Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Quick Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

From the Back Cover:

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?

Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces Henrietta Howel, a powerful, unforgettable heroine, and an entertaining world filled with magic, monsters, and mayhem. 

My Thoughts:

I'm all about this trend of YA historical fantasies, but I've yet to find one that truly lives up to my expectations. I had such high hopes for this book based on the description--A lone sorceress in Victorian London? Yes, please!--and glowing early reviews, and while I liked the book enough to finish it, it just didn't blow me away. It's well written, but it moves slowly, and I had a hard time getting into it. Henrietta is a compelling character, but she was slow to catch on to things the reader picked up on, and there were a couple of times when she suddenly started acting out of character for no particular reason. Grasping one of the main aspects of this story world, the schism between sorcerers and magicians and why it's okay for sorcerers to use magic, but not magicians, and why one is superior to the other was also a bit hard for me. The monsters themselves were a little too fantastical for me to take seriously, but their minions were seriously creepy. And I suppose in a world where Henrietta is the first female sorcerer in a hundred years, it's natural that all the boys would be drawn to her, and I love a good romance, but with everything else going on in the story, I found myself wishing we didn't have a love quadrangle. Especially since I really didn't form an attachment to any of the boys, or any of the secondary characters, for that matter. There's really nothing wrong with this book, but for me, there was nothing to really get excited about either.

My Rating:  3 Stars out of 5

*Please Note: This review references an advance copy received from the publisher through the Amazon Vine program. These are my honest and unbiased opinions, and I was not compensated in any other way for reviewing this book.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments! Getting feedback on my posts makes my day! Thanks for being here!