Number of pages: 470
Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1
Rating (out of five stars): 5
If you are uncomfortable with a discussion involving religion, feel free to skip the first paragraph.
I’ll start by saying this: religion makes me uncomfortable. Let me explain. I am perfectly fine with everyone, as long as they are not harming anyone, practicing their religious beliefs. I have close friends who are fairly religious and I love that they have found a thing to put their faith and love into. I am uncomfortable with religion because my religious background is so complicated (one of my friends has dubbed me a “religious casserole”). On my dad’s side, my grandmother grew up Jewish, but my grandparents chose to raise their children without religion. On my mom’s side, both of my grandparents are Catholic, and that is the religion my mom was raised with. I have been baptised Catholic as a result of my grandparents’ belief, but I have been raised without religion like my dad (I have been to church probably twice in my life). Because of this complicated history, I have never know much about any religions and have even avoided religion altogether. You’re probably wondering why I’m even talking about this. Well, as And I Darken is set in a time where religion is important, it naturally mentions religion. The great thing with And I Darken however, is that Kiersten White did such a fantastic job at mentioning religion and not making me feel as though it was being forced down my throat. I think that it takes a tremendous amount of skill to be able to do that.
I also loved how there weren’t good and bad guys, only people. Sometimes you wanted to hug one character, and then five seconds later you wanted to strangle them. History is written by the victors, and it must have taken a tremendous amount of work to even find the gray area between the good and the bad. The great thing about having no clear good and bad guys is while your characters are unlikeable half the time; you as the reader get to choose who to root for. There is no clear bad guy that you are supposed to hate and are shunned for not disliking. I think that is freeing.
I think this may have been the most entertaining and funny historical fiction I have ever read. It didn’t have the usual drag that historical fictions normally have and it made me laugh just as much as Kiersten White’s other books.
I like how Lada could have accepted an easier life filled with love and happiness, but she chose to stay true to herself and continue defying expectations. It was so interesting to have followed her and Radu from birth.
Overall, And I Darken was a fantastic, entertaining read, and has thus been granted 5 out of 5 stars.