And I Darken by Kiersten White
Expected publication: July 7th 2016 by Corgi Childrens
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
My Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
First off, thank you to Netgalley and Random House Children’s Publishing for the early copy of this book.
“And I Darken” is well written, without a doubt. Kirsten White has a superb talent for dialogue and political intrigue. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.
That being said, I had mixed feelings about the story itself. I admit, I was an uneducated reader… I didn’t realize that this book is based off of real history (though characters and relationships were most certainly altered heavily.) Even still, I felt thrown in the fire. I recommend anyone considering this book do some research about the actual historical events.
I also felt a bit mislead by the description. I went into the book thinking it was a character driven plot — while still focusing on political battles and quarreling kingdoms, with bits of action, romance, and everything in between. Yes, those elements were present, but I found myself skipping over pages, racing to get to those parts. The first half of the book is about Lada and Radu growing up- and I felt many scenes were repetitive and unnecessary.
I also had a hard time relating to Lada or Radu. It seemed that they were nothing but their weakness. White seemed to focus only on one personality trait of each. For Lada, that was her brutality/ruthlessness. For Radu, it was his never-ending self pity. I anticipate this to change in upcoming books, but I felt that these characters were driven into the ground.
It also focused very heavily on religious themes… so much so that I felt quite uncomfortable.
I’m a little sad, as I wanted to like it very much. I cannot bring myself it give it an unfair, low rating though- as White is most certainly a capable writer.