wednesday, June 1stSeeing Double in Neverland, Review
Thursday, June 2ndAlexa Loves Books, Playlist Post
Friday, June 3rdOwl Always Be Reading, Review

Monday, June 6thJessabella Reads, Review
Tuesday, June 7thThe Eater of Books!, Top Five Roundup
Wednesday, June 8thAcross the Words, Review
Thursday, June 9thPandora’s Books, Sneak Peek for Book Two
Friday, June 10thTales of the Ravenous Reader, Review

Monday, June 13th: A Midsummer Night's Read, Review
Tuesday, June 14thThe Irish Banana Review, Top 10 Guest Post
Wednesday, June 15thStories & Sweeties, Review
Thursday, June 16thJenuine Cupcakes, Author Mystery Guest Post
Friday, June 17thThe Soul Sisters, Review

Monday, June 20thWinterhaven Books, Review
Tuesday, June 21stTwo Chicks on Books, Q&A (4-6 questions)
Wednesday: June 22ndThe Book Swarm, Review
Thursday, June 23rdRead. Sleep. Repeat., Top Five Fantasy Books Kiersten Loves to Re-Read
Friday, June 24thPlease Feed The Bookworm, Review

Monday, June 27thComfort Books, Review
Tuesday, June 28thFitshun, Q&A
Wednesday, June 29thAddicted Readers,Review
Thursday, June 30thLindsay Cummings, Movie Casting Post
Friday, July 1stRabid Reads, Review

Monday, July 4thReading Teen, Review
Tuesday, July 5thYA Bibliophile, Guest Post (Trip to Romania)
Wednesday, July 6thCarina’s Books, Review
Thursday, July 7thMundie Moms, Author Mystery Guest Post
Friday, July 8th:  Bookishness and Tea, Review


Post a Comment