Title: The Burning Sky
Author: Sherry Thomas
Source/Format: Won, Hardcover
More Details: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Balzer + Bray, September 17, 2013
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Synopsis from Goodreads...
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...
That quote above pretty much sums up what happened to the main character of this novel. A ruined elixir accompanied by a bolt of lightning from there Iolanthe Seaborne was in trouble, lots of it.
This is one trilogy I’ve been meaning to start and I’m glad that I finally got around to it. That is to say I enjoyed The Burning Sky. There were a lot of aspects I liked, including the setting and all of the details typically associated with fantasy—magic, interesting creatures, etc.—thus, this was my kind of novel.
Iolanthe was a pretty interesting character with some faults. Despite repeated warnings she ended up doing stuff that landed her in some pretty hot water. The antagonists of the book had a lot of influence and resources so obviously this presented a roadblock to Iolanthe—who was basically without many connections. Titus, I liked him—yes he was a prince, but his backstory was of interest to me, and I hope to learn more about his mother in the next book. It would be an understatement to say that his mother had a minimal role because despite being deceased, the lingering clues to her life left a big shadow across the entire story—so much so that she might as well have been there anyway.
The book was easy to get into and the plot was pretty good. The Burning Sky relies heavily on the chosen one trope, but I didn’t mind it too much because I was more interested in how the story was going to unfold. After all, Iolanthe was pretending to be a boy while the antagonists were practically on her heels. I don’t have any comments about the pacing of the plot because this was a pretty solid novel. There were enough details to keep me interested—plenty of small things that happened around the central focus of the story.
I still have some questions—about the antagonists, Titus’ mother, and even some regarding Iolanthe herself—so I look forward to reading The Perilous Sea, which I plan on doing very soon.