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I Belong

Early Review: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

Title: The Burning Sky

Author: Sherry Thomas

Genre: YA Fantasy

SeriesThe Elemental Trilogy (Book 1)

Publication Date: September 17, 2013

Format:  Hardcover, 464 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062207296 (Harper Teen)

ISBN-13978-0062207296 (Harper Teen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning…

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she’s being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he’s also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to revenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.

But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.

Quick & Dirty: Great story filled with witty banter, engaging characters, sweet romance, and magic.  This is a must read for all fans of YA Fantasy.

Opening SentenceJUST BEFORE THE START OF Summer Half, in April 1883, a very minor event took place at Eton College, that venerable and illustrious English public school for boys.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Iolanthe Seabourne is an elemental mage, which means she can perform magic.  She has the power to control water, fire, and earth.  She has lived with her adoptive father ever since she was a little girl.  He has always been over protective of her and she never understood why until one day she summoned a bolt of lightning and her life changed forever.  Turns out she is some epic hero that is supposed to defeat the great Bane; a treacherous leader of the kingdom Atlantis.  Iolanthe doesn’t believe that she is capable of such a feat, but she really has no other choice.  She still has much to learn, and after the lightening mistake she has put herself in her enemy’s sight.  Now she must disguise herself as a boy so she can learn more about her powers, and try to stay hidden.

Titus is the prince of Elberon and he has spent his whole life trying to avenge his family.  It has been prophesied that he will one day find the great elemental mage and help train him.  He has been preparing for this day a long time, but to his surprise instead of being a boy, the mage is a girl.  It doesn’t help that she is a very attractive girl either.  As he tries to keep his feelings at bay, Titus must make a decision on what is more important:  saving the girl he loves or saving the kingdom he has fought his whole life to protect?

Iolanthe is the perfect heroine.  She is sassy and classy at the same time.  She can take care of herself, but she is also willing to accept help if she needs it.  She is funny and cocky when she is playing the part of a boy, but that is just a front.  Underneath that façade she is vulnerable yet strong.  She is also very caring and sweet when she wants to be.  She has been given an impossible situation, but even though she is scared, she faces her problems and tries to do what she can.  She always has a comeback and the witty banter between her and the prince is very entertaining.  I loved everything about Iolanthe, she was easy to connect with and even easier to like.

I instantly fell in love with Titus.  First off, he is gorgeous, funny, and a prince.  His whole life he has tried to live up to his destiny and because of that he has had to put up a front for everyone.  He has pretended to be an arrogant stuck up prince that doesn’t know anything.  He has had to push everyone away so they don’t get tangled in his twisted life.  Iolanthe was supposed to be his salvation, his comrade, not an attractive infuriating girl.  Titus is ruthless, bitter, and impossible to get along with.  But he is also very sweet, loyal, and caring.  He is an amazing hero and I can’t wait to read more of his story.

This book was amazing.  It is set in London in the 1800’s but it has a whole fantasy world added to it.  I enjoyed the setting but there were times it became a little confusing.  The magical elements are unique and add a fascinating twist to the story.  The characters were so engaging and I got so attached to them that they made up for any the flaws the book may have had.  The romance was so cute and made my heart just melt.  The plot was full of surprises and kept me interested the whole way through.  This is the first book in the trilogy and I am eagerly awaiting the release of the sequel.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good YA Fantasy, it will not disappoint.

Notable Scene:

Come on, Fairfax, he implored under his breath. But he knew it. It was too much. She was going to drop the valise and bolt. All hell would break loose, eight years of work would circle the drain, and his mother would have died for nothing.

She cleared her throat and beamed, a smug, lopsided grin. “It’s good to see all your ugly faces again.”

Her voice. Lurching from one emergency to another, he had paid no mind. Now he truly heard it for the first time: rich, low-pitched, and slightly gravelly.

But it was her grin, rather than her voice, that steadied his heartbeat. There was no mistaking the cockiness of that grin, absolutely the expression of a sixteen-year-old boy who had never known the taste of defeat.

Wintervale bounced down the rest of the steps and shook her hand. “You haven’t changed a bit, Fairfax, as charming as His Highness here. No wonder you two were always thick as thieves.”

Her brow lifted at the way Wintervale addressed Titus. Wintervale knew who Titus was, but to the rest of the school, Titus was a minor Continental prince.

“Do not encourage him, Wintervale,” said Titus. “Fairfax is insufferable enough as it is.”

She looked askance at him. “Takes one to know one.”

Wintervale whistled and slapped her on the arm. “How’s the leg, Fairfax?”

One of Wintervale’s thwacks could snap a young tree. She managed not to topple over. “Good as new.”

“And is your Latin still as terrible as your bowling?”

The boys snickered good-naturedly.

“My Latin is fine. It’s my Greek that’s as ghastly as your lovemaking,” she retorted. The boys howled, including Titus, who laughed out of sheer shock—and relief.

She was good.

Brilliant, in fact.

The Elemental Trilogy:

1. The Burning Sky

FTC Advisory: Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins provided me with a copy of The Burning Sky. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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2 Responses to “Early Review: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

  1. Rain MaidenNo Gravatar

    Sounds like a book I can’t pass up. Thank you for the review, I enjoyed it.

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  2. BridgetNo Gravatar
    Author Comment

    It is a really good one. I’m glad you enjoyed the review :)!

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