Book 1: And I Darken
Book 2: Now I Rise
Book 3: Bright We Burn
Goodreads Description of book 1, And I Darken:
No one expects a princess to be brutal. 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, 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.
I am obsessed with this series. It is a new favourite for sure. If you are looking for a series with complex characters, political intrigue, war and a bit of romance this series of for you. This series is a slower read but definitely worth it. I marathoned the three books over 1 week and loved it to pieces.
One of the big reasons I love this series is because it is full of complex characters.
Lada is so brutal and determined and I loved her. I love how she constantly goes against societal norms and challenges those around her. Her drive to go after what she wants and not letting anything stop her was my favourite part about her. She's also extremely badass and smart! Her character development over the course of the series is perfectly paced too. I love how the author included some more vulnerable moments here and there in Lada's story to make her feel more human.
Radu is the polar opposite of Lada. I loved his kind heartened soul and how he changed over the course of the series and is challenged by others and the situations he is put in. I loved how he was so conflicted on his feeling regarding his sister and her brutal actions and the consequences. He has a lovely character arc.
I also loved the side character. Some could have been developed a bit more but I'm not comparing because Radu and Lada were so fleshed out.
I absolutely adored the sibling relationship between Lada and Radu. They had such a complex relationship because of their distinct personalities and the situations they were in.
There is a tiny bit of romance in this series and I loved that it was very side lined because it meant we could spent more time developing the world and characters.
I'm not a big historical fiction reqder but I loved the historical aspect of this trilogy. I knew nothing about the Ottoman Empire before reading- obviously this is fiction so take it with a grain of salt but it was so interesting to learn about the rise and fall of it from different perspectives.
The plot of the series is a bit slow but it is incredibly captivating because it's so interesting. There is more of a focus on characters than action but there is loads of politics and war and strategising and the likes.
Religion plays a big part in the story which was cool. We actually get to read about practicing muslim characters. I hardly ever come across religious characters in my reading so this was cool to get that representation!
There is also LGBT+ representation in the series which is another plus!
The Conquerors Saga is a phenomenal trilogy that is definitely recommend! It's a new favourite of mine!
Thanks for reading,