Friday, September 30, 2016

Title: A Shadow Bright and Burning
Author: Jessica Cluess
Series: Kingdom on Fire, book #1
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Source: ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is 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 am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?" I love that line from the summary because this book took the chosen one trope and turned it on its head and it was just so clever and unexpected...and fun.

A Shadow Bright and Burning was a very strong start to what is sure to be a very fun and magical series. The MC is headstrong, tenacious, and more than a little impulsive. And the boys -- yes, plural -- are all so droolworthy...I'm going to wait until AT LEAST the next book before I pass judgment on them. :P Super intriguing baddies and I have THEORIES and the wait for book two is going to be painful.

The sheer volume of male companions in this book was a little daunting at first, but as the summary suggests, each has his place and a role to play and you can weed out who's going to be a potential love interest pretty early on and who is not. I'm still pulling for the Mr. Darcy-like character, though he honestly didn't give me as much to work with in this first book as I'd have liked. But that's not to say that Henrietta doesn't see her fair share of romance from other would-be suitors. *wink-wink*

I was captivated by this story from the first chapter, and that has nothing to do with Henrietta's romantic prospects, fun as they might be. No, I'm here for the magic. And, sure, Henrietta might not be the prophesied one, but she still has powers of her own. She finds someone to train her with these powers, and I've got to admit, that guy was the one who intrigued me the most. I love characters that can surprise me while challenging other characters in the story.

I think what I loved best about this book is how it challenges everything you think you know. Not just the Chosen One prophecy, but bad guys are good guys and good guys are bad guys and no one -- I mean, no one -- is who you think they are. I'm so very excited to see where the author takes this story from here.


GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Clan Clarion 13. Rep'd by @byobrooks. My YA fantasy A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING is out 09/20/16 from @randomhousekids! Bring me all your Kylux fan art.

Find Jessica:

Twitter | Goodreads

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  1. That cover is so pretty! And this one sounds really good

  2. This is on my TBR for the month so I'm happy to see that you enjoyed it so much! It really does sound great.




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