Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

Posted December 9, 2016 by Wendy in Reviews / 2 Comments

Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica CluessA Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess
Published by Random House Children's Books on September 20th 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, General, Romance, Action & Adventure
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
Buy on Amazon

I am 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?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Why Did I Read?

Victorian England. Magic. YOU HAVE ME.

My Thoughts:

I really, really enjoyed this one! I have to say, I really am kind of a sucker for anything Victorian England. Toss in fantasy and that’s like my go to crack.

I really liked the set up of this world – that there are sorcerers that protect the realm from the Ancients — a collection of monsters that prey on the people and cause general mayhem and destruction. Henrietta is the supposed chosen one and as a women among a group of male sorcerers, there are all sorts of boundaries to break and expectations to exceed. I really loved Henrietta because she was so determined and brave and gutsy.

One of my favorite aspects of this book is the large cast of characters and I came to really like these secondary characters! I love when I can care about a large number of secondary characters because that shows me how well they are developed! I’m definitely interested to see what else we find out about them in the sequel.

Romance factor? To be honest, the romance isn’t strong in this one. It’s there but I didn’t feel like it was a big focus. Which is okay. There’s the set up there but I’m not even sure where it’ll go so I haven’t committed myself to a ship yet. To clarify – there is no triangle or anything, but in my opinion there’s just not a clear COUPLE. I have my own secret hopes of a ship but I’ll keep my lips zipped for spoilers sake. 🙂

Plotwise, I felt like A Shadow Bright and Burning felt a bit cliche at times? But that’s not to say it still wasn’t immensely enjoyable. I am 100% on board with more sorcery, magic and monsters!

In Short…

A Shadow Bright and Burning has it all! Victorian England, sorcery, unique monsters and a large cast of wonderful characters! I can’t wait for what’s next to come in this great start to a new fantasy series!

My Rating: mario_star_four

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you have a possible favorite ship?

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2 responses to “Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

  1. I felt the same way about this book!! Cliche at times but done so well that I didn’t care; I loved the setting, the magic, and Henrietta. And I definitely have a ship 😉 It took awhile to emerge but I can’t resist surly, brooding, Darcy-like characters so Blackwood it is! Haha. I can’t wait to see what comes next either!