And I Darken

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know what I was getting into when I bought this book. I’ve read, and loved, all of Kiersten White’s books. When I saw she had a new one coming out, I clicked the pre-order button without even glancing at the cover copy.
What I expected was mid level YA urban fantasy. What I got was upper level YA (I might even make a case for adult) historical fiction. I was surprised, but not at all disappointed. I loved this book every bit as much as I have all of her previous works.
In many ways this book reminds me of The Traitor Baru Cormerant. They explore many similar themes. Though I found And I Darken did a better job of keeping my interest through the entire story. It managed to maintain the political intrigue and social commentary without becoming mired down in it.
The characters were well crafted and fascinating. I’m not certain I would want to be friends with any of them, though I thoroughly enjoyed reading about them. It was interesting exploring the various paths that can lead a person to accept necessary evil in the pursuit of what they view to be the greater good.
I know next to nothing about the Ottoman Empire, so I can’t comment on the historical accuracy of the story line. It did make for an intriguing setting, and I’m certainly interested in exploring more about this time period. Maybe I should have paid more attention in history class.
This book is a bit of a time investment, and quite a shift from Kiersten White’s other works, but it’s well worth the read.


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