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've read some really, really great books in 2016. But out of 112 books so far this year, very few books have ended up on my ‘all-time favorites list.’ And even as that list does grow, rarely does a debut author’s first book make the cut. Not that my favorites list is a highly esteemed list or anything, but it's special to me and I'm picky about it.
A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING by Jessica Cluess landed effortlessly on my list of books that I will love and revisit forever. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's started out strong, unique, and incredibly fun, and then the second half just totally blew me away.
This book was not the kind of fantasy novel I expected. For me it was very unique, and had a fantastical feel to it, with maybe a hint of whimsy at times. The world-building was great, and the history and mythology the author created was one of my favorite aspects. I really hope that in future books this is delved into more, I can see so much potential and fun to be had later on.
For anyone who knows me and has read my reviews before, you know that characters are what really sell me on a novel. Henrietta, our heroine in A Shadow Bright and Burning, is a wonderful lead. A stunning example of the best kind of feminism. And I love that Henrietta still has room to grow later on in the series. This book also has a great supporting cast. Each character felt genuine and consistent throughout the story. AND! And...I totally have a ship that I'm willing to go down with. We’re talking possible OTP in the future. But I'm not going to say who yet because ~spoilers~.
A Shadow Bright and Burning is a really fun, fast-paced, exciting read, with an ending that leaves the reader desperately wanting the next book. I'm so, so excited to see where this series goes, I really have high hopes for it and plan to reread this first installment before book two is out. I highly recommend adding this one to your TBR and getting a copy as soon as it releases!