The Ones We Burn

The Ones We Burn
Age Range
Release Date
November 01, 2022
An instant New York Times bestseller!

Love and duty collide in this richly imagined young adult debut about a witch whose dark powers put her at the center of a brewing war between the only family she’s ever known and the enemy who makes her question everything.

Monster. Butcher. Bloodwinn.

Ranka is tired of death. All she wants is to be left alone, living out her days in Witchik’s wild north with the coven that raised her, attempting to forget the horrors of her past. But when she is named Bloodwinn, the next treaty bride to the human kingdom of Isodal, her coven sends her south with a single directive: kill him. Easy enough, for a blood-witch whose magic compels her to kill.

Except the prince is gentle, kind, and terrified of her. He doesn’t want to marry Ranka; he doesn’t want to be king at all. And it’s his sister—the wickedly smart, infuriatingly beautiful Princess Aramis—who seems to be the real threat.

But when witches start turning up dead, murdered by a mysterious, magical plague, Aramis makes Ranka an offer: help her develop a cure, and in return, she’ll help Ranka learn to contain her deadly magic. As the coup draws nearer and the plague spreads, Ranka is forced to question everything she thought she knew about her power, her past, and who she’s meant to fight for. Soon, she will have to decide between the coven that raised her and the princess who sees beyond the monster they shaped her to be.

But as the bodies pile up, a monster may be exactly what they need.

Editor review

1 review
Bloody Brillant
Overall rating
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Bloody and brilliant.

The Ones We Burn by Rebecca Mix is a YA fantasy novel about Ranka, who wants nothing more than to be left alone to live her life in peace. But when her coven sends her off as a treaty bride to the human kingdom of Isolde, they give her the single order of kill him. Which is quite easy, as she has a magic trained on bloodlust. Yet, when she meets the prince, he is nothing like her coven told her. He is quiet and kind, unlike his sister who is the real threat. But when witches start turning up dead from a magical place, Ranka must forge alliances and make a deal with the princess to not only find a cure for the plague but to help reign in her bloodied magic.

I felt like this book had a bunch of potential. (Mostly due to this being the author's debut). And though at times it lived up to the hype, some parts of it did not. But hey, that's just how books are.

What I really liked about this book, is it's world building. I feel like the setting was unique, and the way Mix literally mixed a fantasy setting with some more technological advances created a unique place for this story to take place. Though I do wish some of the technologies were more fleshed out, as they kinda appeared with no explanation. But that's happens with most book anyways. Plus I just really liked how this story dived right into the action without a moment of hesitation. Which showed a lot about Ranka's bloodied characterization.

One thing that did keep throwing me off, was the rush of scenes. I feel like this book was very plot driven. Which was perfect in some sense. But that just made the characters lack the depth needed for me to truly cheer them on. Out of all the characters, Aramis was the most developed. Which I wasn't too sad about, because she was the coolest.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone looking for something bloody and action packed, with just enough heart to make you cry.
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