Series: The Elemental Trilogy #1
Author: Sherry Thomas (Website | Twitter)
Age Group: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 17, 2013 by Blazer + Bray
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.
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My Review: Wow, this book took me completely by surprise. I picked it up on a whim because I loved the cover (does anyone else see the eyes in the wings of the fire dragon/bird?) and I let it sit on my shelf for a while. Finally, after having made a dent in my TBR pile, I picked it up and started reading and just couldn't stop. The Burning Sky is a novel that grabbed my attention from the start and got better and better as I raced through it.
I adore Iolanthe and Titus. At first, I wasn't quite sure what to think of them but as we got to learn more about them and saw more of their past, I just couldn't help but fall in love. They made an amazing pair and I liked the way their relationship progressed. It wasn't always happy fun times. Seeing them learn to accept each other and the situation they were in was awesome and showed a lot about their personalities. Iolanthe was a strong heroine and also relatable. She wasn't invincible and she showed vulnerability at times. But when push came to shove, she always rose to the occasion and dealt with the situation and consequences. Prince Titus was arrogant and petulant to the people around him but, on the inside, he craved companionship. He was desperate to be normal but in his position, it was impossible. He was weighed down by responsibility and what the future holds but he must always keep on a mask for the public. Seeing him open up with Iolanthe was so adorable and refreshing. He cared deeply for her and seeing that romantic dance pay out in both their point of views made it all the better. Whenever they were together I was just like
Besides the totally wonderful cast of characters, the world that Sherry Thomas created just completely blew me away. There were a lot of different layers to it which was a little overwhelming at first. I just rolled with all the information we were getting and caught on pretty quickly. After that, it's easy to appreciate both the beauty and horror that this world offers. Everything felt like the spinning wheel in Sleeping Beauty: enchanting but dangerous if touched.
Within that world was magic which was, next to Iolanthe and Titus's relationship, my favorite part of the novel. It was so interesting to read about and I really liked all of the different aspects of it. Some of it was reminiscent of the magic in Harry Potter but for the most part, this magic stood on its own rather successfully. I especially liked the idea of the Crucible, a book a fairytales that allowed people to jump in and play a part in the story. What I wouldn't give for that...
The Burning Sky was a surprising book that has made it to a spot on my favorites list. It has a little something for everyone: magic, adventure, retellings, and romance. This is a novel that you won't want to miss. I'm so excited for the second book, The Perilous Sea, to release!
“We will never accomplish anything worthwhile in life if we require the guarantee of success at the onset.”