ARC kindly provided by Random House Australia in exchange for an honest review.
I LOVED ‘And I Darken’!! Once I finished the novel, it was AGONY for me, realising how SILLY I was to have taken so long to get to it and how long the wait will be until the SECOND instalment comes out! (At least it appears that there are DEFINITELY books scheduled for the next two years! Yippee!)
So here’s what I loved about ‘And I Darken’:
1. THE TITLE: Isn’t it just gorgeous! I am in AWE of it! I mean, it’s so short but so unique! But there is so much depth to it! And I couldn’t help but wonder what it meant! I legitimately STARED at the title, after reading the blurb, trying to figure out what it all meant!
2. THE COVER: It fits the story so well. At first the thought the girl on the cover was a bit creepy, and I favoured the look of the alternate cover editions, with the purple petals and the shiny, majestic sword. But after getting to know the characters, I thought the aura the cover produced was well paralleled with the novel.
3. THE CHARACTERS: Were BEYOND spectacular! I was enchanted by how complex and how different these characters – that I’ve just only met – were to others in the YA historical/fantasy genre! Take Ladislav (or Lada) as an example. Man, the girl was feisty! She had guts and UMPH so strong that I was quite aghast but also proud of who she was! Lada showed strength and a weird sort of masculine femininity (if that makes any sense) in a world where women were only use as bargaining tools. As servants and wives. They were less than men. But throughout the novel, she met women who held a lot more power than she expected, and made her want to carve out her own power. It was interesting to get to know her through a third person narrative but also wonderfully intriguing. It meant that not everything was revealed instantly and I, as a reader, had this wide scope of the events that happened around her. Lada’s brother, Radu, was the second character who told the novel in his perspective. And let me tell you, he was VERY different to Lada.
4. THE WORLD BUILDING: Beyond compare. I loved everything that happened to create this vibrant and tangible world! All the different lands fit neatly into each other and created this GIGANTIC puzzle piece that I loved to connect together!
5. THE WRITING: Beautiful. Elegant. Powerful. Fulfilling. Captivating. Strong. Flowing. Rich. Archaic.
6. THE HISTORICAL SETTING: I love any novel that is set in a powerful empire. There is something uniquely thrilling about these books. It’s as if you’re traveling back in time. Kiersten White managed to capture the Ottoman Empire in startling clarity!
7. THE ROMANCE: There is definitely some strong romance here. And a weird sort of love triangle. Radu is in love with Mehmed, but Mehmed is in love with Lada, and Lada has protected her brother since he was born. Confused? So was I. But I got used to it. And let me tell you, it made for an awesome plot!
Congratulations to Kiersten White on publishing an awe-inspiring first instalment in ‘The Conquerors Saga’! (Give me book two, already!)
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!