Bright We Burn
By: Kiersten White
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Page Count: 416
Synopsis: Haunted by the sacrifices he made in Constantinople, Radu is called back to the new capital. Mehmed is building an empire, becoming the sultan his people need. But Mehmed has a secret: as emperor, he is more powerful than ever . . . and desperately lonely. Does this mean Radu can finally have more with Mehmed . . . and would he even want it?
Lada’s rule of absolute justice has created a Wallachia free of crime. But Lada won’t rest until everyone knows that her country’s borders are inviolable. Determined to send a message of defiance, she has the bodies of Mehmed’s peace envoy delivered to him, leaving Radu and Mehmed with no choice. If Lada is allowed to continue, only death will prosper. They must go to war against the girl prince.
But Mehmed knows that he loves her. He understands her. She must lose to him so he can keep her safe. Radu alone fears that they are underestimating his sister’s indomitable will. Only by destroying everything that came before–including her relationships–can Lada truly build the country she wants.
Claim the throne. Demand the crown. Rule the world.
This review will be spoiler free.
For some reason every book in this series has taken me forever to read, and this one was no exception. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, or that they are poorly written, there’s just something about them that doesn’t keep me glued to the page wanting more. For those unfamiliar with this series, it is a fictional re-imagining of the story of Vlad the Impaler (you may know him as the famous inspiration for a certain vampire). In this story Vlad is a young woman, Lada. I was really intrigued by this idea, and the story itself was very fascinating. This third and final book in the trilogy brought everything together and showed us how Lada became the Prince she was always fighting to become.
I will say that there was a lot more technical aspects in this book, like scenes where our characters strategized or went over battle plans, and it did get a bit boring after a while. I found myself waiting until I got to Radu’s chapters, even wanting to skip over Lada, and her constantly escalating bloodlust. Lada is truly a unique heroine, she is not really lovable, and it is sometimes hard to find any redeeming qualities in her, but she is strong and fierce and impossible not to root for. I think she did the original Dracula justice.
The ending was very satisfying, with all loose ends wrapped up nicely and believably. I think sometimes YA books have a habit of pulling a rabbit out of a hat with their endings. If you like historical settings, fierce battles and epic romances this series is definitely worth a read! Don’t be discouraged by the ‘historical’ aspect to the story, it barely feels like a historical fiction.
Have you read this series? what were your thoughts? let me know in the comments!