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
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)