Parents' Guide to

And I Darken, Book 1

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Absorbing read imagines the early years of a female Dracula.

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Kids say (3):

Readers looking for a palace-intrigue tale as focused on the torment of intense characters as it is on relentless royal assassination attempts, then you've come to the right place. And the right place is the intriguing Ottoman Empire in AND I DARKEN, and the right female hero is Vada, who author Kiersten White imagines as a young Dracula, if he were a girl. But in this installment, we're pretty far from Transylvania most of the time. And Vada's rough relationship with her much milder brother Radu, and with the future sultan Mehmed, are at the center of the story.

White digs deep into their longings for connection, for homeland, and even for religion. And all the while she moves the story fast, often from one serious danger to another. It's a masterful balance that few YA writers manage well. Let's hope she keeps up the intensity and the action as The Conquerors Saga continues.

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