Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

ARC Review: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

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The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy #1)
   by: Sherry Thomas

Publication Date: September 17th, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 464 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating:  4/5 stars

It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning…

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.

Can we just take a minute and ogle the cover? Personally, I think it's EPIC. And so fitting! I had been hearing so many positive things about this book that I went in reading super excited. I confess it did take me a few minutes to get into it because my brain wanted to jump ahead to the action instead of learning about the world and abilities our main character has. Yeah, my brain makes no sense because Thomas has created a fascinating world filled with mages and elemental magic. Yeah, my inner World of Warcraft geek went a little crazy here.

Iolanthe is an elemental mage, yet she has no idea the power that lays within her. She begins the book concerned only for redeeming her mentor and father figure in the eyes of the town. However, he warns her against impending danger. There are people who want to use her and destroy her because of that untapped power. I loved Iolanthe's character. She is absolutely an awesome heroine, but she is actually believable. She is afraid of what is coming, she doesn't enter situations blindly, and when she finds out what the prince wants to use her for, she doesn't give in, she wants to survive and doesn't want to risk herself for his crazy ideas. Yet she proves herself to be resourceful and strong-willed on so many occasions too!

Prince Titus is the one who helps her in the beginning, as the Inquisitor is after her. The Inquisitor is truly evil and is able to strike fear into the hearts of even the stoutest men. She is the one who does The Bane's dirty work. The Bane, a tyrant and a great mage himself, wants Iolanthe destroyed.

I liked Titus's character also. As prince of the Domain, he has been driven by prophecy his whole life. Finding Iolanthe is the beginning and he is sworn to protect her at all costs. I felt bad for him, because as a prince he is already set apart from others, but as a mage and someone who has his own destiny to fulfill he cannot let others get close to him. He is constantly watched by Atlantis spies and protecting Iolanthe is going to be trickier than he ever imagined- never had he thought the greatest elemental mage of their time would be a girl! He ends up hiding her at his all boys school, which he attends in England. Thomas has done a brilliant job of weaving the magical realm in with the non magical realm- I loved how she handled that! Titus and Iolanthe get off to a decent start, but after she finds out what he needs her for, she feels manipulated and betrayed- thus causing a huge rift between them. Yet, as time wears on, she sees past the pomp and circumstance, the arrogance and the cocky demeanor and finds a boy who truly wants to do what's right. Falling for her certainly wasn't part of his plan and it really came to the point where he would do everything in his power to protect her from harm.

Their relationship is sweet and completely believable. He slowly won her back over as friends and then as something more. I was literally on the edge of my seat because of one particular vision regarding him and I was so afraid of the direction in which Thomas was going to take regarding it. I also was afraid she would end this book with a cliffhanger, as it is part of a trilogy. Thankfully, she gave us enough resolution to get us by until the second book releases.

Iolanthe, at an all boys school, adapted to the part of Archer Fairfax perfectly! It was actually a lot of fun to see her act as a boy. She was a fast learner and very resourceful. She had Titus to help her, but there were times where she had to go on wit alone and she did such a great job. She effortlessly weaved her way into Titus's circle of friends and Titus at one point found himself envying the ease in which she interacted with them.

This was such a great start to the series and I loved the magical aspect of it! You not only have elemental magic, but you've got dragons, portals, and spells! Having Iolanthe realize what she is capable of and having Titus train her was so much fun to read about- all while having to lay low and keep hidden from the Atlantean agents! My fantasy fans are going to really love this one!

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  1. I had this book on auto-buy and received it a few days ago. Now I have to make time for reading it.
    I totally know what you mean with the jumping ahead. Often, I can't wait to be all engrossed and completely into the book that I start to get impatient at the beginning (which is a certain way NOT to become engrossed at all.) *rollingeyes* Stupid me...

    Johanna @ Challenging Reads

    1. Yay! I hope you enjoy it Johanna! I do get impatient so easily and it's like Whyyyy do I do this to myself?!

  2. I loved this one so much. Iolanthe and Titus were so amazing, and the next book can't be out fast enough. Great review!

    1. I agree! I am so ready to see what happens next for them!

  3. The cover is pretty EPIC!! HA HA I really want to read this one! Have to go and pick it up soon! There are dragons! I'm sold! The characters sound amazing, along with their love. And the elements of the book sound so fascinating! I really do need me a good magically book to get lost in. AMAZING REVIEW JESSICA!! Will have to get to this one sooner than later :)

    1. Oh I love the cover! I've loved both covers actually! I hope you like this one girl! I needed a change of pace and this was a welcome one!

  4. I really liked their relationship too! And the cover really is perfect though I am disappointed the original was wasted on nothing b/c it was great too. I look forward to the sequel!

    1. I agree Sara! I really liked the original too! Both are incredible!


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