Bright We Burn by Kiersten White
Published: July 10, 2018
Summary: 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.
I’m so sad this is over!
I really don’t think that I was ready for this journey with Lada to be over yet! I had so much fun with her and seeing her development on this journey and how she fought so hard to get and keep what was hers. I will admit that she isn’t the best character morality wise but you couldn’t help but feel bad for her. She really had so many flaws but those flaws made her who she was.
I think it was sad seeing her and Radu turn out the way they did. You kind of knew because they’re so different and I honestly didn’t see them really getting close but you couldn’t help but wish for that for them. I think what was most interesting to me as that Radu and Lada did end up so different from each other and it goes to show how people react to different situations and how they try to make the best of everything and how that turns out.
Radu in the first book really embraced his Islam faith once he was introduced to that, and how that seemed to save him and give him strength and peace throughout his life. It’s insane how he embraced that and it gave him strength and that carried him throughout the novels. I did like him better in this story than I have in the previous books. He was a changed man after all he had done in Constantinople and there was no going back for him in Bright We Burn. I feel like I, not explaining this properly but I appreciated that the characters had growth and were different people from the beginning to the end.
But again I liked Radu in this novel, mainly because he had focused on other things rather than Mehmed and was willing to put his love for him aside and saw beyond what he saw in Mehmed previously. He learned that while he believed Mehmed to be this different person, he couldn’t avoid finally seeing that what he had in his mind wasn’t what was in front of him. Also Radu was smart AF. He was smart and sneaky and really could get in the mind of his sister and handle the ways of the court. I admired that about him.
As mentioned I couldn’t help but feel bad for Lada. You could see herself becoming so isolated from people, and it sucked that when she got close to people and started to slightly open herself up she would get hurt again. You could really see that with Nicolae. Her whole storyline with Nicolae was proof of her starting to feel alone. And again with Bogdan. I liked what he gave Lada. She leaned on him a lot because she knew him for so long and she relied on his loyalty. He was loyal to a fault, nothing would change his mind about her and he loved her. He really loved her. But man Lada went through a lot and while she was very cruel, she was in a lot of pain.
I’m sad I won’t get more stories about her. But I loved that this ended with a solid ending, it wasn’t open ended. You got a resolution and I’m very happy with how Kiersten ended this story. I’ll miss it so much! It’s been a wild ride!
And yeah. Loved this series. Highly recommend. You won’t regret it!!
Have you read this series yet? What did you think of it if you have? I’d love to know!