Written by: Sherry Thomas
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Release date: September 17th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
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.
How to describe The Burning Sky…? This is a tough one, so I’ll use a
n awful metaphor. The best way I can describe this book is like… if you took Harry Potter, some YA epic fantasy, and some animated Disney movies like Mulan and Sleeping Beauty; then randomly pulled out sections (or scenes from the movies) of varying length, and shuffled them all together and covered the resulting pages in extremely sparkly glitter.
Does that sound mystifyingly entertaining? Yes! Shiny and happy-making? Yes! Does it also sound confusing and like it might be a little bit of a mess? …Yes.
The Burning Sky was a book I purchased pretty much immediately upon finding out that it employs one of my favorite scenarios ever – the whole “girl masquerades as boy in order to hide / do something she might otherwise not be able to do as a girl” kind of thing. Basically, give me a book where a girl has to disguise herself as a boy for some reason, and I am so there. The potential humor of the situation is great, but the main reason I love this is because it usually gives the girl a chance to kick some butt, and when the boys eventually find out that she’s not One Of Them, maybe it challenges their view of how capable women really are.
Anyway, luckily, I loved how this was written in The Burning Sky. It was a little different than the norm, as Titus knows all along that Iolanthe is a girl. But she is undercover at an all-boys school, so of course she has to fool all her classmates, which is entertaining (as these things are). Iolanthe succeeds spectacularly at convincing everyone that she’s a boy. Granted, she has some help thanks to this spell that Titus set up before she got to the school, creating an idea of Archer Fairfax, who everyone at school is convinced exists even before Iolanthe shows up to fill that role. But Iolanthe is also hilariously awesome at being the quintessential British schoolboy, which is highly entertaining. She shows the other boys how it’s done. And that whole scenario was actually my favorite thing about The Burning Sky.