Title: The Burning Sky
Author: Sherry Thomas
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: The Elemental Trilogy, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Though it took me a while to get into it, The Burning Sky is an engaging, magical fantasy that has something for everyone: an exciting premise, magical creatures. an impossible adventure, and a fiery, volatile couple--it was wonderful!
England, 1883. Magic is real, though the more ancient type--elemental--is fading due to the rise of subtle magic--magic practiced for convenience. Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of the time, trying to stay under the radar and take care of her guardian, as well as honing her magical skill. But with one ill-conceived bolt of lightning, her life is shattered. Titus, the Ruler of the Domain, is desperate to have her power for himself to defeat the most powerful mage in the land--The Bane. But what will come of this uneasy partnership? Will our two heroes make it out unscathed..?
What I enjoyed:
-The complex magical system outlined the book, a little like Harry Potter, but uniquely different, and easily followed thanks to the helpful footnotes in the back of the novel
-The uneasy, frightening world of England, seen anew in Thomas's new world
-Once the book picked up the pacing was breakneck
-Iolanthe, and her role in the story--brave and clever and strong, but with a soft interior--I enjoyed her throughout the novel, especially as Fairfax
-Titus, and the way his arrogance and rage hid a boy easily hurt, despite everything
-The relationship between Titus and Iolanthe
-The shocking surprises around every corner
-The constant adventures Titus and Iolanthe find themselves in
What I didn't enjoy:
-Sometimes the narrative was really hard to follow, as it jumped all over the place in some sections of the book
-The pacing stuttered a little at the beginning
-Most of Titus's family and the court that surrounds him
I really, really enjoyed The Burning Sky--it was worth waiting for! Next on deck: Icons by Margaret Stohl!