Monday, July 25, 2016

Serial Killers and Gender Equality and Lada from AND I DARKEN

“I am not something to be kept!”

I don’t like Lada, but I do love her. She’s horrible to her younger brother (who I just plain don’t like) and thinks of herself above all others. She strives for the love of her father, Vlad, until the day he gives her and her brother away to the Ottoman Empire. This female version of Vlad the Impaler is brutal; she’s vicious in a take no prisoner’s persona that made me want to swoon. She’s horrible as a human, by today’s standards. In the 1400-1500s, she’s got the personality that would make any father proud—if not a bit fearful—for a son. 

She’s a daughter.

AND I DARKEN is the tale of Lada’s quest to distinguish between femininity and masculinity. She wants to be a warlord, a prince, the ruler of her people. She wants to dominate the world. Unfortunately, she was born with the wrong body parts. Lada uses her own savagery to make a same for herself and distinguish a place for herself among the men.

While females aren’t quite as brutal as Lada now days in hopes of conquering all of human kind (I mean, females commit only about 11 percent of all murders, and men 98 percent of all mass shooting, as commented on in this Bustle article). One of the bigger myths about serial killers that have persisted through time if that there are only male serial killers. Folks, this is simply not true. The Femme Fatal idea came from somewhere, some person. A woman.

This is one of the reasons why I found Lada, the female version of Vlad the Impaler, such an intriguing notion. Not only is she re-writing a male story, but she’s ingraining the basic struggles of the everyday woman from the 1400-1500s. Men were thought to be superior to women. And Lada challenged all those ideas with a force to be reckoned with. She didn’t flinch at pain, and the loved the idea of brutally taking down her enemy. And all through this, she struggled with the idea of who to love, and how much to love them.

Equality takes many forms, of course. The feminist movement’s can't be tacked down, and Roe V. Wade (legalizing abortions, and the right to choose to have one, if the woman so desires) was approved by the Supreme Court in 1973.

Still, people are trying to overturn the ruling that gave women the right to choose, or to choose not. Social justice and equality for all is a hard medicine to swallow across all of time, people. Let’s go back to talking about Lada, the girl of the hour.

Is this not sort of what she fought for? The right to choose her own destiny? To go to war if the wanted to, and if she was more than able to? The right to want who she wanted, and to not feel guilty for doing so? To be recognized for her status as a princess born from death and brutality and not for her vagina?


  1. I love this post so much!

    1. YAY! I'm so glad you love the post! It was a blast to write. Expect more like this in the future <3

  2. First: woooooow this post is AMAZING!! and second: okay I need this book you were right!! (@adragoninspace on twitter!)

    1. *waves* Hey Girl! AND YES YOU DO. And thank you <3