And I Darken by Kiersten White

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Ahhhhh, finally. Historical fiction as it was meant to be done.

And by that I mean taking a well-known figure like Vlad the Impaler and gender bending him. This novel is the first in The Conquerors Saga.

Lada is vicious, slightly mad, and has a weird dependence on her little brother, Radu. The novel spans a good few years, beginning with her trade to the Ottoman Empire in exchange for her father’s obedience. Lada struggles to look out for her brother in an unfamiliar place in a time when being a woman was already a strike against her. Lada has to watch out for conniving mothers, unknown love triangles, asshole fathers and, you know, being a teenager.

White’s novel hit all my interests: Transylvania, boys pining for boys, war, girls hating pining for boys, detailed descriptions of torture, horses.

I love a girl with a body count.

 

Favorite quote:

So…I sent And I Darken off to my mom so quickly I actually forgot to write down a quote?

But it’s definitely the part where Lada climbs to the top of the peak and looks out over Wallachia and is all like, “This bitch is mine, just you wait.”

I’m paraphrasing but that’s how I remember it.

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