Title: A Shadow Bright and Burning
Author/s: Jessica Cluess
Publication Date: September 20th 2016
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Number of Pages: 416
Purchase at: Amazon
“I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?
Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city–and the one she loves?“
Penguin Random House International was nice and considerate enough to provide a review copy of A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess. Thank you so much!
Henrietta is the Chosen One, but she isn’t.”
I am someone who reads a lot of YA Fantasy. I fancy novels with any sorcery or magical aspects. Aside from such a promising blurb, that is one of the reasons why A Shadow Bright and Burning caught my attention. And I loved almost ALL of the YA Fantasy books that I’ve read. Being a fan of such gente, I expected a lot from this book. Expectations do lead to disappointments.
Reasons why I gave this book only 3 stars:
•Characters’ name are way too confusing. Sometimes one character approaches another with a different name. Like Agripa-Cornelius, Julian-Marcus, Isaac-Wolff, and many more.
•The story started really slow, it only got interesting and exciting in the middle part, whilst everything intense happened fast at the end.
•Henrietta Howel, our main protagonist, is most of the time stubborn. She’s sometimes a conceited bitch, but with a heart of gold. I liked how she cared too much for her friend, and that’s why I hated her. She only cares about Rook. Howel developed, still, it wasn’t enough. It’s pretty obvious that she has great potential.
Those are all. As for the positive review, I liked how Cluess crafted the world-building. There’s this enigmatic history between the witches, the magicians, and the sorcerers. Some unknown occurrences are yet to be told in the second book.
As for the romance, I was afraid that it will be another book that will deal with the main protagonist’s love interest. There were guys involved with Howel, however, the story didn’t focus on them. I was thankful that it didn’t evolve around the love interest, doing so will only make me dislike the book. I can’t read another book with a main character who’s having dilemmas just because of her confused feelings.
I wanted to scream right after reading the book. This is such a cliche statement but the ending left me hanging there’s something that the magician is trying to tell Howel but every time he gets the chance, he loses it. So damn intriguing. That’s what made me ache for the book’s second installment.
Overall, I still recommend this book to anyone who’s up for a magical and mysterious read.
Jessica Cluess is a writer, a graduate of Northwestern University, and an unapologetic nerd. After college, she moved to Los Angeles, where she served coffee to the rich and famous while working on her first novel. When she’s not writing books, she’s an instructor at Writopia Lab, helping kids and teens tell their own stories.