And I Darken by Kiersten White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book has left me speechless. I have so many questions and so many feelings I don’t even know how to put them into words.
Lada is a vicious girl who is abandoned in the Ottoman courts by her father along with her brother, Radu. Lada and Radu soon make friends with Mehmad, the son of the Sultan who holds them captive. However the Ottoman courts are a brutal place and their happy friendship is soon threatened by outside forces.
I really loved Lada’s character. She is strong but almost blood-thirsty at times which makes her both terrifying and amusing. I especially enjoyed her unwavering dedication to her brother. Radu was an annoying character and I hated his childhood (he was pitifully weak). However Radu’s character development was amazing. I fell in love with him just as the characters in book did. My favourite part about these characters was that as they grew up and changed, so did my feelings for them. I pitied them, I hurt for him, I rejoiced with him. This is an incredibly long novel and by the end of it, it’s impossible not to feel as if you’re parting with a long-time friend.
At first I found it difficult to keep track of all of the cities and places that Lada and her family visited (It was only afterward that I discovered a glossary at the end of the book). However as time passed I became familiar with the places and their scenery which delighted me. I really feel like I was a part of this book. The story is just that well-written and immersive. I grew really attached to this book and it’s characters and can’t wait to read the next one.
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