Review: “A Shadow Bright and Burning” by Jessica Cluess

Heavens me, it’s over, it’s finally over. I don’t think I could have read another page which is saying a lot because I read the entire book! There were so many times I wanted to DNF but I plucked up the courage to pushed through. Reluctantly. So reluctantly.

I’m sad that I didn’t like this book. It sounds freakin’ awesome! I mean, Victorian England and fantasy? What’s not to like? Those are my two favorite things…ever. Seriously.


Title: A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1)
Author: Jessica Cluess
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Release date: September 20, 2016
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, historical fiction
Length: 416 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads): “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?”

My rating: 1.5/5 stars

So much potential! And look at the cover! Gorgeous!

Everything was dull and flat! Incredibly dull. Characters were flat. I couldn’t connect to any of them (although I might have a soft spot for Blackwood because it kind of reminds me of Mr. Darcy) and the main character, Henrietta, was down-right frustrating! Look, I can appreciate her forgiveness of Magnus but good heavens, everything else. I mean, can we take a look at what she called her stave? It might sound endearing but it was too silly for me.

The world building was okay. The building of the sorcerers, witches, and magicians, and the Ancients attacking England was fine but they were really on their own… What’s going on with the rest of the world and why the hell won’t they help England? But it was the illustrious Victorian England that I wanted more of. It’s more like an alternatate history with crazy monsters.

I’m sorry this isn’t more a coherent review but there’s nothing interesting for me to say about this book. It’s one of those “special snowflake” books but with a bit of a twist…sort of, and it didn’t grab my attention like I thought it would. 😦

8 thoughts on “Review: “A Shadow Bright and Burning” by Jessica Cluess

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