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Friday, 6 January 2017

And I Darken by Kiersten White {Yomna's Review} Here comes one of the most badass characters known to man.




My rating: 4/5

Fantastic. Cannot wait till the next book!

Spoilers!





Honestly, still can't believe anything about this book because Lada is badass beyond compare. She is rivaled only by the likes of Aelin Galthynius and Katniss Everdeen. Even then, they cannot fully completely compare to Lada's corruptly agreeable moral compass.  

Lada honestly makes me feel like a terrible person. She thinks such horrible thoughts, and is so ruthless, but in a way that makes sense that I can't disagree with her. Which makes me feel horrible, but also, justified? I don't know. Maybe the only thing she makes me is confused. 

"Let her be strong.
Let her by sly.
And let her be ugly."

The thing is, Lada will say, "We have to kill a thousand people and I'm not saying I want to kill a thousand people but if we don't we'll lose power, my hands are tied here!"



And readers will be nodding thinking, "Yes, yes! We do not want to lose power! Let's kill a thousand people!", because, as brutal as her thoughts are, they are completely logical. In the fight for power, there is no need for morals or ethics. You don't get power by being nice! You get out and and you go grab whatever you want! Unfortunately, that's how the world rolls. You kill a thousand people if you want to save two thousand of your own. 

I was so happy with the representation in this book. To see your religion portrayed in a book (and not in a negative way) is so amazingly empowering. I honestly never imagined how it would feel. I hope authors keep writing diverse characters in their books, because it feels so good.

Now back to Lada, have I mentioned that she is extremely insane. But, in a good way. Can you be insane in a good way? Okay let's put it another way, she is fierce. Honestly I could not help but admire that part about her. It was made her so different and unique from other characters I've read.

“On our wedding night," she said, "I will cut out your tongue and swallow it. Then both tongues that spoke our marriage vows will belong to me, and I will be wed only to myself. You will most likely choke to death on your own blood, which will be unfortunate, but I will be both husband and wife and therefore not a widow to be pitied.”

Insane, I tell you. 

I really liked Radu's character. His struggles felt so real and he's such a grounded character. He's loyal and sweet and gives unwavering support. I really liked reading parts from his POV. 

Mehmed, however, I'm conflicted about. I really do like his character, he's brave and glorious and I'm so excited to see him in the next books. However, I really don't like the whole 'I have 70 wives and 200 children' scenario. Honestly, it's such a turn off. I'm sure that Kiersten White's purpose was to be true to history, but I would've liked him to go against the whole harem tradition. It's so annoying. 

"Fire burned in her heart, and her wounded soul spread out, casting a shadow like wings across her country.” 

I got really annoyed when Mehmed's father died and Mehmed met with all his father's wives to see what he would do with them. Honestly, why couldn't he let them choose? He would say, "Okay, we'll see what we can do with you." and seriously WHAT THE HELL YOU DON'T GET TO CHOOSE FOR THEM WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING??!!!

It's like Lada said somewhere in the book that women at this time were like bargaining chips, their fate decided by men in their lives. From Mehmed's behavior, I can tell he is not exempt from that flawed view of women. 

I really liked the book's portrayal of female issues (puberty, periods, etc..) from Lada's personal POV. For Lada, as she grew, she saw her maturing as doom, and it is disheartening to read how she thinks in those parts of the book. 

In the end, though, I think Lada realized that women or man, she can be her own damn hero. Talk about A+ character development. 

"You can forbid me nothing."


I have to say I expected more from Lada in the end, but also more from Mehmed. He became so possessive and jealous of Lada when Bogdan came into the story. It was so weird. And to be honest, hypocritical. Wasn't he the one who had a whole harem? 

As for Lada, I really was surprised when she chose to abandon Radu and Mehmed, for a dream that you could tell she didn't really want. 

In conclusion, I really liked this book! I was really impressed with the writing and the story really hooked me. The only other book I read by Kiersten White was Illusions of Fate and that was a lot lighter of a book so I'm really happy about how engrossing this book was. Definitely expecting a lot of good stuff from Kiersten White in the future. 




forever and always,
Yomna


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