The Burning Sky | Sherry Thomas | Book Review

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.

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas | Good Books And Good Wine

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.

Other reviews of The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas:

My Friends Are Fiction – “a truly unique fantasy novel
Carina’s Books – ” an amazing book
Nerdophiles – “won me over pretty early on

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I WANT TO READ IT!! Omg this review is amazing, and I CANNOT wait until September to get my hands on a copy. This has been near the top of my TBR list ever since I first read the synopsis, which was like, MONTHS ago. Slowly dying. And I definitely raised my hands to every single one of those aspects of the book, so I think I’m going to freaking LOVE this book 😀

  2. I raised my hand for ALL OF THOSE!! Seriously, those are some of my favourite things in fantasy novels and to hear you say that people who have read the Girl of Fire and Thorn series should read this just makes me EVEN MORE EXCITED!! I’m so reading this soon! Thanks for the review! 🙂

  3. I was gonna read this anyway, but your review just solidified my eagerness!! Sherry Thomas is one of my favorite historical romance authors. And what you said about the romance in Burning Sky reminds me of the relationship between my favorite hero/heroine in my favorite Thomas novel, Tempting the Bride. (Check it out if you love sexytimes — though, heads up, it’s the third book in a trilogy.) It gives me the legit butterflies. Everything else about this new book sounds great, too. Can’t wait to get my hands on her first YA book! I’m excited that she’s getting new readers from a whole new pool of readers.

  4. I quickly dismissed this novel when I first heard of it as it sounded like the exact opposite of the sort of story I ordinarily enjoy, but after reading your review I am definitely reconsidering! I absolutely adore stories told from two character’s alternating points of view, and there are few things I like more in a novel than a slow burn romance. While I usually avoid fantasy novels like the plague, I will be making an exception in this case 😀

  5. Oh man I want this book so much! The cover is awesome and I’ve read a ton of great pre-release reviews.

  6. I clearly need to read this book YESTERDAY. But since that is not possible, I’ll settle for as quickly as possible. I was already probably going to read it, because I love Sherry Thomas and was intrigued by her genre jump! But this review has me dying to read it! I am digging fantasy lately, and slow burn is ALWAYS ALWAYS the fastest (or at least most effective) way to my heart.

  7. I want you to know that I raised my hand to all of the above PLUS for the whole Atlantis thing. I loooooove books centered around Atlantis (even if they are the bad guys here — cool twist, btw)! Plus, I’ve been on a super-mega-fantasy binge after finishing Game of Thrones and this sounds just like the perfect book to continue my epic reading quest! Awesomeness!

  8. I raised my hand at like all of that stuff. This sounds amazing! When can it be September so I can read this?

  9. EEEE I’m so glad you love this one! I’ve been staring at it here on the shelf hoping it was good. I’m always nervous because I’m so new in fantasy-land that I just don’t know what to read!

  10. Mentally raised my head for every example you had in your review. Apparently it’s also such a me type of book, which I kinda figured, based on the blurb and early reviews. I must admit I’m a teensy bit disappointed that it’s not a legit high fantasy – since it takes place in a relatively modern time and partially takes place within our world. But hey, I love Harry Potter so I’m not against fantasies that do have to do with our world and all. And I love political intrigue and am already so fascinated by the barebones of this system you’ve described. Excellent review! I hope it becomes my next favorite fantasy series as well!

  11. Ah, this sounds perfect! I’ve been looking for some good fantasy and I raised my hand for all of this questions, so I’ll be taking your advice and putting this on my TBR list 🙂

  12. I enjoyed this one too! I immediately had to read it after seeing your tweets about how good it was — and you were SO RIGHT. I was raising your hand after all the questions you asked in that first paragraph, so saying it was the kind of book I liked is pretty much an understatement. I’m eager to see how this book continues on, because the story was fantastic!


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