Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Published by Delacorte Press on June 28th 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Alternate History
Format: Kindle, eARC
Buy on Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.
Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.
But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.
Rating: TEN MILLION STARS
Why I Read It: I honestly don’t remember when or why I added it to my Amazon list, but I jumped on it when I saw it on NetGalley, and was shocked when they approved me for it- I just started book blogging!
Let me start off by saying that THIS IS THE GREATEST BOOK EVER. Some people might not agree with me on this. Those people are wrong.
Also, to clear up some misconceptions I have seen floating around the interwebs (especially on my blog???) THIS IS NOT A VAMPIRE BOOK. (Thanks to literaryfeline for that suggestion.)
And I Darken is the (very aptly named) story of Lada Dragwlya, the most Primary Slytherin* character I have ever read. Her fierce possessiveness over the people and places (although you can argue that she views Wallachia as a person as well as a place) she loves is … everything. Lada isn’t like me, nor is she someone I want to be, but she is herself- fierce, dark, and wonderful- and I love that.
Watching her interact with the people she loves, mainly Radu and Mehmed, is truly heart wrenching, because the people around her are not Slytherins (like, at all). Radu, for example, I would sort as a Hufflepuff Primary, Ravenclaw Secondary. Their relationship as they try to understand and help each other pulls at my heartstrings, and I cannot wait to see how it evolves as the series continues.
This review has been sitting in my drafts folder for almost a week because I was trying to be eloquent and articulate about how much I love this book and why, but after talking to several authors this weekend (thank you Barnes and Noble!), I’ve decided that the best way to review this book is to reiterate the most simple sentence:
THIS IS THE GREATEST BOOK EVER.
I expected to like this book when I started it (although I think everyone does that. I mean, why would you pick something up that you weren’t expecting to enjoy?), but what I did not expect was to be blown away by how amazing it is. I cannot possibly say it enough times, so for anyone in the back who missed it, AND I DARKEN IS THE GREATEST BOOK EVER.
What are you doing still reading this? Go pre-order your copy now so that you too can enjoy THE GREATEST BOOK EVER!!!
Well Wishes & Candy Fishes,
*The magical people over at Sorting Hat Chats uses a number of fantastic ways to sort people and characters into Hogwarts Houses- you can read more about it here. For future reference, this will also be how I sort characters (which I’m thinking of trying often because it’s fun and I love to do it).