**ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange of an honest review**

This is my place
Her father had given it to her, and Wallachia would always be theirs.


Author: Kiersten White
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Retelling
Series: The Conquerors Saga, #1

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, 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.

This vividly rendered novel reads like HBO’s Game of Thrones… if it were set in the Ottoman Empire. Ambitious in scope and intimate in execution, the story’s atmospheric setting is rife with political intrigue, with a deftly plotted narrative driven by fiercely passionate characters. Fans of Victoria Aveyard’s The Red Queen, Kristin Cashore’s Graceling, and Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember In The Ashes won’t want to miss this visceral, immersive, and mesmerizing novel, the first in a trilogy.

This description speaks for itself.
It really doesn’t need any adding to; especially by me, since I will probably just be incoherently fangirling about it. I’m gonna buy this book and place it on my special shelf with shrine-like lights.
“Reads like Game of Thrones” should be enough to convince 80% of the Readers Population of the world and 3/4 of the remaining 20% non-reading ones (yeah, I’m pulling this statistics out of my magic hat, so don’t take my every word for a gold coin). 
nyhoodles, what I’m saying is that And I Darken is, simply put, a must-read!
I will advocate for it, I will press it into all of my friends’ hands and probably some random stranger’s on the street, too!

As I might have mentioned before, I am madly passionate about History. Plus I have a thing for vampires and Dracula by Bram Stoker is my absolute favourite book.
Make 1+1+1 and if you are any good at sleuthing you might have reached the very logical and correct conclusion that Vlad Tspes is a figure that has always deeply fascinated me.
I might not approve of his actions (that’s the only political and moral correct thing to say!) but I am like a moth drawn to fire when I stumble upon anything Vlad The Impaler related, be it the historical figure or the monstrous being that haunts us in books, on screen, or nightmares.
I am a sucker for it – pun intended! 😉
Add to this that I love retellings of any kind of stuff and you might begin to fathom how much giddy this novel put into me when I was approved. Thank you for it, btw.

The Conqueror’s Saga
is basically a gap-filling retelling of Vlad Tepes’ live with the “what if” twist that turns him from a brutal prince into a brutal princess that has inspired the legends of vampirism. Which is pretty intriguing, especially if you mingle it with the plotting and intrigue of politics, war, and love.
Yeah, it was practically a given that I’d go bonkers over it.

Oh! By the way, I would steer wide and clear from labeling And I Darken as Fantasy. There is absolutely nothing that would justify shelving it as such… maybe later on in the series?
It is a well-researched Historical Fiction with young adult characters.

Sooooo… when’s the nex one out?!

“What about our souls?” Mehmed whispered.
Before Lada walked out, she paused at the dood. “Souls and thrones are irreconcilable.”


If you are interested in reading more Vlad Tepes aka Dracula, check out my favourite go-to site, Historybits, for concise historical facts or this article with the title Vlad the Impaler: The Real Dracula’s Dark Secrets on Live Science.

In alternative, check out the following book, which is not a biography in the traditional sense of the word, but more of a comparative study between the various legends and what is actually known about him.

Vlad the Impaler: In Search of the Real DraculabyM.J. Trow

For many, Vlad the Impaler is the bloodsucking torturer recreated in Hollywood’s 72505Interview with the Vampire and the real character so vitally realized in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the man recreated on screen by screen legends Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee or Gary Oldman, or the vampire stalking through the pages of Ann Rice’s novels.
Later interpretations see him as a potent symbol of Nazi aggression in World War II, fired partly by Murnau’s Nosferatu of the 1920s and the blood rites of the Aryans.
But who was the real man who inspired the Dracula legend?
Was he as gruesome as legend depicts, or, as some Romanians, refuting the popular image, suggest, an heroic 15th-century warrior and freedom fighter?
Or is his reputation as a bloodthirsty mass-murderer, who sadistically impaled his victims, justified? In this title, the author peels back the layers of myth and history to reveal the 15th-century figure who was the real Vlad the Impaler

For all things Dracula/Vlad The Impaler (and so much more) you should check out Radu Florescu.

Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Times by Radu Florescu, Raymond T. McNally
Dracula, Prince of Many Faces reveals the extraordinary life and times of the infamous Vlad Dracula of Romania (1431 – 1476), nicknamed the Impaler. Dreaded by his enemies, emulated by later rulers like Ivan the Terrible, honored by his countrymen even today, Vlad Dracula was surely one of the most intriguing figures to have stalked the corridors of European and Asian capitals in the fifteenth century.