DNF Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on June 13, 2016 | 6 Comments

DNF Review: And I Darken by Kiersten WhiteAnd I Darken by Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Published by Delacorte (6.28.2016)
Genres: Young Adult
Format: ARC, 496 pages
Source: ARC tour



And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

My thoughts

This book was SO boring I just couldn’t bring myself to finish. It’s sad, because I usually really enjoy Kiersten White’s books. I’m not sure if it was because it’s Historical (which I’m pretty picky about on the very rare occasion I do pick it up), because I just wasn’t in the mood to read it (I’m going to be honest, my brain is in Raven Cycle mode at the moment), or because it simply isn’t for me (most likely, tbh). I made it to page 117 before giving up and skimming through the book, and there was nothing happening whatsoever. There was a lot of politics and religion, and discussions that droned on and on and on about absolutely nothing at all. The only thing that really happened was Lada beating people up. Constantly. View Spoiler »

Lada was a terrible person. At first, I loved her. The beginning is good, actually. I read a couple chapters from an excerpt and that’s what made me want to read this in the first place. Female version of Vlad the Impaler? Yes, please! And in the beginning, it was what I expected. Lada was a badass, unapologetic and unafraid to speak her mind and stand up for herself. But she took, took, took. Whatever she wanted. I don’t think there was a single character introduced that wasn’t threatened by Lada at some point. She was a prickly, violent, unforgiving, brutish girl; the sad part being that she was only around the age of 12. Yes, she was pitched as “ruthless” and “brutal” in the synopsis, but the ONLY redeeming quality she had was that she was protective over her brother. And even then it was almost more out of duty than love. Maybe that changes, who knows. I’m sure there’s character development that I missed out on by DNFing this, but that’s what I saw of her.

Radu was the exact polar opposite. He was quite possibly the weakest character I’ve ever read in my life. I lost count of how many times he cried. He cried for absolutely no reason at all! He was pathetic. Again, maybe I missed out on some character development, but what I saw of the two was pretty negative.

The main thing that killed this book for me was the awful pacing. If I hadn’t been bored to the point of tears I probably could have overlooked the character issues in hopes that they have some sort of development. It just read like a history lesson to me, and if you love Historical you’d probably enjoy this. I can only handle Historical in very small portions and I think this one just had too much for me I’m afraid.

View Spoiler »

I may try to pick this one up again at a later time because I do usually like Kiersten White.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 2/5
Premise: 4.5/5
Writing style: 3/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 1.5/5
Pace: 0.5/5
Feels: 0.5/5
Cover: 4/5

Jessi (Geo)

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6 responses to “DNF Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

  1. Eek I’m so sorry you DNF’d this! I’ve been stuck at the last 75% for the past two months to be honest, so I guess technically I’m at a DNF point too lol. I’m thinking of skimming the ending soon.

    But you’re so right, it doesn’t seem like it has much of a plot at all and it’s very much driven by actual history, which makes it SO DARN SLOW. The love triangle was also so so weird… And I think it was even worse that Mehmed’s character was literally a cardboard cutout. I don’t recall anything special about his character at all.

    • I don’t think you’d be missing much! I kind of skimmed to the end, as well as heard others talk about it, and it wasn’t very exciting or redeeming haha.

      YES. I’m not a fan of history stuff so it was even slower for me!! That’s what everyone else is saying, too, is that they don’t understand why Mehmed was so important >.<

  2. Great review. We can’t love every book and some just don’t resonate for us. Doesn’t mean someone else won’t love it. Very honest and encouraging. I don’t think this one is for me either, but I will read other books by her since I’ve enjoyed some of her books.

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