book review, young adult

Bright We Burn by Kiersten White (Review)

Title: Bright We Burn
Author: Kiersten White
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Penguin Random House)
Date published: July 10, 2018

A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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.

– My Review –

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Since finishing the second book in the series, Now I Rise, last year (you can read my full review here), I have been anticipating the third and last book in the series quite a bit! I decidedly did not look into Vlad and Radu Dracul’s histories for clues, in case there would be spoilers, and just sat on my hands (as the saying goes) until the beautiful hardcover for Bright We Burn came in the mail! I started reading this beauty last week, and from the first chapter, I could tell that White’s writing had improved yet again (I made mention of this happening from book one to book two as well)! I was very happy about this, and the way in which White told the story through many complex historical events and happenings. The characters also developed yet further, and it all felt quite natural from And I Darken to Bright We Burn. I also missed Lada, Mehmed, and Radu quite a bit, and was happy to spend more time with them! I’ve been with these characters from the start, and feel like I have grown along with them.

All of them developed in a very believable way (whether I liked the paths they chose or not), and never once did I question their choices or whether they stayed in character or not. I also have to say that Radu has definitely grown on me since the first book (since my feelings for him changed from dislike in And I Darken,to respect and something close to adoration in Bright We Burn). Lada, I absolutely loved throughout the series, even if some of her decisions frustrated me, while my love for Mehmed slowly decreased from book one to book three. Plot-wise, I think that Bright We Burn (and the series as a whole) developed in a very believable manner, and while I did not expect the ending, I was engrossed by how things unfolded, and thought that the manner in which the story ended was very credible. I am very happy to have been able to keep up with this series, and to have walked with Lada, Radu, and Mehmed as they followed their individual destinies. This tale’s ending was in no way rushed, and I really like how things were wrapped up, but that in no way stopped me from missing the series and the major characters quite a bit after closing Bright We Burn for the very last time!

– About the Author –


Kiersten White is the New York Times bestselling author of many books for teens and young readers, including And I Darken, Now I Rise, Bright We Burn, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, and Slayer. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, where she perpetually lurks in the shadows. Visit Kiersten online at and follow @KierstenWhite on Twitter.

– Purchase Links –

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8 thoughts on “Bright We Burn by Kiersten White (Review)

  1. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this trilogy when the first book came out, but with every succeeding publication, I’ve been getting more and more interested in reading it. I’m so glad to hear it ended satisfactorily!

    1. Thank you! And ahhhh me too! And I hope that you enjoy the rest of the series! I forgot to mention in this review that I might enjoy the series more than others because it’s based on the history of my country, Romania (Wallachia + Transylvania) hehe.

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