Title: Bright We Burn
Author: Kiersten White
Series: The Conqueror's Saga #3
Genre: YA Alternative Historical Fiction
Release Date: July 10th, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: ARC traded for through books for trade
My rating: 5 stars
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 series is going to go down as one of my all time favorites. It's the type of historical fiction, even with its changes from the true story, that makes me want to go read more about the actual history when I get done. And there were even times as I was reading that I would have to put the book down and go Google a fact about the actual person, Vlad the Impaler, that Lada was based on. By this third and final book in the series, it doesn't matter how violent and abrasive of a person as Lada is, I was still rooting for her, and hoping so much that things could work out the way she deserved, even knowing that with the way the actual history went, she wouldn't get all that she wanted. I do like that the author decided to take a bit of history, besides the whole being a female thing, and give her a bit of a happy time. As with the other books, if I remember correctly, whenever I picked this one up, it was almost impossible to put down. It's not necessarily an "easy" read, because it is very detailed and goes into so much with the characters, but it is a page-turner anyway.
As much as we had learned and gotten to know the characters in the first two books, in this ending to the story we really got to see just how all of those things we'd read about, their actions and things they'd said before made them the person they were. Lada's brother Radu was the person there to see how all of it went down, and how these two really larger than life people - his sister Lada and Mehmed - became the people they were and why they did what they did. I'll admit that in the first two books there were a lot of times I did not like Radu. I've always been on Lada's side, I think. And when he did not even support or stand by his own sister, when he tried to take Mehmed away from her in his own way, I just couldn't stand him. And he did some of those same things in this book. But like with the other two, his character really starts to make a lot of sense, and you realize that's just who he is, and accept him for those things that make him Radu.
One other thing that is unique, in my opinion, about a historical story like this, is that you have more than one gay character. And while there are the obvious issues that they would have had to deal with in the time period it takes place in, the characters are able to be good people and their stories are ones that you are also rooting for.
I can't tell you a whole lot more, without giving away things that you should probably not know if you want to read the whole series. So if you haven't started yet, you can check out my reviews of the first two books in the links below with each book and my rating.
Title: AND I DARKEN
Author: Kiersten White
Pub. Date: June 28, 2016
My rating: 5 stars - My Review
NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL.
NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL.
And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.
Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.
But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.
Find it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Audible, TBD, Goodreads
Title: NOW I RISE
Author: Kiersten WhitePub. Date: Jume 27, 2017
My Rating: 5 stars - My Review
Lada 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.
About the Author:
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 www.kierstenwhite.com.
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