Title: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Favorite Quote: Knock on every door, you only need one of them to open.
Rating; 4 Stars
Note: My reviews are probably going to be mini or brief for a while. I want to blog but I can’t afford to push myself too hard yet, bear with me. It will definitely let you know what you need to and be as quality as possible, that I can promise.
This book just had me nearly in tears because it was so good. And I Darken is a historical fiction book set in the Ottoman Empire with a twist, a princess who is brutal, and a prince who is not shallow and haughty but internally beautiful and full of raw emotion that reading it will make you feel pain if you get as invested in it as I did, and who is sensitive and cares while also knowing how to use his beauty to manipulate his survival when his own sister sees him as worthless and treats him that way, when his own father cannot stand the sight of him. I am usually not that into historical fiction, I won’t lie, and every time I see a pretty cover for a historical fiction book and then see that it is historical fiction? I usually deflate and decide not to read it because I don’t anticipate finding that interesting, but I was asking for recommendations on Twitter and then saw it on a Barnes and Noble list that Dahlia Adler created and then I definitely had to buy it and read it and as soon as I started it was just delightful.
Lada, oh my goodness, Lada. She will shock you, she’s dark to the core and she’s got a feministic minded approach to life. Although she was born into a society that is misogynistic, she is determined not to be limited by her gender. She works her hardest to prove herself, to be the strongest, the smartest, and just as good if not better than the men and boys surrounding her. Multiple times, she made me smile, laugh, or cheer at how she was so ferocious, despite the reason that’s sort of ironic. Her main purpose for all she does in her younger years is not to prove herself just for her, but because she wants to be recognised, noticed, and loved by her father who neglects his children and is often away to the point where they are starving for his attention and approval but it’s wonderful tos ee how she grows over time. Lada isn’t simply a badass, female character. She takes the darkness and the depths of possibility for badassery to new heights in literature but she’s not just a character that women and anyone else who supports feminism can cheer for, but complex in her moods, motives, and how far she is willing to go to get what she wants; a future where no one can touch her. This question is a powerful one in the book that just struck me with how the tone, the feeling, the mood set in the scene created the power in the following words: “What must be sacrificed to secure a future where no one can touch you?” There are flaws in her that I did not like. I did not like how…selfish she could be but yet, I loved it. I loved that she wasn’t perfect. I loved that she had room to improve, space to grow, like real humans actually do.
Ugh, this book was so, so amazing and so good and I thank Kiertsen White a million times over for writing this and recommend this to you all, regardless of age. Ugh. I’m in love.