A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

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A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica CluessA Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess
Series: Kingdom on Fire #1
Published by Listening Library on September 20th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Historical, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Source: The Publisher
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Iam Henrietta Howel.
The first female sorcerer in hundreds of years.
The prophesied one.
Or am I?

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 a powerful, unforgettably heroine, and a world filled with magic, romance, and betrayal. Hand to fans of Libba Bray, Sarah J. Maas, and Cassandra Clare.

My Thoughts:

I’ve been in a rut when it comes to Fantasy novels lately – simply because I just haven’t been reading many these days. I had pretty high expectations heading into A Shadow Bright and Burning, and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint.

A mix of magical fantasy, political intrigue and monsters in Victorian London, this book had a lot going for it. There’s an interesting magic caste; with Witches, Sorcerers and Magicians. I loved meeting all the characters, good and bad, and discovering the magic within this world.

Henrietta was nothing short of an amazing character. She is strong, loving and I love how she always stood up for what she believed in, even when standing alone. I’m still on the fence about who/what/why she actually IS, which I can imagine was the intent by Ms. Cluess, but I do have theories! She had a great relationship with several different characters, each one unique in their own way. I’m not sure what will happen on the love interest front. Certain aspects are presented that would make one thing there are several love interests, but to me that just isn’t the case. For reasons. Just know that there are several swoony moments!

The world building was amazing. It’s an alternate Victorian London, and is so vividly described it was easy to visualize. I loved the idea behind the Ancients, although there was a layer of mystery as the WHY of it all. There are also familiars, who were once human that serve each Ancients, that are terrifying.

As for the narrator, it’s no shock that Fiona Hardingham is one of my favorites. This is why I requested the audio for review. She has been one of my favorites since listening to her performance in anther audio. I mentioned before how she brings the characters to life – and I stand by that. I cannot praise her enough!

Overall – I really enjoyed A Shadow Bright and Burning. I think it’s a great start to what will be an amazing fantasy series. Epic monsters, betrayal and characters worth rooting for, what’s not to love? I highly recommend it.

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Epic Monsters, Betrayal, and Characters Worth Rooting For My Review of A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

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  • Have you read A Shadow Bright and Burning? If so, what did you think? 
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2 thoughts on “A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

  1. Valerie

    I’m glad you really ended up liking this Tonya! I keep getting this and Three Dark Crowns confused, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been hearing better things about A Shadow Bright and Burning! I’m really excited to read about the magic and the caste system you’ve mentioned here. I actually don’t think I knew what this book was about until I read your review!

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