Book Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

shadow bright and burning

A Shadow Bright and Burning

Release date: September 20th 2016

4 stars

Henrietta can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s named the first female sorcerer in hundreds of years and invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.
Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the prophesied 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 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, how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

This was one of my highly anticipated Fall books so I was really excited to receive an ARC of it. My expectations were high with the cover being so pretty, fantasy books this year being so good, and the concept peaking my interest right away. It made me all that much happier to find that my expectations were being met and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

Henrietta was a character where I really enjoyed being in her POV. She was funny, protective of the girls she was responsible for, and had a fierce determination to prove everyone who doubted her wrong. Her loyalty to her best friend, a boy the world looked at as wrong, was amazing and made me love her even more. I liked that nothing came easily, she worked at her powers, she trained hard, and she earned the respect of the group.

The boys she trained with and befriends were all so different and were able to each add something to the story. Some were more involved than others but each of them was distinct and I never got confused between them. I really enjoyed the friendships that were developing between her and the boys, the ones we saw between the boys, and Henrietta’s fatherly relationship with their teacher. I’m always big on interesting character dynamics and this book delivered.

I thought the plot was equal parts fun, action-packed, and tension-filled. There was more attention paid to the characters and their relationships and developments than there was to world-building but I’m hopeful that the next book will have more explanations about the Ancients and how the world came to be as it was. We did get some world-building through Henrietta’s lessons and it was enough to form a picture but I’m always up for more information.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Filed under book-related, books, reviews, talking books, ya books

2 responses to “Book Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

  1. Pingback: Weekly Reading Recap | Overflowing Bookshelves

  2. Pingback: September Wrap-Up/October TBR | Overflowing Bookshelves

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