Review: Bright We Burn by Kiersten White

Generally, I’m not a huge historical fiction kind of person- I want to like historical fiction, but for some reason, in practice, when I read historical fiction with no fantastic elements, I get bored. That’s what happened with And I Darken, but when I got to Now I Rise, I liked it so much more (read my review here), so I was really excited to read Bright We Burn, and it definitely did not disappoint.

Bright We Burn 4 star 4/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

Kiersten White did such a great job ending this trilogy with Bright We Burn. Radu grew as a character and stopped letting Lada and Mehmed use and abuse him. Lada was Wallachia’s and Wallachia was Lada’s. And Mehmed was gross and I hate him. This was definitely my favorite book of the three. I felt like all of the characters became who I wanted them to be and their endings cam about exactly how I wanted and expected them to. I 100% think that everyone should read these books (force yourself to finish And I Darken, because Now I Rise and Bright We Burn are for sure worth it).

Do y’all read historical fiction? Any recommendations? Have you read this trilogy? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

August TBR

Wow! How is it already August??? The year is more than 1/2 over! When did that even happen?

This month, I’m participating in #ARCAugust with Read.Sleep.Repeat! (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out their sign up page) I don’t actually have too too many unread ARCs (I think I only have like 2?), but they’re ARCs that I got from YALLFEST last year and just wasn’t able to get to. I’ll try to get to them, but I’m really going to try and use this month to knock out some of my real (finished copy) TBR- and so, with that, here’s my August TBR! (Some of these might shift depending on when library holds come in etc.)

Bright we Burn

Never Fade

In the Afterlight

Smoke in the Sun

An Ember in the Ashes*

Throne of Glass*

The Emerald Sea


The Cheerleaders

Dance of Thieves

These Rebel Waves

(* rereads)

Let’s see if I can write reviews for at least 50% of those books…

Check out my twitter and/or instagram (@avnireads) to see reading updates!



Review: Now I Rise

Can you believe that it’s already July?! Not only is this year going by super fast, but summer’s going by even faster! I’ve only had 1 pool day so far and there haven’t even been ANY beach days yet! Curse you work and adult responsibilities

One thing that I have been able to do this summer is read the sequel to And I Darken, Now I Rise. I was on the fence about reading it, because And I Darken was not my favorite, but since it was available without a hold as an e-book from the library, I figured why not.

Now I Rise  4/5 Stars

Summary from GoodreadsLada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?

As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.

What I liked most about Now I Rise is how much Lada and Radu grew as characters. I also learned that Mehmed is a terrible person and both Lada and Radu would 100% be better off without him. The fact that this book covered a shorter time period than And I Darken and the fact that Mehmed didn’t show up as much definitely made me enjoy this book a lot more. Even though this book was definitely very character driven, I feel like it is more plot driven than the first book. I cannot wait for Bright we Burn to come out- I was on the fence about reading it before I read Now I Rise, but now, man it cannot come out soon enough.

Have you read any of these books? Did you like them?