When I saw the original cover for The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, my initial reaction was DO NOT WANT. I guess the cover made me think science fiction dystopia, which I get kind of tired of. Then, the reviews or at least the tweets started rolling in. In particular, Reading Teen was tweeting about it and so I was like, hey how do you like this book? And then Andye was like IT IS SO GOOD, kind of sort of, that’s not an exact quote. And so, I popped up on goodreads, saw the AWESOME new cover and was like, yes this is going on my weekly TBR list. Y’all, I made a great life choice as The Burning Sky is totally legit and such an April book, it’s not even funny.
We’re going to play a little game, you read my review and do what I say in front of your computer. Okay. Raise your hand if you like MAGES. Raise your hand if you like books with girls who dress like boys. Raise your hand if you like historical fiction. Raise your hand if you like fantasy. Raise your hand if you like slow burn romances. OKAY. Did you raise your hand at all during my questions or did you just stare at your screen like I’m being a total weirdo right now? If you raised your hand literally or metaphorically, I think you need to put The Burning Sky on your pre-order list, because it’s a total fricken boss.
Iolanthe Seabourne is living in isolation with her guardian, a once famous mage. One day, she calls down lightening from the sky which no one has done EVER. Unfortunately for her, this draws the attention of Atlantis which is basically this imperialist sort of nation that oversees everything in the magical realms. She also draws the attention of Titus, Prince of the dominion. FYI, he’s totally a puppet prince and has like no power. So anyways, Titus gets to Iolanthe and decides to bring her into hiding in the non-magical realm of England, or more specifically at Eton. Together, the two being to train to bring down Atlantis and to give me what amounts to being ALL OF THE FEELS. ALL OF THEM.
I don’t think I told you guys, but The Burning Sky alternates between Iolanthe’s third person point of view and Titus’s third person point of view. Usually I prefer to stick with just one character, but you guys I am kind of love with BOTH Iolanthe and Titus. You see, Iolanthe is fricken powerful as hell. BUT she has weaknesses because it would be boring if she was perfect. She is scared shitless of what she has to do — taking on the Atlantis empire and then dealing with this Inquisitor, but I don’t want to go into worldbuilding quite yet. Iolanthe is legit you guys. OKAY and now Titus. He’s the prince and you know, he’s kind of a figurehead but at the same time he has all this responsibility on his shoulders and you can tell that it weighs heavy on him. AND OMG YOU GUYS HE HAS TO ACT LIKE A JERK TO CONVINCE EVERYONE HE DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT becasue if he shows his true thoughts and feelings it’ll be super awful for everyone involved.
Okay, so the world, I wanted to talk about it. Atlantis is the absolute worst and has eyes everywhere. They are like the KGB, yo. They basically make your neighbor rat you out. Anyways, in this world there are people who have magic called elemental mages. The more elements you can control, the more powerful you are. The political system is kind of complex, so just think British empire during Colonialism and you’ll have a good idea. Also, there’s this person who uses mind magic to get confessions and secrets called the Inquisitor who is totally evil. Oh and people travel by vaulting. And there are dragons. And portals. And it’s fricken awesome you guys.
FINALLY! The romance is such a slow burn you guys. At first, Iolanthe is kind of interested in Titus but then he pisses her off. And then and then and then, there’s this quiet build of interest, but Titus can’t let Iolanthe know he’s into her. And you guys there’s all this chemistry and it’s freaking awesome. BUT they can’t act on it, because you know all of the prophecy stuff. And ugh, this book. This romance. I don’t have the words for it, which sucks because I should be able to articulate why the romance is among my new favorites.
So, I guess my final thing to say is if you’ve finished Rae Carson’s Girl Of Fire And Thorns trilogy and are looking for your next fantasy read, grab this book stat. It’s LEGIT. Nice job, Sherry Thomas. I now want to read ALL the books.
Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.