A Shadow Bright and Burning

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5.0
 
4.0 (2)
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A Shadow Bright and Burning
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 20, 2016
ISBN
ISBN13: 9780553535914
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Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she's shocked when instead of being executed, she's invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers. Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one. As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city--and the one she loves? Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces Henrietta Howel, a powerful, unforgettable heroine, and an entertaining world filled with magic, monsters, and mayhem.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Intense action, mystery, suspense and magic!!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
A Shadow Bright and Burning....IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I opened this book and literally did not put it down except to sleep and eat...literally...I was completely and utterly obsessed with every page in this amazing book.....and that cover?? Breath-taking...a perfect cover for a perfect book.

Jessica Cluess has written a phenomenal fantasy story that focuses on a KICK ASS female heroine who is the one and only female sorcerer in many years to appear and who is perceived to be the savior everyone needs to conquer the evil monsters in this thrilling young adult fantasy that reminds me so much of the Jane Austin era....with a twist of Harry Potter...yes I said it...Harry Potter...need I say more?? OBSESSED!!!!
One of my favorite parts of the story is the creatures...good and bad...and some oh so lovable...(remember Dobby)

I loved how this amazing heroine comes from a poor background and is just trying to survive in the world when her entire life changes and she is thrust into English society where women are expected to wear petticoats and be proper.....and Henrietta Howell is anything but proper....(*LOVE*)
Henrietta begins to train with a entire group of boys and has to prove she deserves to be a sorcerer as much as they do.

There are so many amazing characters in this story and I found myself equally enamored with each different character and couldn't wait to read more about them. SO much amazing character development throughout this book and it just keeps me begging to read more!

There are so many secrets to be revealed (some heartbreaking and some amazing) and twists that will make your jaw drop...When I say I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel....I MEAN IT!!!! If you are a fan of intense action, mystery, suspense, and fantasy then you HAVE to add this to your TBR list!!!! One of the best books I have read this year....just PHENOMENAL!!!!!
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2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0  (2)
Characters 
 
4.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (2)
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Twisty, Turny, Victorian-y
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
If you go into this thinking it's another "chosen one" prophecy trope, it's actually much more than that! I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed this more than I thought I would.

In a fantastical Victorian England, "Ancients" terrorize the country, magicians are evil, and sorcerers are honored.

16-year-old Henrietta Howell is found to have special fire powers, and after hiding it for years, is urged to train as a sorcerer, a high honor. Instead of following a straight plotline of "training montages" in order to become a great sorcerer, (and then fight the evil villains), the prophecies and truths are flipped up, down and sideways. Her path may not be the one you imagine. I really enjoyed the twists and turns. She's also told she isn't the only special one, and that she isn't completely unique, despite what is said about her by some others.

I think while some may not have liked her training within a society of males, I think it reflects the day and age, where women couldn't even vote and had to do a lot to be taken seriously. I find Henrietta (also nicknamed Nettie by her dear friend Rook) spunky and ready to take on the predominantly male environment.

I wasn't bored at any point. I wanted to keep reading. This may just be my kinda fantasy!

I withheld a star for a few reasons. First, I felt Henrietta and the apprentices sounded too old for 16, when they talked to each other. I felt like they were at least 20. (I'm in my mid 30s)
Also, sometimes an abundance of possible love interests can be a turn off. Some lovely women I know can't even find one completely suitable partner, yet women in books sometimes have to choose between many!
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Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
This was one of my highly anticipated Fall books so I was really excited to receive an ARC of it. My expectations were high with the cover being so pretty, fantasy books this year being so good, and the concept peaking my interest right away. It made me all that much happier to find that my expectations were being met and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

Henrietta was a character where I really enjoyed being in her POV. She was funny, protective of the girls she was responsible for, and had a fierce determination to prove everyone who doubted her wrong. Her loyalty to her best friend, a boy the world looked at as wrong, was amazing and made me love her even more. I liked that nothing came easily, she worked at her powers, she trained hard, and she earned the respect of the group.

The boys she trained with and befriends were all so different and were able to each add something to the story. Some were more involved than others but each of them was distinct and I never got confused between them. I really enjoyed the friendships that were developing between her and the boys, the ones we saw between the boys, and Henrietta’s fatherly relationship with their teacher. I’m always big on interesting character dynamics and this book delivered.

I thought the plot was equal parts fun, action-packed, and tension-filled. There was more attention paid to the characters and their relationships and developments than there was to world-building but I’m hopeful that the next book will have more explanations about the Ancients and how the world came to be as it was. We did get some world-building through Henrietta’s lessons and it was enough to form a picture but I’m always up for more information.
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