I heard of this book from Fictional Fox’s review and I knew I had to read it.
Kiersten White is an amazing author. I love historical fiction, but it’s hard to find books in that genre that contain truthful historical facts, and I appreciate that White did thorough research before attempting to write a book that takes on a civilization whose history has many interpretations. Personally, I’ve studied a good deal of Ottoman history and there were only a few things that I found based more on myth than fact.
As far as the plot goes, And I Darken was riveting. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time waiting to see what Lada would do next. Sometimes books move too fast making the events unbelievable, however White used time wisely by spreading the events out over a realistic timeline. Also after reading an interesting post about religion in books, I was excited to see that the author incorporated religion into her character’s thought processes and showed how it influenced their decisions, which I felt contributes greatly to the historical accuracy of the book.
Speaking of characters, this is one of those books where I loved the plot more than the people in it. I really really tried to like Lada, but although she was interesting and I wanted her to succeed, I couldn’t like her. It makes me to happy see strong female leads in books, but I feel like this one was overdone; I would’ve liked Lada more if she hadn’t scorned other women for being women and didn’t look down on all things “feminine.”
I must confess that the entire time I was reading And I Darken, I was under the impression that it was a standalone novel, so I was disappointed by the ending. Fortunately, there are at least two more books and I can’t wait to read them! I totally recommend this book. Plus I absolutely adore the cover art!