Sunday, October 23, 2016

Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning

Author Jessica Cluess
Format e-book
Print Length 416 pages
Publisher Random House BFYR
Published September 20, 2016

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?

My Opinion

A Shadow Bright and Burning is the first book in a series called the Kingdom of Fire. Henrietta Howel is a teacher at a school for girls, when a sorcerer Agrippa comes to test the girls for the ability to make fire. After one horrible test, Henrietta runs outside and burns the ground. The sorcerer is here due to her- she is the fire burner. Her bestie, Rook, a stable hand finds her calms her down and they return to the school. Later one of the seven ancients’ familiar comes looking around – probably for Rook and their secret is spilt. Agrippa takes both of them back to London so that he can train her. Rook is an Unclean, and Henrietta has to fight for him to be allowed to come along.

Henrietta is an orphan, one who skirts the rules. Rook is her friend, she is his only friend- has been since childhood. You aren’t suppose to befriend the unclean and yet she does. This shows strength of character. She questions the roles and expectations of woman in their world. When her training wasn’t going so well, she found another trainer to help her. She is focused, on becoming a sorcerer and saving Rook.

Rook is Unclean, he was attacked by an ancient at an early age and left for dead. Henrietta saved his life. He knows that he makes her life more difficult, regardless what she says but leaving her is not an option. She is his rock. He is going through changes, of which a lesser man has died from. He fights with every ounce of strength he has in order to remain good enough for Henrietta. Even if their relationship remains that of only friendship he is blessed to call her that. 

A Shadow Bright and Burning is an entertaining read, and I did enjoy it. So why the three stars- I didn’t love it. Nothing stood out days later as oh my goodness that was amazing. I was able to walk away from it for hours without thinking man I should be reading right now. It was an interesting story, and I want to see what happens next. Blackwood, who I didn’t talk about as to not give away anything was my favorite character. 

My Rating 3 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote “Knowledge is as powerful as fire. The brighter it burns, the more it devours.”

Other People

Blackwood- Lord, sorcerer in training
Magnus- flirty sorcerer in training
Agrippa- mentor, stand-in father figure
Hargrove- magician, bad influence
Lilly- lady’s maid


  1. Ooh nice! Hearing good things about this one and can't wait to read it! It's in my TBR pile already! I love a good story involving magic! Sad to hear it wasn't as epically amazing and memorable as you could've hoped for. But still, nice review!