Thursday, January 22, 2015

ARC Review: The Burning Sky

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
Publication: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 449


It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's been 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 most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.

Guided by his mother's visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he 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 tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.

The Burning Sky—the first book in the Elemental Trilogy—is an electrifying and unforgettable novel of intrigue and adventure.


I really enjoyed this book. It was filled with magic, adventure, and a little bit of lovin'. One of the major issues with this book is that it starts off really slow and doesn't really speed up until the middle, or so, of the book. In the end, it is worth the wait because when it picks up, it is like a speeding train that you don't want to get off of. Another big issue is that it was confusing in the beginning. She was talking about things that I had no idea about and there really wasn't much explanation on some things, however, eventually, you figured out what she meant but it was a little hard when starting the book.

The book follows an elemental mage, Iolanthe Seabourne, who is on the run from a group known as Atlantis, which kidnaps strong elemental mages for an unknown reason. These elemental mages are then never seen again. Atlantis hunts for Iolanthe after she casts a bolt of lightning in order to fix a ruined light elixir. No elemental mage has ever been able to control lightning, which is why Atlantis is so keen on capturing Iolanthe. The book switches between the POV of Iolanthe and Titus, who is the Master of the Domain. After seeing the bolt of lightning, Titus rushes to see what happened, discovers Iolanthe, and aids in her escape.

In order to hide from Atlantis, Iolanthe hides at an all-boys school, and pretends to be a boy. She has to fool all her classmates, which is entertaining and watching Iolanthe succeeds spectacularly at convincing everyone that she's a boy was very amazing. Granted, she has some help thanks to a spell  that Titus set up before she got to the school, creating the idea of Archer Fairfax, who everyone at school is convinced exists even before Iolanthe shows up to fill that role. One of the best things about this situation was how well Iolanthe was able to fit in with these group of boys. She perfectly acts like a boy and is able to crack jokes and fight back.

Iolanthe is a determined, intelligent, and fearless when it comes to challenging situations. She is very caring towards her teacher and almost father like figure, Master Haywood. She was willing to do anything in order to help him. She is not perfect though. She does mess up at certain times, the lightning bolt is a good example, but it makes her more likeable. Titus, the Master of the Domain, is very secretive and untrusting. I mean look at his position, he kind of has to be. I really like his character. He's confident and modest, and will do whatever it takes to defeat the enemy.

The magic element of this story was brilliant. I loved it and I can't wait to read more about it all. I love how we see Iolanthe learn and control her powers and watch how her power grows. Fantasy is just one of my favorite genres because of the magic. 

I recommend this book to everyone, however, I should warn you that you should be patient because the really good stuff doesn't happen till later in the book. If you stick with it, it really does get good. I can't wait to start the second book because I have heard that it was really good!

Thanks so much to Harper Collins for allowing me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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