Welcome to RSR’s stop on the And I Darken Tour!! I was beyond thrilled when I found out I would be participating in this tour since it’s seriously one of my most anticipated summer releases, and I’m very excited to welcome Kiersten to RSR with a top five list! Now…..small confession on my part. I went into And I Darken thinking fantasy. It wasn’t until I started reading that I realized it was a historical reimagining…. Oops
But Kiersten, being the absolutely awesome author that she is handled my oops awesomely! So without rambling some more….here’s Kiersten!
So, first, a confession of sorts: And I Darken isn’t fantasy. I see it listed as fantasy a lot; it’s actually a historical reimagining. But I hope it does what all good fantasy books do: transport you to another world to tell a story that feels as real as the world you live in. In this case, that world is the Ottoman Empire in the 1400s. It’s filled with political intrigue, assassins, arranged marriages, impalements—all very common teen issues. Wait, no? Hmm. Maybe I’m out of touch with teens these days? It’s also filled with first loves (both mutual and unrequited), family ties, faith embraced and rejected, ambition, and pain. So, like I said: different world, same feelings.
Here are some of my favorite books that transport me to other worlds!
Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods
This world is the creepiest, and I love every page of it. Carroll’s beautiful red, black, and white collection of short horror stories is delicious. I have it up on top of the bookshelf so my kids won’t have nightmares. I bring it back down for myself because, as an adult, I appreciate choosing to experience nightmares. Two words: THOSE TEETH.
Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane
This world is a bit like the titular ocean of the book itself—while you are in the middle of it, everything opens up and becomes so clear. And when you close the book, you remember the feeling, but grasp at it in the distance as it fades like a dream. Gaiman’s writing is always so matter-of-factly otherworldly, layering magic and wonder onto the real world in such a way that you see more of it around you even when you aren’t reading.
Laini Taylor’s Lips Touch: Three Times
This world is the most luscious, vibrantly filled with Taylor’s inimitable prose. The three novellas each stand on their own, tinged with horror and dread while somehow also being flooded with light. I don’t know how she does it. I only know the worlds in Laini Taylor’s head are worlds I want to visit again and again. (Her newest, Strange the Dreamer, comes out this fall. I can’t wait to explore it.)
Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
This world is so intricate and layered it feels like reading actual history, if British history included grouchy magicians and long-disappeared mystical kings, which it probably should. Even my complaint that women are given the shaft in the narrative can’t keep me away from this delightful and expansive tome. Any book that feels like it could not possibly have been written by anyone else has my heart, and no one but Clarke could have created this.
H. White’s The Once and Future King
This world is so deceptively meandering. For the first portion of the narrative, it feels like White (last name fist-bump for solidarity!) is merely rambling around in the creative reaches of his brain. He chooses King Arthur and Camelot as his playground, and it’s delightful. But as the story progresses, you realize that this journey through decades is anything but a lark. At turns hilarious and breathtakingly poignant, White’s book asks hard questions and never pretends there are answers, but the asking is glorious.
AND I DARKEN Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, May 30th through Friday, July 8th (Mondays through Fridays)
Monday, May 30th: Icey Books, Review
Tuesday, May 31st: Bookiemoji, Guest Post (Character Profiles)
Wednesday, June 1st: Seeing Double in Neverland, Review
Thursday, June 2nd: Alexa Loves Books, Playlist Post
Friday, June 3rd: Owl Always Be Reading, Review
Monday, June 6th: Jessabella Reads, Review
Tuesday, June 7th: The Eater of Books!, Top Five Roundup
Wednesday, June 8th: Across the Words, Review
Thursday, June 9th: Pandora’s Books, Sneak Peek for Book Two
Friday, June 10th: Tales of the Ravenous Reader, Review
Monday, June 13th: A Midsummer Night’s Read, Review
Tuesday, June 14th: The Irish Banana Review, Top 10 Guest Post
Wednesday, June 15th: Stories & Sweeties, Review
Thursday, June 16th: Jenuine Cupcakes, Author Mystery Guest Post
Friday, June 17th: The Soul Sisters, Review
Monday, June 20th: Winterhaven Books, Review
Tuesday, June 21st: Two Chicks on Books, Q&A (4-6 questions)
Wednesday: June 22nd: The Book Swarm, Review
Thursday, June 23rd: Read. Sleep. Repeat., Top Five Fantasy Books Kiersten Loves to Re-Read
Friday, June 24th: Please Feed The Bookworm, Review
Monday, June 27th: Comfort Books, Review
Tuesday, June 28th: Fitshun, Q&A
Wednesday, June 29th: Addicted Readers,Review
Thursday, June 30th: Lindsay Cummings, Movie Casting Post
Friday, July 1st: Rabid Reads, Review
Monday, July 4th: Reading Teen, Review
Tuesday, July 5th: YA Bibliophile, Guest Post (Trip to Romania)
Wednesday, July 6th: Carina’s Books, Review
Thursday, July 7th: Mundie Moms, Author Mystery Guest Post
Friday, July 8th: Bookishness and Tea, Review