Writer / Reader / Fandom Extraordinaire
Chiara / August 18, 2016 , Thu / this book is lgbtqia

This Book is LGBTQIA+ is my way of putting a spotlight on books that may not be widely recognised as such. I want these books to have as much exposure as they can, and I hope you add some of these titles (or all) to those never-ending TBR piles!

Today’s book is:

and i darken by kiersten white

and i darken

Title: And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga #1)

Author: Kali Wallace

Publisher: Corgi Childrens

Genre/s: Historical, Retelling

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.

Ever since she and her brother were abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman sultan’s courts, Lada has known that ruthlessness is the key to survival. For the lineage that makes her and her brother special also makes them targets.

Lada hones her skills as a warrior as she nurtures plans to wreak revenge on the empire that holds her captive. Then she and Radu meet the sultan’s son, Mehmed, and everything changes. Now Mehmed unwittingly stands between Lada and Radu as they transform from siblings to rivals, and the ties of love and loyalty that bind them together are stretched to breaking point.

The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she’ll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive.

Why This Book is LGBTQIA+

One of the two main characters, Radu, is gay. I didn’t actually know this when I had seen the book floating around the blogosphere (back when I had little interest in it), but when I learned that a point of view character in this historical retelling of Vlad the Impaler was queer, I was 100% keen to read it.

The book follows the two main characters from an early age, and I absolutely loved seeing Radu grow up and discover himself and his love for religion and his attraction to men. His love for Mehmed (who his sister, the other MC and POV character, is also in love with) is absolutely beautiful. Even though I don’t really like Mehmed all that much, I still want Radu to end up with him because I know it would make him happy. But I’d be totally open to an amazing, dashing queer boy to sweep Radu off his feet, too. ;D

I ended up loving And I Darken more than I would have ever guessed, and you can read my full review here.

(trigger warning: physical assault, murder, attempted murder, domestic violence, torture, and war themes in this novel)

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6 Responses to this book is lgbtqia+ (#5)

  1. All the yeses to this book! I thought it was absolutely excellent and am amazed that so many people have neglected to write in their reviews that Radu is both gay and a Muslim (which I do not think I have ever come across in a fictional character before) especially since the blogosphere loves to promote a good diverse book.

    • Chiara says:

      I am so glad that you liked it, Helia! It is one of the only five stars that I have given out this year. I, too, and disappointed that people neglect to mention the diversity in this book because it is the reason why I fell in love with it in the first place.

  2. This is exactly why I want to read this book! I mean the other stuff sounds interesting, sure, but THIS :D

  3. Romi says:

    I love that you didn’t initially know that this book had a gay MC, because imagine opening a book and being surprised because you wanted queer characters but you hadn’t expected that and yet there is someone who is gorgeous and wonderful and right there. At the same time, the fact this seems like a kinda big part of the book and it isn’t being spoken about? That’s the part of this that isn’t so great. Erasure. Not okay.

    But I am keen for this one, as you know from my comment on your review. It sounds delightful and I love how much YOU love it, and I’m really happy you decided to feature it in this series here! Because it makes it that bit easier to find, for people looking (and for people who aren’t) and that is always important. xx

    • Chiara says:

      Oh, I knew about him before I started reading it, but that scenario would also be really quite lovely. Yeah, I am 100% not on board with the fact that the character’s sexuality was hidden in promotion because they wanted a shock factor when it came to the love triangle.

      I really, really want you to read it! And I really, really hope that you love it as much as I do. There were so many amazing things about it. I really hope that I am getting the word out about lesser known queer books here!

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