The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Current Rating on Goodreads: 3.98 of 5 stars
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
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.
It starts off with a 16 year old girl named Iolanthe in Year of the Domain 1031, or 1883 in non-mage terms XD Iolanthe lives an ordinary enough life as a young elemental mage, except that she is extremely powerful and registered as an Elemental Mage III, that is, she can control three of the four elements, fire, water, earth, air. She has home-schooled, cooked, cleaned, and looked after herself ever since her guardian, Master Haywood, deteriorated and became a recluse, lost in the clutches of merixida (a type of drug).
Then one action brings the wrath of the Bane, the greatest known mage tyrant down upon her, and just when all seems doomed, the Prince of the Domain whisks her away and hides her from the Bane's servants. But could the prince have an ulterior motive to helping her?
I really luuvvved dis book! :D Shame you didn't Bel ;( .........and nooo, I'm not talking to myself XP
The writing was pretty good; the story was double POVs between Iolanthe and Prince Titus VII of House Elberon, and OMG da magicccccc!! *grins* I wanna be an elemental!!!!! *pouts* And zee Crucible concept was amazeballss!!! *jumps up and down* And then when you use it as a portal.......*gapes* That is just pure wickedness XDD Stories and folklore that you programmed in the book literally coming to life :O
Ohhh, and vaulting sounds sooooo cool! *imagines vaulting my way in a thousand segments (including blind vaulting :P) over to NYC mwhahahahaha* I like how they have vaulting limits and that they need to practice spells and stuff to maintain and improve their skills. It makes it much more real than if they could just go poofff, I can do all this at will because I'm a mage XD
I admit......there was a slight bit of perverse humour hidden in the book......*sly laugh*
“So it is true: the Inquisitor remains unconscious.”
“Has been since last night.”
“From what I did?”
“From what you did, except they thought I was responsible for it, so I gave them a fairy tale about the powers of my wand.”
He was still looking at the report, oblivious to what he’d just said. She suppressed an urge to giggle. “Did they believe you? All boys tell such tales about their wands.”
He glanced up, his eyes first blank, then lit with mischief. “Maybe they do, but I actually possess a superior wand—the finest of its kind, no less. The sort of fireworks my wand can produce will leave any girl breathless.”
*busts out laughing all over again*
MC: I thought Iolanthe was a great protagonist! Her strengths were projected from the start :D Smarts, looks, resourcefulness, calm-under-pressure, no-nonsense attitude, loyalty, cautiousness (thank gawwdd she wasn't one of those gag-worthy naive charries *wipes brow*), determination......stubborn determination XP And when she was put to the test, when her whole world spun around on it's axis like clothes in a washing machine, she rose to the challenge, without useless whining or feeling sorry for herself. She was all what-do-I-do-next-to-survive, how-should-I-plan-the-rescue-of-my-guardian, and trust-no-one! *high fives Iolanthe*
Titus: Poor thang XD I couldn't help feeling sorry for him.......all that lying and scheming that became second nature to him with no one he could ever trust! *shakes head sadly* He was born to terrible circumstances, and a heavy burden to carry. I was soooo glad when he and Iolanthe/Fairfax crossed over that grey line into friendship :D He deserves a friend he can trust.......all I can say now is......
Pleaaaseee Titus and Iolanthe become more than more-then-friends-pretending-to-friend-zone-each-other! Pleaaaaasseeeeee? *begs and grovels* XP
He's such a sweet guy deep down, he just had to hide it to protect himself and his mother's legacy for so long he doesn't see his merits himself.
And he's quite swoon-worthy *winks*
There was a lot of ways the girl-pretending-to-be-a-boy theme could have gone wrong, but in my opinion, it was pulled off well in this! One thing I always hate is when the girl pretending to be a boy ends up with the worst esteem when it comes to their 'love interest' *scowls* All this, 'masculine' girls with no good 'feminine' traits thing is just soooooo overused! And seriouslyyy annoying!
Luckily, everything was completely different in The Burning Sky. One, because Titus was the one who orchestrated her cover, two, because she didn't even really look like a boy because the otherwise spell did all the work for her.....minus the hair cut......I'm still distraught about the brutalization of that precious lot of hair *chin wobbles* XD And three, she was awesome at playing the role of a perfectly cocky, popular boy but her role as Fairfax didn't govern her, she knew clearly who she was, and who her alter ego aka Fairfax was.
The only con I have is that the pacing slacked off a bit at times, but other than that? :D *squeals*
Personally I luuuvvedd this book immensely, but I guess it depends on your preferred genres and style XD I j'adore stories filled with this kind of magic and setting. Yah know, different worlds and kingdoms to our own! .....tho technically our world did exist in The Burning Sky XDD But there was the mage world and the non-mage world all together......kinda like in Harry Potter or the Mortal Instruments ;D
I'll definitely read the other books in the series when they're published! *officially adds The Burning Sky to moi fav book pileeeee* <3
“Just before the start of Summer Half, in April 1883, a very minor event took place at Eton College, that venerable and illustrious English public school for boys. A sixteen-year-old pupil named Archer Fairfax returned from a three-month absence, caused by a fractured femur, to resume his education.
Almost every word in the preceding sentence is false. Archer Fairfax had not suffered a broken limb. He had never before set foot in Eton. His name was not Archer Fairfax. And he was not, in fact, even a he.
This is the story of a girl who fooled a thousand boys, a boy who fooled an entire country, a partnership that would change the fate of realms, and a power to challenge the greatest tyrant the world had ever known.
—MissBloodsucker™ All Sucked Out!
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