And I Darken is live and if you’re still wondering if you should get it, here are 12 reasons to do so. I read this more than 4 months ago and I still get goosebumps, it’s really that good! So let me tell you what I think made this books so amazing and worth it.
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way. 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. 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.
1. Eastern Europe Setting
And I Darken takes the readers on a journey across Europe, in places where YA books don’t really go – if they ever leave the US or their dystopian world that reminds us very closely of the US. I consider it to be a huge plus for YA books to make location changes, it promotes diversity for one – not everything has to happen on American soil – and it gives them a change to introduce readers to other places as well, even if it is historical, all the more need for a mention.
2. Badass Female Character
I do often request more badass female characters that will not water down their badassness when things take a romantic or family turn and Lada, she’s badass through and through, she’s something that girl…
3. Accurate Historical Background
I was blown away by the details the author managed to put in this story, down to dates and places, so much research and it paid off since this was legit on spot! Even if it is not a genre you prefer, this was done effortlessly.
4. Origin Story
We don’t get a lot of origin story in YA, we have original characters but we don’t have an origin story of an existing one – apart from retellings that is, so this was a nice surprise to see.
5. Gender Swap
Vlad The Impaler – if he was a girl. Seriously. Vlad The Impaler if he was a girl, I mean did you ever even wonder how that would be like? This is the answer (hint: badass!)
I mean… THANK YOU! Due to locations, due to the settings, there’s a lot going on in this book…!
YES, YES AND YES! Plus, it was awesome, the way it’s mentioned, and they way it is dealt with – especially for the time period the book is set in.
8. Genre Mix
From time to time authors mix genres together to create something even more captivating, this is a mix done right even if YA readers are not that open to reading historical books. First of all, why the hell not? If you think fiction and sci-fi are crazy and unique, you won’t believe the stuff that happened years ago… And second of all, this is done so right, history is so carefully woven in the story that it made me wonder how more authors are not doing this. And if they are please name a few books!
9. Secondary Characters who rock
Every character in this book mattered to me as a reader, I wanted all the details I could find out about them, I didn’t want to skip, I didn’t ignore a single character, they all had something unique to bring to the storyline and I wanted to know about them, it’s something not easily found in books in general, some characters are just there in the background, but this one made me care about all of them!
10. No Love Triangle
THANK YOU x2 — although there’s something interesting happening. Well done again!
11. No insta love
Seriously, this book!
12. Legendary Historical Figures
With reference to historical background mentioned above, there had to be some important historical figures as well since the book is highly political and really I can’t contain my excitement, these are people that most teens might not even have heard of and that’s a shame, so And I Darken gives you a small peak into that historical period, seize the opportunity!
That is all, I can’t even describe my love for this book so I hope the above reasons make you want to read it, I know I wish I could hit delete just so I could read it again for the first time, but for now re-reading… ♥