And I Darken is a fiction novel based on the historical facts about the conquer of Constantinople by the Ottoman empire, and about the wars in East Europe during 15th century.
Lada Dragwyla is the first-born of Vlad Dracul, a cruel man, governor of Transylvania but desiring to rule the whole Wallachia. Vlad hopes his daughter to be beautiful, in order to marry her off and strengthen some alliance, but – maybe thanks to the nurse prayers – Lada grows up ugly, strong and ruthless.
Her brother Radu, born a few years later, is instead beautiful and gentle, and he has to suffer the vexation from Lada and other children. Lada and Radu grow up under the attention of their Wallachian nurse, during the war between their country and the Ottoman Empire.
After losing a battle, Vlad Dracul is forced to leave his children in the hand of the Ottoman empire, where they carry on their education. An afternoon they meet Mehmed, one of the sultan’s son, and from that moment their fate changes. Being Mehmed friends, they follow him in a marginal city and during the following years they assist and help him rising to be a sultan. Mehmed is also the person that both brings together and throw apart Lada and Radu: the young sultan is attracted by Lada, who will become his lover, while Radu loves him with a deep and forbidden love.
The narration in And I Darken follows both the POV of Lada and Radu and explain their ambitions: Lada is a woman in a world of men, and most of all she desires to go back to Wallachia and rule the country, while Radu fits perfectly in the Ottoman Empire, but he is forced to hide his love. The relation between the two is complex: they share a common fate and they deeply love each other, but they are extremely different for behaviour and nature.
And I darken is interesting and engaging, and Lada is a very interesting character, with her strong will, so I’m waiting for the story to go on in the next books.
Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.
* And I Darken by Kiersten White ★★★★☆
*I read this book in english