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The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas Review

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.

Source: ALA
Pages: 464
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Do you ever feel like you only write positive reviews of books? Like even if the book wasn't your cup of tea, you would still give it a glowing review because someone somewhere might actually enjoy it? Sometimes I feel like I'm committing some taboo by writing all these good reviews because there's no possible way I could adore so many books...but that's just featherbrained, nitwitted, sheepheaded nonsense! (Thank you thesaurus) There is no law that says the amount of books I dislike has to be equally proportional to the amount of books I did like. I just like a lot of books, ok? Maybe I'm just a highly optimistic person, but I have truly and thoroughly enjoyed most of my encounters with literature. So please forgive me that I can't seem to come up with a bad thing to say about this book. If you are perhaps struggling to comprehend how it is possible for me to have liked every book I've reviewed on this blog so far and are therefore doubting my credibility, please suspend your disbelief once more. This book warrants attention. And it's my job to tell you why, so without further ado, I present to you the authentic and accurate account of how I came to love Sherry Thomas.

It all started on a day just like any other normal day, because it was a normal day, when I picked up her book, The Burning Sky. I had some pretty high expectations going into this book first of all because it's a fantasy novel, and secondly because everybody on Goodreads can't shut up about this book. In short, I wanted to be impressed. And Sherry Thomas did just that. Every aspect that makes a fantasy book, well, fantastic was present. There was a new and unexplained world to discover and defiant and well-developed characters who want nothing more than a good adventure and dragons and magic and hippos! (Just kidding about the hippos, but if I was a fantasy writer, that's what would make my make-believe world perfect: hippos) From the moment you turn the first page, you're thrown into a very fast-paced, exciting novel.

I actually really enjoyed the romance, which is ironic, because pretty early on in Iolanthe and Titus's relationship is when we start to see the signs of something romantic, which is a huge turn off for me. Instalove=big no-no. But then something important happens and their relationship takes a turn for the worse and they incidentally have to work their way to the top from the very bottom if that makes any sense. Essentially, they go from like to hate to like to love. They literally had to start all over again and get to know each other again, but this time on a more truthful and deeper scale. That kind of relationship takes much longer to form and can be a challenge when you only have so much room in a novel, but it's much more worthwhile in the end and I really respect Sherry Thomas for taking that particular route.  

The writing is simple, yet eloquent and maintains a good balance of description, action, and dialogue and is split into both Iolanthe and Titus's point of view. Iolanthe is splendidly stubborn and more than capable of taking care of herself and the people she cares about. The challenge many fantasy authors face is connecting their audience with their characters in such a fantastical world. If the reader can't relate to the protagonist because they exist on on two completely different levels, the author might lose the attention of her audience relatively quick. And Sherry Thomas handles this problem with the ease of an experienced author. It's not hard to be sucked into their struggles and adventures, in fact, it's bloody impossible! ( I felt very British for a second there!) 

If I had one complaint about the book, it was that this book really focuses on Iolanthe and Titus and their immediate adventures. The book doesn't go into extensive detail about their world unless it is relative to the adventure they're currently having and most of the other characters are bypassed or breezed over in favor of the main characters. I wanted to know so much more about the possibilities of their world and how it connected to ours and there were some intriguing characters who could have used some more time in the spotlight. However, I need to remember that this is a really easy fix. This is a first book in a series which gives the story lots of room to grow and expand and become one of those worlds I just can't get enough of. At the end of the day, I have high hopes for this series. There is so much potential and I can't help but think back and be reminded of the beginnings of some of the fantasy series near and dear to my heart. This book isn't perfect, but the initial book in a series can hold nowhere near the amount of closure and fulfillment a final book in a series can and therefore rarely fully satisfies a reader, which is why they keep reading. It's writing 101. Keep the reader interested by leaving lots of loose ends and little mysteries they can't wait to understand. Sherry Thomas is very good at this. I give her props for not only holding my attention throughout the entire novel but also making me suffer while I await the next book in the series!

Sherry Thomas definitely has my attention. I literally just became her fan on Goodreads and added her next two books in the series to my to-be-read list. I'm very excited to see where her series will take me next.
Oh hello there! My name is Emily, though some of you may know me as the Bookie Monster. As the name would suggest, I devour books like the Cookie Monster devours cookies. In my spare time, I like to bake cookies (and devour those as well) and dream about taking over the world. As if my book obsession wasn't life consuming enough,

I work in the children's room at my local library and I am currently a sophomore in college majoring in English. It's safe to say I'm a bit of a book fanatic. I discreetly shed a few tears on my eleventh birthday when I did not receive my Hogwarts acceptance letter and I waited seven hours outside in the rain just to get a good seat at the Hunger Games midnight premiere. I'm terrified of blood and Disney movies make me cry (in a good way). My passions include hippos, hugs, and Hans Zimmer…and uh,long walks on the beach. I'm just a normal girl w
ith a slightly abnormal and frightfully expensive obsession. Nice to meet you!


  1. There's nothing wrong with positive reviews! I've been seeing this a lot lately - people worrying they'll be judged for not posting a few negative reviews etc... A review is your honest opinion and if you honestly loved it, then what's the big deal? :) I post a lot of positive reviews too! I think it's a good thing - we know what books we like and are fortunate enough to have had few bad reading experiences.

    Great review :) I'm glad this one has a lot of potential!

    - Allie @ Little Birdie Books

  2. I feel that same as you about always writing positive reviews! It might be that I am easy to please or just that it is just so hard for me to hate books. I have heard mixed things about this one but I know I am definitely excited to pick it up, great review.

  3. I totally agree with you in that whole first paragraph :) I couldn't have said it better! I've seen this around the before, but never really looked much at it. But it sounds good :) Great review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  4. Love your review :D I would probably feel the same if I read this one. It'd be a little frustrating if we only focused on the main characters and never got a good glimpse of the secondary ones or the world.


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