Review: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

The Burning SkyThe Burning Sky
by Sherry Thomas
The Elemental Trilogy #1
Publication date: 17 September, 2013
Balzer + Bray, Hardcover, 464 pages
Source: Library

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It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she’s been 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 most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.

Guided by his mother’s visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he 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 tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.

The Burning Sky—the first book in the Elemental Trilogy—is an electrifying and unforgettable novel of intrigue and adventure.

Rating: ★★★★★

The Burning Sky was simply put, magical; completely, utterly, and spectacularly magical. Before having read it, I’ve always thought it would be a typical fantasy novel—some dragons, evil monarchs, inter-kingdom wars—I definitely did not expect magic. Like the mages/wizards sort of magic.

Please refrain from strangling me, but I’ve yet to read the Harry Potter series and hence, would have to say The Burning Sky is the best book involving magic spells and potions I’ve ever read. Albeit the fact that I’ve really not read that many books of this genre.

Despite being slightly confusing at first (as with all novels with incredible world-building), The Burning Sky became more and more wonderfully complex as it progressed. Lovers of all things fantastical would be gobbling up the intricate spells and elixirs featured and the unexpected index system gives readers an experience as if they are literally being educated on the magic, history, and culture of the Domain (the alternate world the main characters come from).

Usually, I get pretty upset when fantasy books don’t have a map but in this case, the added aspect of traveling between realms (the one we live in and a fictional one where Iolanthe and Titus were from) would’ve made cartography really difficult. The lack of a map might cause some confusion for readers at the beginning but after the first 50 pages or so, it won’t be a worry.

Choosing my favorite aspect of The Burning Sky is definitely a difficult task because it was such an all-rounded novel. However, Prince Titus might have been a teensy bit more spectacular than everything else. Based on the synopsis alone, I had assumed the spotlight would mainly be on Iolanthe. However, after reading The Burning Sky I might say Titus outshined her.

Charismatic, charming, and smart yet endearingly flawed at the same time, Titus is a character who will capture your heart and not let go. I loved how the author made him a genuinely good person but did not overdo it. Unfortunately, I wished Iolanthe had been half as impressive as her counterpart. Put right beside Titus’s shining personality, Iolanthe’s character fell a little short on substance and was unmemorable.

That is probably my only complaint with this book, though. Adventurous, epic, and enigmatic with a perfect dose of heartwarming romance, The Burning Sky has shoved its way onto my list of favorite books and I really can’t wait to get more of all Sherry Thomas has to give—especially Titus—in the rest of this trilogy!



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