And I Darken – 5-star adoption story

Because I cannot leave any spawn abandoned.

About the book

And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga #1), by Kiersten White

No one expects a princess to be brutal. 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, 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.



Maybe by now you know I have two spawns right? Well, now I have three. I adopted Ladislav Dragwlya, Daughter of the Dragon [AKA Lada].This review will be all about my lost spawn Lada and the immensity of my motherly love for her. I knew she was my lost spawn at page 2. I was like…

“Lada, you little disgusting, dark, ruthless, but brilliantly, sharp, creature… COME TO MOMMY!”

I love this creature SO MUCH!

Lada got the nasty feminist tenant that lives inside partying ALL NIGHT. LOUD. Neighbors calling the police and all.

Little Lada reminded me so much of myself when I was little and of Butterfly now: a little too bossy, dauntless and opinionated. The book says…

“She looked sharp, contrary, and sly. Hers was the face of a fox raiding the livestock. Radu’s was the face of an angel.”

That’s pretty much how people described my little brother and I, LOL! 😀

I was an only child for eight glorious years and then came my brother who was an absolutely cherubic baby in every sense compared to me. Better looking. Better behaved. Kinder. Shier. Cuter. So much cuter. I was SO JEALOUS!!! I used to torment him all the time but I would not like anyone else to do it. LOL!

Just like Lada and Radu. 🙂

So back to my beloved Lada… The angst and intensity of the love of young Lada for her father, her brother and her land is so enthralling. You can tell from the first pages Lada will take you on journey of passionate decisions.

How do I express how sublime this book is?????? Beautiful, rare, exotic, dark, smooth… like an onyx stone.

All cunning. All intrigue. All survival. As it was this historical period.



HAIL Kiersten’s writing, supreme writing of all writings.

I, who is about to die of wonder, SALUTE YOU!

Holy bloody empires … Kristen CAN WRITE!

Funny thing is, I requested this ARC thinking it was a vampire story. Back then when I was still trying to get over my allergy to vampires. 🙂

But nope it’s not. It’s Historical Fiction. A genre I NEVER pick and ALWAYS love when I read it. SMH!

Until I watched Dracula Untold, a movie I absolutely loved, I had ever paid much attention to the historical facts surrounding the legend of Dracula. This book is nothing about the mythical vampire, and ALL about history AND Religion.


I am not a religious person but I love reading and learning about religions. I find it fascinating how it shapes history. These are the history lessons I loved remembering…

  • Even though the Sultan was Muslim, people under his reign in the Ottoman Empire had freedom to practice.
  • Before borders were widely known and protected by peace treaties, there was a reason for empires to conquer and expand…

“Do you think Byzantium would thank us and happily live on their sliver of land? Do you think the pope would stop calling for crusades?”
“I do not think—” “When do borders ever stay as they are? Our own people were driven from the east, fleeing from destruction. They saw cities and walls, and they wanted that. So they took them. If they had not taken them, they would have died. And someone else would have come and taken the cities, instead.”
“So defend what is yours! Why must it turn to conquest?” “Kruje is ours.
If we were not pushing, fighting, claiming what is ours and challenging what is not yet ours, others would be doing it to us. It is the way of the world. You can be the aggressor, you can fight against crusaders on their own land, or you can stay at home and wait for them to come to you.

  • I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but, in a world were bloodline was the only way to maintain certain government stability, there was a rational behind Sultan having harems.

And of course, it was fascinating to learn about the Valide Sultants.  Women from the Imperial Harem that were powerful.

And beside war, politics, alliances and betrayals, there is also a beautiful love story with the most fascinating and unique love triangle. [sighs]

Here is my Goodreads progress report…

What about you my dear bookworm friend? Have your read And I Darken yet? Did you like it?

Thank you for visiting!


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