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I Belong

Review: Burn by Elissa Sussman

BurnTitle: Burn

Author: Elissa Sussman

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Four Sisters (Book #2)

Publication Date: January 19, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 272 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062274597 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062274595 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


After helping to rescue Princess Aislynn, Elanor has finally rejoined the rebel camp she calls home. Stolen from her parents at a young age and forced into service by the Wicked Queen, Elanor now wants nothing more than to see the queen removed from power. But Elanor has secrets, mistakes she’s spent years trying to forget, and the closer the rebels get to the throne, the harder it is for Elanor to keep her past hidden away.

With fellow rebels on her side—including Princess Aislynn, Thackery, and the handsome and mysterious Matthias—it is time for Elanor to make a decision. Will she protect her secrets? Or risk everything to save the people she loves?

The thrilling companion to Elissa Sussman’s masterful and original fairy tale, Stray, that will appeal to readers of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and fans of Wicked, Into the Woods, and the Disney princess movies.

Quick & Dirty: I had really high expectations for this because I loved the first book so much, but unfortunately, I was really disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it was still an okay read, it just wasn’t great like the first book.

Opening Sentence: Elanor’s shoulder was bleeding.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Elanor is an orphan and her parents were murdered by Josetta, the evil queen who rules their kingdom. After her parents were killed Elanor was forced to work for the Queen along with many other orphans whose parents were also killed by the Queen. For years she labored as a slave until one day a group of the orphans escaped. Together they traveled to the mountains where they made a new home for themselves.

The orphans are older now and are determined to get revenge for what the Queen did to them and their families. They will stop at nothing to have the Queen removed from power and Elanor is one of their best warriors. They will need her strength and leadership for their mission to work. But Elanor has secrets and much guilt from her time spent with the Queen. Will her past deter her from her destiny or will she finally be able to face her demons and move on?

Elanor is the MC in the story, and sadly, I had a really hard time connecting with her. She has a lot of guilt from her past and it has turned her into a really negative person. I understand why she was that way, but it made it hard for me to like her because she was so closed off with her emotions. Elanor is bisexual, which would be totally fine if it didn’t feel like a marketing ploy. It just seemed like it came out of nowhere and instead of adding diversity like I believe it was meant to, it just made the romance in the story more confusing. Obviously there are things I didn’t like about her but she did have some good things as well. She was very cunning and an amazing warrior. She also has a very big heart and cares deeply for the few people she has let into her heart. But unfortunately, I felt like the bad outweighed the good with her character and ultimately it made me like the story as a whole less.

Burn is an interesting story, but it was also kind of confusing. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but to be honest, it has been a while since I have read it. I didn’t really remember the world as well as I would have liked, but this is a companion novel so I thought I would have just been able to pick it up and not be lost, but that wasn’t the case. It took me a long time to get my bearings and for about half the book I was pretty confused. Another problem I had was the pacing. There were parts that really dragged and other parts that seemed to go too fast. But with all that being said, there were some good parts as well. I actually liked the romance once I figured out what was going on. It was steamy and sweet. I loved seeing familiar faces from book one and being able to get a glimpse of what they are going now. I also enjoyed the villains in the story. They were very dynamic and made for a much more interesting read. Overall, this ended up just being an okay read for me, which made me sad because I really enjoyed Stray and I adore Elissa. If there are any more books in the series, I will definitely give them a try because overall, I do think Elissa writes well and I think her work deserves another shot. If you like diverse high fantasy go ahead and give this series a try. I think you might enjoy it!

Notable Scene:

“She’ll do.” Josetta snapped her fingers. “Bathe her, dress her, and take her to my chamber. The others…” She paused. “They go to my private study.”

It was many years before Elanor learned what happened in Josetta’s private study, but at that moment she only knew she was being taken away and it was only the huntsmen with their sharp swords that kept her from throwing herself on the ground and begging to remain with the others. And even though she kept her mouth shut, Elanor could not stop the tears from rolling, hot and fast, down her dirty cheeks.

“I won’t have any crying,” Josetta had said. “You’re lucky. Don’t be ungrateful.”

Four Sisters Series:

1. Stray

2. Burn


FTC Advisory:  HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Burn.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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Review: Burn by Elissa Sussman, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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