Author: Sherry Thomas
Series: Book #1 in the The Elemental Trilogy series
Release Date: September 17th 2013
Number of pages: 464 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: review copy provided by Edelweiss
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, Book Depository UK, Book Depository US, Read an excerpt
Grade: 4.5 stars
Goodreads appetizer: It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning…
Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being 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 greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.
Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.
But Titus 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 Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.
My Thoughts: The Burning Sky is an absolutely stunning YA debut for the acclaimed Historical Romance author Sherry Thomas. Not that I expected anything less from Thomas, but Burning Sky surpassed even my wildest imaginations. Yeah, it was that good!
The Burning Sky was like reading Harry Potter, in a Victorian England setting and with high fantasy elements thrown in the mix just to spice things up a bit. The result is a mesmerizing book, told in a way only Thomas can, that fans of Fantasy will just sink their teeth into! This book has everything I search for in a good story: strong and easy to relate to characters, a toe curling romance and a fast paced plot full of mystery and twists. And the setting? The way Thomas merges reality with fiction, the way she blends together a very real London with a wonderful fantastical world was just perfect, for lack of a better description. There wasn't a single thing I didn't like in this book let me tell you. It was just amazing!
It's no news to me that Thomas can deliver heart warming romance. It's not just the way she is able to transform a couple's spark into words, it's also the way she portrays her characters that makes any romantic relationship between them believable. I could not care less about the characters (which I did!) but I would still love their romance and feel the spark between them. That's how great an author Thomas is! The world Thomas created is full of magic (with wands and all! I don't believe how much I missed the use of wands!) mystery, intrigue, betrayal, self sacrifice and love, love between lovers, between mother and child between friends. The kind of love that warms a person's heart and inspires him to work miracles. That's the kind of world I love and Thomas managed to give her readers the best of it.
The characters are great, both main and secondary ones and memorable. Iolanthe was amazing, the kind of heroine I love in my books. Strong, determined and courageous. Her reactions are believable, not like many heroines out there that are asked to die for a greater cause and agree to do it without a second thought. What sane person does that? She struggles with what she has to do but chooses to do it nonetheless.And that is why she's so great a character. As great character is also Titus. Clever and strong and ruthless. He's ready to do whatever he has to for what he believes right. Together as a couple, Iolanthe and Titus are just perfect!
I won't say anything about the plot, I don't want to spoil it for you. All I'm going to say is that you won't be able to put this book down for no reason. And if not for the quick way everything wrapped up in the end, this would be a more than 5 star rating if possible. But the ending kind of messed things up a bit. Not that it lessened my appreciation of the book, I just felt that it was little compared to how incredibly amazing the rest of it was.
Verdict: The Burning Sky is a story you don't want to miss for many reasons! Sherry Thomas proves that she can write a great story whether it is adult or YA, whether it is HR or High Fantasy. She's a great author who knows how to deliver a good story no matter what. I can't wait for the sequel!