Blog Tour- And I Darken Offical Trailer + Giveaway

And I Darken Banner
Today I’m sharing with you the official trailer for And I Darken. I was really swept away with this book and how White took the historical figure of Vlad the Impaler and switched his gender to a female for this book. I think this opened up some very interesting avenues for the story to go yet White was able to really keep with the time period and historical elements of his lifetime. You can check out my review here to read more of my thoughts.

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About the Book

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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.

CLAIM THE THRONE. Visit AndIDarken.com to order now!

About the Author

Kiersten White

KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy; the dark thrillers Mind Games and Perfect Lies; The Chaos of Stars; and Illusions of Fate. She also coauthored In the Shadows with Jim Di Bartolo. 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.

Find Kiersten on Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Official Trailer

 

Giveaway

US only, Prize will be provided by the ever generous Random House

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Stops

Monday, May 30th: Icey Books, Review
Tuesday, May 31st: Bookiemoji, Guest Post (Character Profiles)
Wednesday, June 1st: Seeing Double in Neverland, Review
Thursday, June 2nd: Alexa Loves Books, Playlist Post
Friday, June 3rd: Awesome Book Nut, Review
Monday, June 6th: Jessabella Reads, Review
Tuesday, June 7th: The Eater of Books!, Top Five Roundup
Wednesday, June 8th: Across the Words, Review
Thursday, June 9th: Pandora’s Books, Sneak Peek for Book Two
Friday, June 10th: Tales of the Ravenous Reader, Review
Monday, June 13th: A Midsummer Night’s Read, Review
Tuesday, June 14th: The Irish Banana Review, Top 10 Guest Post
Wednesday, June 15th: Stories & Sweeties, Review
Thursday, June 16th: Jenuine Cupcakes, Author Mystery Guest Post
Friday, June 17th: The Soul Sisters, Review
Monday, June 20th: Winterhaven Books, Review
Tuesday, June 21st: Two Chicks on Books, Q&A (4-6 questions)
Wednesday: June 22nd: The Book Swarm, Review
Thursday, June 23rd: Read. Sleep. Repeat., Top Five Fantasy Books Kiersten Loves to Re-Read
Friday, June 24th: Please Feed The Bookworm, Review
Monday, June 27th: Comfort Books, Review
Tuesday, June 28th: Fitshun, Q&A
Wednesday, June 29th: Addicted Readers,Review
Thursday, June 30th: Lindsay Cummings, Movie Casting Post
Friday, July 1st: Rabid Reads, Review
Monday, July 4th: Reading Teen, Review
Tuesday, July 5th: YA Bibliophile, Guest Post (Trip to Romania)
Wednesday, July 6th: Carina’s Books, Review
Thursday, July 7th: Mundie Moms, Author Mystery Guest Post
Friday, July 8thMy Friends Are Fiction, Surprise Post!

Review of And I Darken by Kiersten White

AndIDarkenUSAnd I Darken
By: Kiersten White
Release Date: June 28th 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
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.

My Thoughts:
I must admit to not really being a fan of White’s prior work, but, I couldn’t resist the summary for And I Darken. I had an interest in Vlad Dracula (Vlad the Impaler) in my younger years so there was no way I’d not be reading this book. The fact that White decided to make Vlad’s character female- sign me up. Plus, this time period is so largely ignored in YA historical fiction.

Overall, I found this book to be incredibly successful and full of historical detail, character development, and intrigue. It does read a tad on the slow side because there are lots of details and a great amount of time was covered. I think that if you are a historical fiction fan (or reader of adult fiction) this won’t bother you one bit. If you need your books to be fast moving you might feel this book  is on the slow side. I feel that it is so worth the read because through these slower moments you really get to know the characters and understand them deeply.

The story was told in third person alternating between Lada and her brother Radu. I loved that these are real historical figures (with Lada being Vlad but female). This brother and sister really were held captives of the Ottoman Empire to keep their father in check. Of course, White took liberty with the characters and what occurred during this time period (as far as I can tell it was not well documented what happened to them there). It was fascinating to see the historical bits woven into this book and evident that White has a vast knowledge and understanding of the time period (from my perspective). I highly recommend researching some prior to or while reading. I found it really added to my reading experience. Do not feel, however, that it is necessary to do so! It is not! White provides all the details you need to know and in an easy to absorb way.

Beyond the time period, I really loved the depth of the characters. Lada was wonderfully brutal and though she was all rough edges there’s something…delicate about her? It was a mesmerizing mix that White did an excellent job with. Her younger brother, Radu, was all emotions and insecurity. The novel spans from these character’s birth to their young adult lives. Through this we really grasp who they are deep inside and it was impossible not to love them and to feel their hurts and fears.

Those that fear the love triangle there was one (sort of?) It wasn’t your typical triangle and I never really got the impression it was ever more than unrequited love on one person’s behalf. Some might be sensitive to it, but I felt it was done well and didn’t detract from the story. I felt that though there was a good amount of romance in the book it was not overwhelming and ended up lending itself to help develop rather than take away from the storytelling.

Final Thoughts:
And I Darken was a really strong historical fiction with some obvious changes to how the real events occurred (obviously switching Vlad’s gender being the biggest) which only made the story even more appealing to me. I love the depth of the characters, historical detail as well as how much time spanned in this one novel. I feel that this is by far the strongest work White has created and I can’t wait to read where she takes this story next.

While talking about this novel on Twitter with Sarah from The YA Book Traveler she compared the UK cover to a picture of Vlad and I’ve got to share it:

AndIDarkenUK

 

Review of The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

The Chaos of Stars
By: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 10th 2013
Pre-Order:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

An electronic copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary (via Goodreads):
Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

The Story:
There were elements of The Chaos of Stars that were very interesting, mostly concerning the Egyptian mythology. Unfortunately, the other aspects were less enthralling and not a lot stood out. The pacing was very slow and this book lacked the action of White’s Paranormalcy series. There was never a need for me to rush through the pages seeking the outcome.

I think this might have been a character driven book? I can only assume that one of the goal’s of the novel was to show the growth of the main character and to allow the reader to journey with her. There was growth but it was little too late in my opinion and never was enough to make this a truly interesting read for me.

The Characters:
Isadora, the main character, was the biggest fault about this book to me. She started as a spoiled, entitled, whiney and overall dislikeable character. I had no interest in her and struggled through the first forty percent of the book trying to get past my annoyance with her. After that point she started to grow and her character became much more tolerable. I never grew to like her but it was much easier to follow the story in her point of view.

My favorite character was Ry. He, along with the other two main secondary characters Taylor and Scott, were the best aspects of this book. Ry was even capable of making me enjoy Isadora a time or two. He is a well rounded, funny and likeable character.

Final Thoughts:
I was drawn to Chaos of Stars by the beautiful cover art and the premise of a mythology driven plot. I wasn’t ever fully immersed in this book and found a lot of it a chore to read. The last bit of the book picked up significantly and I began to become more invested only for the book to end.