The Burning Sky

The Burning Sky

Book - 2013
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Publisher: New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2013]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062207296
Branch Call Number: YA THOMAS S
Characteristics: 449 pages, 19 unumbered pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

By Sherry Thomas, author of "A Study in Scarlet Women" (2016).

From the critics

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Dec 18, 2013

“'Love will make you weak and indecisive, remember?' she murmured.
What a fool he had been. For a journey like theirs, love was the only thing that would make him strong enough.
'Don't ever listen to an idiot like me,' he answered.”

Dec 18, 2013

“Friendship is untenable for people in our position.”

Dec 18, 2013

“You overestimate the courage of those in power. They are often more interested in holding on to that power than in doing anything worthwhile with it.”

Dec 18, 2013

“You are asking me to give up everything for a cause that isn't mine. I don't want to be part of any revolution. I just want to live.”

Dec 18, 2013

“The success of my rule does not rely on my ability to recite obscure Latin verse.”

Dec 18, 2013

“Dreams are not real; but when you are inside a dream, it is real to you.”

Dec 18, 2013

“As long as I live and breathe, I will be with you.”

Dec 18, 2013

“You can live forever for me.”


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Yvette_LovesGCPL Feb 08, 2018

A gripping YA fantasy story, The Burning Sky is the perfect read for lovers of magic and political rebellion! There is so, so much to this that is just awesome! You have a book that you can go into, for example! But while full of tension and adventure, this book also has some romance to it. It feels a bit out-of-place and awkward considering the setting where our heroine is forced to play out her destiny. Overall, an amazing read though! I recommend this trilogy!

Feb 19, 2017

Not as good as the second book but equally lovely

Jan 15, 2016

I picked this up for three reasons:
1) the gorgeous cover
2) the Avatar: The Last Airbender-like premise
3) the rave reviews from well-known authors

I really had every reason to have high hopes for this book. Alas, everyone is bound to find a flop masked by great advertising now and then. What a sucker I am.

I didn’t finish this book. Reading it felt like running on a treadmill and expecting to go somewhere. I got over 200 pages in, and I was still waiting for something to happen when I called it quits. I mean, some elemental magic stuff happened at the beginning, but it was pretty low-key (which is fine, even encouraged for a beginning). The problem was that it was all boringly downhill from there.

Iolanthe and Titus just spend too many pages doing demure schoolboy activities to keep under the enemy’s radar. From POV to POV, they admire every aspect of each other, from their looks to the smallest actions. It's so mutual and similar that they don't even seem like distinct people. They are both so flawless, and it’s irritating to see them waltz so easily through everything they do. Very little plot, very little character development. AND ALSO they start hating each other, which mars the story even further with an unnecessary romance trope.

To top it off, the prose itself was some of the most clunking, awkward writing I've ever read. Not at all graceful.

Maybe if I had read further, the story would have gotten better, but judging from what I skimmed, it doesn’t seem like it. I’m sorry, but life is just too short for me to read another 200-something pages.

Dec 16, 2015

The Burning Sky is your typical YA fantasy story.

We've got our hero: a gorgeous prince (of course) who has a ton of worries and the only way to reach his happily-ever-after is with the help of a commoner heroine (of course). Now, don't be fooled because this ordinary girl is not so ordinary. She is not only gorgeous, but she is a super-duper powerful mage, extremely athletic and witty.

The plot is both somewhat confusing and periodically entertaining, but it's too much! Too many words, too many coincidences, too many conveniences.

And honestly, all of it turned a story that was exactly what i needed into something I couldn't wait to finish.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Feb 15, 2015

This book is a perfect illustration of the fact that familiar fantasy tropes can still feel fresh, new, and exciting in the hands of the right author. It's the story of Iolanthe Seabourne, an elemental mage with a great destiny who, under the guidance of Prince Titus, disguises herself as a boy and enrolls at Eton in the 1880s to escape the notice of evil powers at work in the alternative magical realm from whence they hail. A lot of this book feels familiar--it's Harry Potter meets Diana Wynne Jones meets romance novels meets Brit boarding school books meets a dozen other things--and yet that doesn't stop it from being totally entertaining. The two main characters are well-drawn and memorable, their developing relationship is handled really well, and the book is just a really fun read. (And the first in a trilogy, even better!)

Feb 15, 2015

When Iolanthe Seabourne calls a lightening bolt from the sky she’s not expecting to attract the attention of Prince Titus or Inquisitor of the Realm. She’s not expecting to have to abandon her home, or run for life, or hide in plain sight in as a boy of Eton College but that’s just what happens. Creating a vivid world and incredible characters, Sherry Thomas’s The Burning Sky is a superb blend of fantasy, adventure, romance and 19th century London. The first in the Elemental Trilogy, fans of Graceling and Katsa will find Iolanthe a worthy heroine and her adventure one they can’t wait to take again.

The realm that this story created merges many fantasy plot lines with the complex bonds in political societies. It'll be a great read.


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Iolanthe's normal life as a mage is interrupted when Atlantis seeks to capture her. Who would someone want a mage who could only control fire, water, and earth? Nobody. Ostensibly that was her elemental mage leve, but underneath the deceptive identity her adopted father wove for her protection is a destiny that Iolanthe can't hope to escape. When she encounters Prince Titus....well a boy with such a destiny certainly changes the outlook of things. Together the powerful pair work for the downfall of the Bane, a notorious head mage over looking Atlantis, in the hopes of a better future for their kingdom.


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