"As the baby latched on with surprising fierceness, the nurse offered her own prayer. Let her be strong. Let her be sly. And let her be ugly."
Mini-review of And I Darken by Kiersten White
Buzzwords: historical fiction, complex characters, dark and compelling story
"The last time she was here, she had been ... staring up at the sky and dreaming of stars. Now, she looked down and plotted flames."
"So the question becomes, Daughter of the Dragon, what will you sacrifice? What will you let be taken away so that you, too, can have power?"
Plot: 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. She hones her skills as a warrior as she plans to wreak havoc on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan's son, Mehmed, and everything changes. He unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.
Thoughts: This book was not at all what I first pictured. It is dark, gritty and very complex. The characters are grey as can get, which is something I absolutely love! They are well-written, and even with a good plot, I found the characters' feelings and growth to be my favorite part. But the plot is very exciting, with a lot of political manouvering and scheming, from many sides. This is a highly original story, with little to no real ties to the fantasy genre, there's no magic or supernatural creatures. This book was like a breath of fresh air, after having read almost only fantasy lately! It was amazing!!!
Photo & text: M
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