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.
A massive thank you to Rockstar Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour and letting me review a book I’ve been obsessed with for ages! Now, on to the review!
Holy crap. That’s about all I can really say about the end of this trilogy. It’s rare for me to actually, literally clutch my chest when I read a book. And I definitely did with this one.
So I’ll admit, I paused reading this one to read up on the real, actual Vlad Dracul. I’d forgotten some details from my weird, Romanian-history obsessed childhood, but White does such an incredible job of putting those details into Lada’s story while still showing how much harder she had to work for what she wanted all because she’s a woman.
To me, there’s more suspense in this story. I could feel Lada’s paranoia so much. Wallachia was finally hers, but damn, if men didn’t keep trying to take it from her. She’s scared, but because she’s, well, a dragon, she’s awful about actually showing fear. Instead, it comes across as brutality, as she’s far more brutal now than before. But Wallachia is safer than ever before because of her brutality. Like the saying goes, can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. And sometimes those eggs come in the shape of corrupt boyars and Ottoman troops. And holy crap, her battle tactics…she’s such a badass.
I also felt like this book was honestly more of Radu’s story. We still get the alternating chapters, but Radu’s storyline is what sort of pushed the full plot along. I can’t go into too much with major spoilers, but there are some moments where I’m so very proud of his choices. And, of course, times where I just wanted to yell at him.
I will say, this is the most Mehmed-light book in the trilogy, and I’m so very glad. Even historically speaking, he was an asshole.
The last quarter of the book, I could sort of see where the story was headed. While I wasn’t exactly happy with that decision, it makes sense, given the time period. But I still wanted my fierce, ferocious Lada to come out on top.
While not necessarily the most satisfying end to The Conqueror’s Saga, parts were absolutely brilliant. I give Bright We Burn (3.80 rounded up to) 4 out of 5 lockets.
You can enter the giveaway for one of three finished copies of Bright We Burn here!
More info on the book:
Pub. Date: July 10, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
More info on Kiersten White:
Kiersten White is the NYT bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy, the Mind Games series, Illusions of Fate, The Chaos of Stars, In the Shadows with artist Jim Di Bartolo, and the upcoming historical reimagining, And I Darken. She has one tall husband and three small children and lives near the ocean, where her life is perfectly normal. Visit her at http://www.kierstenwhite.com.
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