Friday, August 26, 2016

Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

Title: A Shadow Bright and Burning   
Series: Kingdom on Fire #1
Author: Jessica Cluess
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Random House 
Source: ALA Annual 
Format: ARC 
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy 

I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?
Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she's brought to London to train with Her Majesty's sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she's the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

I have to admit that I walked into this book without knowing what I was getting myself into. I was hearing constant chatter regarding this book and finally peer pressure got to me and I had to score myself a copy. After reading it I just have to say HOLY SNAP!!!! This book was the fantasy book I was looking for and I could not have been any sadder knowing that I now have to wait for the next book. 

We follow Henrietta, who has the ability to burst into flames and is quite possibly the girl who has been prophesied but a time goes on she questions really if she can be the girl to save the world. Henrietta must overcome the doubts, the secrets, and a past that slowly comes to the surface to protect the one she loves. 

I thought this book was well paced, the characters each brought something different to the story. What I really enjoyed was the idea that it was not a slow start for me. It picked up right from the first chapter and kept propelling forward until the final page. This was a book I would allow to keep me from sleeping just to see what would happen next.  

Henrietta is a brave, strong female protagonist who has this amazing power but will all great power comes great responsibility. One thing she has to overcome is knowing who in her world can she place her trust in to help her learn how to master her power for the war that is soon to come. 

The idea of how sorcerers and magicians being seen as different forces in this novel really intrigued me. I feel for me, at least, that there is usually only one in most fantasy reads. Well at least the fantasy books I have read. So seeing how each group viewed one another, the different power abilities each group had in comparison to one another, and finally how working together might be the only way to save the world was fascinating and I am curious to see where this goes in the books to follow.  

Overall Cluess writes a brilliant debut that will set your heart on fire. Add this book to your radar people because September is going to get hot, hot and hot! 

I give this book 5 souls!

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