AND I DARKEN Blog Tour: Q&A with Kiersten White

And I Darken Banner


I cannot believe it is finally out and I can grab a finished copy and begin counting down the days until the second book in the series releases. If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of this epic and amazing book, you should seriously press pause on reading this post and run out and buy a copy and START READING – you won’t put it down!

I read AND I DARKEN ages ago, when I first got my hands on a copy, and even though nearly three months have passed, the characters and story are still fresh in my mind, I am even more anxious to find out what is next for Lada and Radu and Mehmed, and I still can’t believe how much I actually grew to like Lada.

Although I’m a bit more surprised that the author actually got me to like Vlad the Impaler just a little bit less than I once had.

This story has so much epicness, and bloodshed, and kick-a** characters. There are journeys. There is betrayal. There is even unrequited love.

So be sure to dive into this first book in the series NOW so that you can suffer the wait for the sequel like I am. You won’t regret it.

And if you’d like to know a little bit more about the book, check out the description and trailer below.

Author Kiersten White also answers a few questions about AND I DARKEN and shares her favorite historical villains. So scroll down to the interview following the bookish details.


There is still time to follow the tour. The schedule is below, and is (and will be) updated with direct links to each of the stops. So click to visit the posts you most want to read to learn more about this incredible new book and series by Kiersten White.



Add to Goodreads

Title & Series: AND I DARKEN (The Conquerors Saga #1)
Author: Kiersten White
Release date: June 28, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 496
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook



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.


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The Trailer

The Interview

Q&A with Kiersten White

Q. How would you describe Lada Dragwyla in fifteen words or less?

Ruthless, brutal, and incapable of doing what is easy instead of what she wants.

Q. Who are your top five favorite historical “villains,” female or male?

  1. Vlad the Impaler, obviously. He took whatever advantage he could, he engaged in scorched-earth warfare, and he spat in the face of the most powerful empire of his time. He might not have been a great prince (or person) in the end, but you have to admire his tenacity and brilliance.
  2. This is awful, but I find Elizabeth Báthory, the most notorious female serial killer in history, deeply fascinating. Obviously she is repulsive, but so bizarre she’s compelling.
  3. In the same vein, I love reading about Lizzie Borden. Did she actually do it? And if so, did she, as rumored, get away with it because men were so squeamish about women’s issues that they took her story that the blood was from her period at face value? AWFUL, but also kind of awesome.
  4. This one is not a serial killer! Mostly. I adore the dynamic duo of Anne Bonny and Mary Read. After failed marriages, both of them took to the sea as pirates. Anne was said to bare her breasts during combat as a way of throwing her enemies off-balance. When they were eventually caught, Anne said to her captain (and lover) as he was hanged, “Sorry to see you there, but if you’d fought like a man, you would not have been hang’d like a dog.” They were both spared execution on account of being pregnant, once again using their womanhood to their advantage!
  5. And last but not least, another pirate, though a far more successful one. Ching Shih took over her dead husband’s fleet and became so powerful that she essentially had her own government, ruling over 1,800 ships and 80,000 sailors! Eventually she was able to peacefully retire. If that isn’t being an amazing villain, I don’t know what is.

Q. If you could be any character in AND I DARKEN, who would you choose to be, and why?

Oh man, this is a tough one. Turns out I’m pretty brutal to my characters. I guess we know where Lada gets that particular trait! But I’d probably choose Nazira. Nazira knows who she is, she’s found true love, and she’s sweet and loyal but also incredibly clever (as we discover more of in book two!).

Q. What was your favorite scene and what was your most challenging scene to write in AND I DARKEN, and why?

There is a scene where Lada, Radu, and Mehmed sneak out in the middle of the night to watch a meteor shower. It was funny, it was tender, and it gave us some unexpected insight into Lada. But when my editor read the first draft, she flagged it for potential trimming. In a book as long as And I Darken, every scene has to justify its inclusion. Normally I’m happy to cut—so much easier than adding!—but the idea of losing this scene really hurt. After a lot of brainstorming and tweaking and shifting, I was able to address my editor’s (valid) concern that it didn’t move the plot forward, while still keeping everything I loved. I’m very proud of that scene now!

Q. If you could give one piece of advice to Lada, what would it be? And do you think she would make you pay dearly for giving it?

This is such a great question. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized Lada would never take any advice I could give. She would do everything in her power to achieve the same result her own way, rather than bowing to what I thought was best. It makes her exhilarating—and exhausting!—to write.

About Kiersten White

Kiersten White

Kiersten White is the NYT bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy, the Mind Gamesseries, Illusions of FateThe Chaos of StarsIn the Shadows with artist Jim Di Bartolo, and the upcoming historical reimagining, And I Darken. She has one tall husband and three small children and lives near the ocean, where her life is perfectly normal. Visit her at


The Tour Schedule

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

 Week Five

Week Six

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