It’s been a while since I’ve been so wrapped up in a magical/fantasy world. It was a pleasant surprise to crack open The Burning Sky and within several chapters, become completely enamored with the characters, story, and world.
Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her time—or so she is told, by Prince Titus, who rescues her from the forces that want to harness her power.
Forced into hiding, (and in a very She’s The Man style), she’s forced to chop her hair off and pose as a boy at Prince Titus’ school in Eton. During this time, she learns more about her abilities, her destiny, and the political entities that want her.
This is Sherry Thomas’s first YA fantasy novel—before now, she’s stuck to historical romance. I’m glad she ventured out—I haven’t read a book this imaginative and creative since Harry Potter. Before the Potterheads freak out, don’t—I’m not comparing it to Harry Potter, or saying it’s better or Harry Potter is better—I’m saying that in a wild way, it reminded me of the magic I used to love when I cracked open a new Harry Potter.
Many things felt similar to Harry Potter, just with different names. This didn’t bother me. Vaulting was essentially apparating. There was transmogrification. They had wands. They had spells. A certain magical trunk felt a little bit like a portkey. But you know what? It all worked, because there were so many elements that were original and unique. Harry Potter was fantastic, but I don’t think that should stop other authors from incorporating transmogrification, wands, magic, teleportation, and magical objects from their stories.
Her writing style is fabulous. It’s incredibly descriptive, especially once you get a few chapters in. I ached for both characters, felt for them, rooted for them, wanted to yell at them for being idiots.
If you decide to pick this up, I advise you to be patient. It takes a little bit to get into, but once you do, you won’t be able to put it down. 5/5 on Goodreads…I immediately went to get book two, the Perilous Sea!
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