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And I Darken
Cover of And I Darken
And I Darken
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The New York Times Bestseller!"Absolutely riveting." —Alexandra Bracken, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Passenger This vividly rendered novel reads like HBO's Game of Thrones . . . if it...
The New York Times Bestseller!"Absolutely riveting." —Alexandra Bracken, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Passenger This vividly rendered novel reads like HBO's Game of Thrones . . . if it...
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  • The New York Times Bestseller!
    "Absolutely riveting." —Alexandra Bracken, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Passenger

    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 and a fearsome heroine. 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.

    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.
    From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    1

    1435: Sighisoara, Transylvania

    Vlad Dracul's heavy brow descended like a storm when the doctor informed him that his wife had given birth to a girl. His other children—one from his first wife, now nearly full grown, and even a bastard child from his mistress, born last year—had been boys. He had not thought his seed weak enough to produce a girl.

    He pushed through the door, into the close, heavy air of the tiny bedroom. It stank of blood and fear and filled him with disgust.

    Their home in the fortified hill city of Sighisoara was a far cry from what he deserved. It sat next to the main gate, in the suffocating press of the square, beside an alley that reeked of human waste. His retainer of ten men was merely ceremonial, rendering him a glorified placeholder. He might have been the military governor of Transylvania, but he was supposed to be the ruler of all Wallachia.

    Perhaps that was why he had been cursed with a girl. Another insult to his honor. He was in the Order of the Dragon, sanctioned by the pope himself. He should be the vaivode, the warlord prince, but his brother sat on the throne, while he was governor of Saxons squatting on his own country's land.

    Soon he would show them his honor on the end of a sword.

    Vasilissa lay on the bed, soaked in sweat and moaning in pain. Certainly the weakness that took root in her womb had been her own. His stomach turned at the sight of her, princess now in neither demeanor nor appearance.

    The nurse held up a squalling, red-faced little monster. He had no names for a girl. Vasilissa would doubtless want something that honored her family, but Vlad hated the Moldavian royals she came from for failing to bring him any political advantage. He had already named his bastard Vlad, after himself. He would name his daughter the same.

    "Ladislav," he declared. It was a feminine form of Vlad. Diminutive. Diminished. If Vasilissa wanted a strong name, she would have to bear him a son. "Let us pray she is beautiful so we can get some use out of her," he said. The infant screamed louder.

    Vasilissa's royal breasts were far too important to suckle from. The wet nurse waited until Vlad left, then held the babe to her common teats. She was still full of milk from her own child, a boy. As the baby latched on with surprising fierceness, the nurse offered her own prayer. Let her be strong. Let her be sly. She looked over at the princess, fifteen, lovely and delicate as the first spring blossoms. Wilted and broken on the bed.

    And let her be ugly.

    2

    Vlad could not be bothered to be present for the birth of his second child by Vasilissa: a son, a year younger than his sister, practically chasing her into this world.

    The nurse finished cleaning the newborn, then held him out to his mother. He was tiny, perfect, with a mouth like a rosebud and a full head of dark hair. Vasilissa lay, glassy-eyed and mute, on the bed. She stared at the wall. Her gaze never even drifted to her son. A tug on the nurse's skirt brought her attention downward, where tiny Lada stood, scowling. The nurse angled the baby toward his sister.

    "A brother," she said, her voice soft.

    The baby started to cry, a weak, garbled sound that worried the nurse. Lada's scowl deepened. She slapped a dimpled hand over his mouth. The nurse pulled him away quickly, and Lada looked up, face contorted in rage.

    "Mine!" she shouted.

    It was her first word.

    The nurse...

About the Author-

  • KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken, Now I Rise, the Paranormalcy trilogy, the dark thrillers Mind Games and Perfect Lies, The Chaos of Stars, Illusions of Fate, and In the Shadows with Jim Di Bartolo. Her books have won several awards, including the Utah Book Award, the Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, and the Whitney Award, and have been named an ALA-YALSA Teen Top Ten Best Book, a Florida Teens Read Selection, and a Texas Lone Star Reading List Selection, among other accolades. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further away times.


    kierstenwhite.com
    @kierstenwhite on Twitter.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 21, 2016
    What if Vlad Tepes, the historical inspiration for Dracula, had actually been a fearsome and brilliant teenage girl? That’s the question raised in this alternate history, first in a trilogy. Set in the mid-15th century, first in Wallachia and then in the Ottoman Empire, the narrative focuses on Ladislav “Lada” Dragwyla and her younger brother, Radu (later known as the Handsome), who are sent by their father to act as royal hostages in the Ottoman Court of Sultan Murad. There, the ambitious Lada chafes at the limited options available to women, Radu converts to Islam, and both fall for the charismatic prince Mehmed, resulting in an awkward love triangle. White (Illusions of Fate) draws heavily on historical figures and events to craft this slow-burning tale, which focuses more on characterization and drama than on setting and detail; subtle commentary on gender, religious conflict, and geopolitical strife winds up overshadowed by churning romantic emotions. Given the historical bloodshed in which the novel is based, it comes across as somewhat sanitized, though grisly days seem likely in future installments. Ages 12–up. Agent: Michelle Wolfson, Wolfson Literary Agency.

  • Alexandra Bracken, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Passenger

    "A dark jewel of a story, one that gleams with fierce, cunning characters--absolutely riveting."

  • Cynthia Hand, New York Times bestselling author of the Unearthly series "Kiersten White at her absolute best. The epic story will thrill you, the Transylvanian setting will transport you, and the characters (especially the fierce, take-no-prisoners Lada) will capture your heart. Don't miss it."
  • Rachel Hawkins, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author "Sweeping and epic, AND I DARKEN is a gender-bent take on history that gives us a fierce and brutal heroine, a fascinating time period, and a beautifully intelligent look at love, family, and power. I loved every twisty, bloody moment of it!"
  • Robin LaFevers, New York Times bestselling author of the His Fair Assassin series "As richly complex and glittering as the Ottoman Empire itself, AND I DARKEN is daring in its scope and brilliantly executed. The fiercely dark Lada is a razor-edged sword tempered in the blood of family betrayals and the fire of her own passions. I was instantly and utterly smitten. She haunted me long after I turned the final page and left me craving more."
  • Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe series "A jewel of a book--a jewel embedded in the hilt of a blood-soaked sword. A brilliantly envisioned alternate history that is meticulously detailed but compulsively readable, this is a story I could not put down. I demand the sequel like Lada demands Wallachia!"
  • Tessa Gratton, author of the Gods of New Asgard series "An intense, risky, passionate novel that dragged me through love and danger with the force of its heroine's heart and the power of its hero's faith."
  • E. K. Johnston, author of A Thousand Nights "Girls with teeth and priorities. I want to read this book forever."
  • School Library Journal starred review ★ "Full of sword fights, assassination plots, and palace intrigues, this novel is ambitious in scope and concept and reveals a fascinating, important, and somewhat obscure slice of history...the novel is breathtakingly good."
  • Becca Fitzpatrick, New York Times bestselling author of Hush, Hush
    "White excels at presenting an anti-hero who contrasts conventional female heroines. Readers expecting a typical love triangle tale will be surprised, for Lada's characterization is executed in a far-from-stereotypical manner as White challenges femininity and explores the types of power women can wield. White also succeeds in crafting an accessible setting that brings complex historical figures to life."
  • Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of Daughter of Deep Silence Paranormalcy:
    "A fast, flirty roller coaster of a ride. I'm in love!"
  • Publishers Weekly, Starred "The perfect blend of light and dark. I can't wait for more!"
  • The Bulletin, Starred Mind Games:
    ★ "A tour de force."
  • Laini Taylor, bestselling author of the National Book Award Finalist Lips Touch: Three Times and Daughter of Smoke and Bone ★ "Brilliant."
  • VOYA "Sharp, heart-wrenching, and fabulously fun."
  • Booklist, Starred

    The Chaos of Stars:
    "Eloquent in its mixing of Egyptology with the experience of being a teenager . . . the character development, action-packed climax, intriguing family dynamics, and heartfelt romance will draw in fans."

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