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Diese Rezension ist zuerst auf meinem Blog erschienen.

I bought this book a few months ago and had it on my tbr ever since, but when I got approved for it's sequel on NetGalley I decided to read both of them as soon as possible.
I did read both 'And I Darken' and 'Now I Rise' back to back so please excuse me if I confuse some things. Don't worry there will be no spoilers, I do remember the order of events and in which book they took place, but one important thing I want to talk about in this review is the character developement and here I'm not exactly sure when some of the changes within some of the main characters took place. But as I said: no spoilers.
So let's get to the book. To be honest, the first part of this took some time getting used to, but once events really started to pick up I started loving it.  I really enjoyed the setting, as I gernerally like historical fiction and lately I re-discovered my love of stories with an oriental background. The mix between the oriental culture in the Ottoman Empire and the rural eastern Europe setting was really well done.
The plot took a while to really pick up, as I already said, but once things started happening I really enjoyed it. Particularly because the more important and far-reaching events are true to history.
The most important part of the story however is the character developement. While the protagonist is one bad-ass young women, I have to admit I didn't like her much in the beginning. I like how she is always ready to do whatever it takes to get what she wants and I understand her need to prove that she can be as good, if not better, than any man, but sometimes she was just to much for me. I didn't like the way she treated her brother and all those around her.  As the book progressed Lada really grew into herself and so did her feelings toward her brother. She still is a self-serving bitch most of the time but she did realize that her brother is important to her. What I also really liked about her is that, while her feelings for Mehmed took quite a while to develope, she was honest with herself and didn't spent forever denying her own feelings. That of course is not to say that she embraced those feelings, but at leats she didn't lie to herself. And yes, of course, she is an incredible bad-ass, she is strong, mentally and physically and didn't let anyone get her down. As for her brother, Radu, during this book I was quite ambigous about him. The way he was described as a baby didn't put him on my good side to begin with and he was quite the whiny child. As he grew into himself I liked him a lot more, but he also showed a side of himself that I didn't like at all.  While I don't understand the (unconditional love) blind obsession Radu has for Mehmed, I still liked him. He is a spoiled child who is used to getting what he wants, yet he still values Radu and Lada and is willing to learn.
All in all I rated the book four stars because, after a slow start, I totally enjoyed rading this book and I did get invested in the characters.

Autor: Kiersten White
Buch: And I Darken
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