Kiersten White’s Now I Rise is an example of a sequel that wouldn’t work on its own, but as part of a series, makes for a strong second installment.
In the first book, And I Darken, we watched Lada and Radu, the point-of-view characters, navigate a challenging childhood in the 15th-century Ottoman Empire. Early on, they’re sold to the sultan by their father, the brutal king of Wallachia (part of historical Romania). Lada coped by training to be a warrior, Radu by learning to be a skil...
And I Darken is the perfect title for Kiersten White’s novel about Vlad the Impaler’s origins.
The plot (eventually) focuses on machinations for the 15th century Ottoman throne, but at its heart, And I Darken is a character-driven tale that shows how abandonment changes Vlad and the other protagonists.
Oh, and in White’s retelling, Vlad isn’t a man—he’s Lada, a girl who’d rather swing a sword than don a dress.
It’s a compelling mix.
The character development begins almost immediately,...