Title: The Burning Sky
Series: Elemental Trilogy Book One
Author: Sherry Thomas
Publication Date: September 17, 2013
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.
I adored this book! It was everything I was looking for in a YA fantasy and I'm a sucker for books that are centered around boarding schools, even if in this case instead of the school being magical it was a normal human school.
Plotwise this wasn't exactly mind-blowing. There was nothing truly unpredictable about it and it was just nice and steady. One of the many aspects that made this book so good for me was the slightly different dynamics to the whole thing. Iolanthe may have the war power but she kinda sucks at wand magic, so she really isn't much a mage as is right now, but she is supposed to be killing a guy that is a unkillable, yet the guy who is sworn to protect her and actually wants to kill Bane is kickass at magic, but he won't be doing the actual killing. So even though this could have been a book centered on how much of a special snowflake Iolanthe is, it was instead about both of them, Iolanthe and Titus. Sure we get to see how awesome Iolanthe is, but not because she is such a special snowflake with her powers, but because she is resourceful and quick.
At first I was iffy with their budding relationship and I thought Iolanthe was going to end up being another silly YA heroine with her going gaga all over Titus and not realizing that he was just manipulating her. But she does realize this soon after and their 'romance' cools off quite a bit, to the point were it really takes a back seat and resurfaces every now and then. Oh, but when it does it was lovely!
"He kissed the shell of he ear. "Then let me tell you this: I live for you, and you alone"
I loved the characters. All of them. From the teachers, to the crazy lady, to the inquisitor type person, and obviously Titus and Iolanthe. They were all beautifully written, solid, and real. Another thing going for this book was the humor that was peppered around.
"Baslan held up the Citadel's copy of the Crucible. "What do you know about this book?" "Oh, that. I play Big Bad Wolf to Little Red Riding Hood. She likes it rough, did you know? I did not." "I beg your pardon?" "What else are you going to do with such a contraption? Of course Sleeping Beauty is probably prettier, but I am not going to fight dragons for any girl. And the chit who lives in the woods is agreeable enough, but those dwarfs in her cottage are perverts. They always want to watch."
And of course the selling point of The Burning Sky for me was the world building. It was phenomenal. Yes it borrows some concepts from HP but honestly at this point is pretty impossible to write something completely original, so I forgive it. There was all kinds of magic, elemental, wand magic, potions, magicla objects, like the Crucible, which btw I want one! The world it self and how it came about and why it is the way it is now. I loved all of it!
Everyone should give this book a try. Some people had an issue with the writing style. I didn't even notice it to be honest, but even with that problem you will still like this, that's just how good it is ;)
Would I Recommend it?
Other books in the Elemental Trilogy: