Action, Intrigue and Strings – And I Darken by Kiersten White

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(Turns out swords can be hard to fit in to a small picture – who would have thought? Well, let’s ignore this grand failure of a picture and focus on this amazing book by Kiersten White. But the US cover was so much prettier than the UK one, don’t you think?)

“Lada had a sense for power-the fine threads that connected everyone around her, the way those threads could be pulled, tightened, wrapped around someone until they cut off the blood supply. Or snapped entirely.”

AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White

5/5 stars

Ever heard of Vlad the Impaler? This is book based off of that man’s life, except Vlad is a woman.

The book follows Lada, the female version of Vlad the Impaler from toddler to a murderous young woman. She is vicious but protective over the very select few she gives a damn about. After all, to love someone is to be vulnerable.

Lada is the princess of Wallachia and from a young age she proves to everyone around her that she is better at doing a man’s job than the men. BUT this book is far more than a woman’s struggling for power in an era where women were not considered powerful.

What’s it about you ask? Here’s a quick neat little list:

  • Growing up – It’s about children struggling to survive in the Ottoman Empire that really did not care much about them at all. They are faced with some impossible decisions that children shouldn’t of had to deal with.
  • Relationships – Lada and her brother, Radu rarely see eye to eye but they are still family. It is interesting to see how their relationship evolves and shifts through the years of their life.
  • Love – Even vicious Lada can love, but the book does beg the question, what is worth sacrificing for it? I personally think the book answers this well.
  • Being a Bad ass. Needless to say you should read this book if you want to see a girl take no one’s s***. (But she grows in to this, she trains to reach her level of skill and it makes her believable.)
  • Religion. So few YA books tackle religion or mention it and I found the way they talked about Islam interesting.

It’s an amazing book – rather long, but it is well paced. I would recommend it to anyone who likes reading about bad ass heroines and also has an interest in history.

“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?”

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