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.

Find the reviews of book 1 and 2 by clicking on the cover


“She had been too kind, too gentle. She had tried keeping what she could intact, tried building on what was already there. But the entire foundation was rotten. She could not build a strong kingdom by removing only a few of the most decay-ridden stones. She would have to dismantle the entire thing. She would have to burn it—all of it—to the ground. Only then could Wallachia rise anew from the ashes.”


5 stars for Radu
4 stars for Lada
4,5 stars for the ending

4,5 stars overall

This is Radu’s ascend and Lada’s descend.

I am mad at Kiersten White as she tainted my fanatic love for Lada. Yet I admire Kiersten as this was one of the logical paths Lada would walk with her fierce character and life goal.

Wallachia was HERS and she would free and protect Wallachia at all costs!

“She was a dragon. She was a prince. She was a woman. It was that last that scared them most of all. She smiled, tapping her fingers on the throne in a beat like her heart. “Mine,” she said. Hers. And hers alone.”

And what a huge price she paid. Unbearable.

The conclusion to the trilogy is bathed in blood. This is where Lada earns her name as a Dracul .

“No more Bulgar deaths. I want the rest of my stakes baptized in the blood of Mehmed’s men.”

This is where the reader will see the similarities with Vlad the Impaler and with Dracula ( one of the scenes has Lada attacking barehanded backed in a corner and biting her attacker’s throat).

This story was horrific and terrible. What Lada did for her goal was unfathomable and came at a huge cost for her and her country.
It was sad too as the only one earning some measure of joy was Radu. He chose people and family above country and ambition.
Ruling is a lonely business when Lada and Mehmed do the job.

Back to the plot.

Lada is in Wallachia and changed the whole system as a prince. She frees her people and punish the lazy entitled boyars. What she did was bloody yet revolutionary. She’ll become her people’s hero. They will follow her to the moon and back.


Lada has her country but now she has to rule it.

Only…she has enemies aside Mehmed.
Rule in men’s world. Men could not accept a woman could rule alone. They want to put her in a small box under some husband’s rule.
But Lada is no wife material. She is a Prince. She is a Dracul.
Rule under Mehmed’s reign and the tributes he’ll ask, the tax he’ll collect. Rule in the midst of enemies.

“Would that I had a country without borders. Would that I had an island.” She stood and looked at the rest of the letters. Demands and requests, alliances and enemies, all the subtleties of politics of a dozen countries and an encroaching empire screaming for her attention.”

Mehmed will go at war with Lada to stop her bloody course and protect her against her vision.

Many characters will die. Scenes worth GOT with blood and gore abounds in the book.

At the end of it Lada has never been chosen.
Radu chose Mehmed.
Mehmed chose his empire.
And Wallachia…Wallachia did not care for Lada even if it did not deter Lada because she IS Wallachia.
This was bitter sweet. I was sad for Lada yet the author was true to her characters and her story.

“Do you think it was him that came between us? Or we were always destined to end up on opposite sides of history?” Lada felt an unfamiliar heaviness behind her eyes. “We had to survive. We just figured out different ways to do it.” It struck her, then, how they had lived the exact same childhood. How had the same circumstances shaped them in such divergent ways? “

Radu will have his glory hour.
He began in Lada’s shadow but he’s gone a long way and here he shines.

He’ll find his way, his family and his skills will take him far. I would say ruling is a lonely business and Radu was the one to find true happiness.

Bright we burn is a very apt title as it’s how Lada lived and reigned.

I can’t recommend this series enough. I am in awe of Kiersten White’s talent.

A huge thank you to Rockstar Book Tour and to Delacorte for providing this ARC of one of my favorite series.

Have you read this series? Do you like strong heroines?

Thanks for reading!


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  1. It sounds like you really loved this series! I have heard a lot of good things about it Kiersten White’s characterisation as well. I should probably add it to my TBR by now >.>

  2. AWESOME review Sophie! This is one of my favorite trilogies, and having read and reviewed the previous two books I was was disappointed that the finale wasn’t offered on NetGalley or Edelweiss. I’ve entered the giveaway though so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

    Given the real life history of Vlad the Impaler, I was expecting Lada to take that irrevocable turn into darkness. I’m happy for Radu though. ☺️