And I Darken
Lada and younger brother, Radu, are born to the proud, but weak Prince of Wallachia. She grows up wild and unruly, tormenting Radu and brawling with the boys. When her father trades her to the sultan of the Ottoman Empire, she realizes her low standing as a female. She trains constantly, insinuating herself with the local armed force, the Janissaries. She is given a group to lead, to protect the young new sultan, Mehmed, who has become more than a friend, though she is at war with herself. She can’t risk her safety as his friend and protector, nor can she give up the land where she grew up. Wallachia is her home, calling to her and pulling her back, but how can she leave her brother and greatest love, who sees her not as a woman but as an equal?
This book examines the history of the Ottoman Empire before the fall of Constantinople, making it real, if a bit long-winded. This one falls a bit flat compared to her previous books, and isn’t similar enough to appeal to the same readers. The references to the sultan’s harem and an LGBTQ love triangle make for a read more appropriate for older readers.
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