I loved this book. It was incredible. It was intense and action packed and vicious and....ugh, I can't take it! IT WAS SO GOOD!!!! *cue fangirl flailing*
I've calmed down enough to make a list of coherent thoughts. I'm probably forgetting some things, but whatever. If I remember it, I will add it later. For now, here is my review:
As always, let us commence with characters. Lada is not one of those anti-heroes who claims to be all badass and then isn't. She is VICIOUS. She kills, she fights, she is violent and vicious and, quite frankly, terrifying. I thought Adelina from The Young Elites was scary, but hell no, that girl's got nothing on Lada. Lada. Such a pretty name for such a vicious and fierce character. I both admire and fear her. I also loved Radu, he's much softer and gentler than Lada, so he's more lovable. More huggable. Oh my god, I felt so much love for him. So much pain too- I just wanted to give him a big hug and take away all his sorrows. He's always getting underestimated and people think he's weak. And his love for Mehmed? *sobs* If you need me, I'll be sobbing in the corner screaming that it isn't fair. Radu deserves love and happiness. IT ISN'T FAIR!
I liked Mehmed at first, when the three were younger, but as he grew I came to resent him. Radu is too good for this guy.
Okay, the setting was amazing. The Ottoman Empire is really fascinating, and it's not a place that is featured in a lot of books. It made this unique, I liked it. Also: THIS IS NOT FANTASY. Yup, this is historical fiction. Some liberties were taken to make the story original, but still it's historical and I loved it. I took AP World History, yo. History's kind of my thing. And I actually knew some of the places/people that were mentioned.
Also, the writing is so gorgeous. *fangirls*
Tl;dr version- have literally no complaints about this book. None. It was perfection. I haven't loved a book this much since The Song of Achilles (and people, I love that book with all my heart and soul). I think And I Darken and The Song of Achilles are now officially tied for the book I love the most.