Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Length: 480 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the And I Darken series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4/5 stars
“Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.
What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?”
This is the second book in White’s “And I Darken” series. The first part of this book was very slow for me. However after that first 80 pages or so things really got moving again and I was engaged in the story and found it hard to put down.
The story alternates between Lada and Radu. Lada is terrorizing the countryside in her efforts to claim the Wallachian throne. Radu is still with Mehmed supporting his efforts to take over Constantinople and to get Mehmed to notice him in other ways.
Both are trapped in a web of deceit, ambition, and violence. I continue to enjoy Lada as a heroine even as she becomes more vicious; she always has reasons that she believes are sound for her actions and she is disturbingly convincing. Meanwhile my heart broke for Radu, he is a gentle person surrounding by vicious and conniving people.
The book ended up being very hard to put down after I got through the slow beginning. I enjoyed the setting and watching things slowly fall into darkness for Lada.
Overall this was a good read and I enjoyed it. I would recommend to those interested in historical fantasy; the setting is interesting and the characters are easy to relate to and engaging. I plan on continuing with the series.