A Shadow Bright And Burning (kingdom On Fire, Book One) by Jessica CluessA Shadow Bright And Burning (kingdom On Fire, Book One) by Jessica Cluess

A Shadow Bright And Burning (kingdom On Fire, Book One)

byJessica Cluess

Hardcover | December 30, 2017

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"Vivid characters, terrifying monsters, and world building as deep and dark as the ocean."
--Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen

I am Henrietta Howel.
The first female sorcerer in hundreds of years.
The prophesied one.
Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she's shocked when instead of being executed, she's invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?
Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces a powerful, unforgettably heroine, and a world filled with magic, romance, and betrayal. Hand to fans of Libba Bray, Sarah J. Maas, and Cassandra Clare.

"The magic! The intrigue! The guys! We were sucked into this monster-ridden, alternative England from page one. Henrietta is literally a 'girl on fire' and this team of sorcerers training for battle had a pinch of Potter blended with a drop of [Cassandra Clare's] Infernal Devices."
--Justine Magazine

"Cluess gamely turns the chosen-one trope upside down in this smashing dark fantasy."
--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Unputdownable. I loved the monsters, the magic, and the teen warriors who are their world's best hope! Jessica Cluess is an awesome storyteller!"
--Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"A fun, inventive fantasy. I totally have a book crush on Rook."
--Sarah Rees Brennan, New York Times bestselling author

"Pure enchantment. I love how Cluess turned the 'chosen one' archetype on its head. With the emotional intensity of my favorite fantasy books, this is the kind of story that makes you forget yourself."
--Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

"A glorious, fast-paced romp of an adventure. Jessica Cluess has built her story out of my favorite ingredients: sorcery, demons, romance, and danger."
--Kelly Link, author of Pretty Monsters
JESSICA CLUESS is a writer, a graduate of Northwestern University, and an unapologetic nerd. After college, she moved to Los Angeles, where she served coffee to the rich and famous while working on her first novel. When she's not writing books, she's an instructor at Writopia Lab, helping kids and teens tell their own stories. Visit he...
Title:A Shadow Bright And Burning (kingdom On Fire, Book One)Format:HardcoverProduct dimensions:416 pages, 8.5 × 5.75 × 1.23 inShipping dimensions:8.5 × 5.75 × 1.23 inPublished:December 30, 2017Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553535900

ISBN - 13:9780553535907


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Underwhelming This book had a lot of potential but overall I found it to be underwhelming. I wasn't hooked on it or excited to see what happened next.
Date published: 2018-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Surprising! A delightful, gripping, well-realized world set in Victorian London for anyone who enjoyed the dark magic of Harry Potter. I went into this book with skepticism and utterly devoured it in a few short days. It totally surprised me. Can't wait to finish the rest of the trilogy!
Date published: 2018-08-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Shadow Bright ad Burning I love the plot and all the characters except Henrietta.
Date published: 2018-06-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not the best The entire time I was reading this book, I kept thinking of ways it could have been improved. The characters were really immature and the world building seemed mediocre.
Date published: 2018-05-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Nothing special but fun to read The book was fun to read to pass the time but there was not memorable aspect of it that would make it amazing. The characters, plot and writing style was average.
Date published: 2018-05-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from wasted meee time Looks like it’s a real ”Throwback Thursday” situation, because this book reminded me of oh so many fantasy novels I have read in my life. If you have little to no experience with fantasy novels, A Shadow Bright and Burning will shine like a star through your eyes. But if you do, its true nature will surface and you will see this book for what it actually is: a poorly written book that stands for the unique reason that it’s made of dozens of elements taken from dozens of different novels. If you’ve read The Infernal Devices, The Vampire Diaries, Grave Mercy or literally anything remotely interesting with magic or supernatural elements, don’t bother with this one. She’s trying, the author really is trying. But she’s playing it safe! She divulgates very little about the world-building and its history, the magic and its provenance, the Ancients and their reason for existing. So very little it’s a shame. And the writing… It isn’t bad, alright? It isn’t bad because, again, she’s playing it safe. The sentences are short, so very short, and she uses countless of idioms and commonly used expressions or even sentences in literature. It’s all too clean. There are no quotes to highlight because the author isn’t inventive. She just knows how to put words one after another to form a novel, but her words are not impressive or worth remembering. One thing that proves my argument is the amount of dialogs. To me, it seemed as if she didn’t describe characters, situations, buildings or emotions enough because she just didn’t want to. I get it, dialogs are more fun to write, but come on. What is more important is usually what isn’t being said, if you know what I mean. Could the characters’ names be more annoying? Dee, Blackwood, Henrietta aka Nettie, Agrippa, Magnus (TMI/TID, Magnus Chase, Falling Kingdoms anyone?), Cornelius, Palehook, Rook, Cellini, etc. Those were all men, by the way, except for Henrietta. The characters, too, are not original. They’re fine, but Jessica Cluess inspired herself a little too much of the memorable Tessa, Jem, Will and Magnus Bane from The Infernal Devices. It’s so obvious I feel angry at the lack of originality. I may finish this sometime if I ever find a reason to, but for now, it’s a ‘‘did not finish’’ at page 174, ladies and gents.
Date published: 2017-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from J.C. is a great author I really liked this book, and I found it to be an excellent read. Praise to the author.
Date published: 2017-05-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good start I'm still reading this, but the start was really captivating. As soon as I picked this book up in Chapters, I immediately knew I wanted to read it. A story about a female sorcerer? That's different than every other book I pick up these days about princes and princesses, kings and queens, kingdoms, etc. This is different, the cover is beautiful. I think it is definitely worth the buy in hardcover! Looking forward to finishing this book and reading the next in the series.
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from 3.5 stars Good writing, interesting world building, strong female lead, love triangle, PG13.
Date published: 2017-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just saying I don't want to give anything about the book away, but the hardcore version is definitely worth the extra cash.
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great read Loved this book, we'll written flowed nicely. Captivating I wanted to read it all at once
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Harry Potter Mixed With Lovecraft Equals Awesome I love this book. Seriously love it. The more I think about it, the more I realize just how addicted I became to it. The story is fantastic and takes a unique twist on the "Chosen One" cliche, along with the romance cliche. But I'll come back to that, because what I want to point out most and why you should pick up this book yesterday, is that it spectacularly melds an alternate London history with Lovecraftian nightmare creatures. The world building and use of magic is utterly unique to the genre, and the author took the time to examine how class and society affected the main character, and how she stood in defiance of it to become one of the coolest heroines in YA fantasy. There was a lot of action and twists, though I wish the ending battle was a little longer. The romance wasn't cliche either, as Henrietta didn't constantly moan about her heart. She acted like a rational, intelligent young woman, and I was cheering her every step of the way. The characters are well rounded with great backstories and powers, and I had a hard time putting this book down. Definitely worth checking out!
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Instant Fantasy Favourite It's taken me forever to write this review but Jessica Cluess's A Shadow Bright and Burning was one of my absolute favourite books last year! Set in an alternate Victorian London, this book featured everything I love to read: high-concept fantasy, exhilarating magic, a dash of romance, and a heroine who must fight against the odds to save the world. I just have ALL THE FEELS for A Shadow Bright and Burning and want everyone to know it. Henrietta Howel was five-years-old when the Seven Ancients arrived in England, summoned by a witch and magician from another world, and began a bloody war that has never ended. Growing up far in the countryside at an all-girls school, Henrietta has never encountered one of the terrifying and grotesque Ancients, but she's heard the stories. And her childhood best friend, Rook, is an Unclean, bearing the scars of someone who's survived an attack by an Ancient. But when shadowy Familiars, loyal servants of the Seven Ancients, suddenly try to capture Rook, Henrietta is forced to reveal a secret: she can burst into flame. Fearing a death sentence—after all, witchcraft is forbidden—Henrietta is instead offered a chance to train with Her Majesty's royal sorcerers in London. It's been foretold that a female sorcerer will triumph over the Ancients, and the Order believes Henrietta is the chosen one. However, not everyone is happy the prophecy girl has been found. The Order's members have always been men, and they don't believe a sixteen-year-old girl should be joining their precious ranks. Girls are too delicate! Girls are too emotional! Girls are weak! And you know what? I loved Henrietta all the more because she was determined to prove those stodgy old men wrong, that a woman can be strong and brave, champion the less fortunate, and defeat monsters. And do this while wearing long skirts! Although Henrietta must deal with misogynistic men, it's also in London where she finds passion and friendship among her fellow sorcerer trainees. There's the irresistibly charming and social Magnus, one of Henrietta's very first supporters. And Lord Blackwood, always serious and dour, not exactly confident in Henrietta's capabilities, but who could really use a friend. And okay, I'm so totally shipping Blackwood and Henrietta! (And no, it's not just because I read a lot of historical romance and have a weakness for titled lords, okay?) And the magic! Oh my gosh, the magic in A Shadow Bright and Burning is just so fun and imaginative. As if the Seven Ancients weren't already enough, Henrietta can't ever forget there's a feud between sorcerers and magicians, that they both channel their magic very differently. There's just so much to love about Jessica Cluess's YA debut! The next book in the series, A Poison Dark and Drowning, can't come soon enough. It's definitely one of my most anticipated books of 2017.
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from amazing it was a good book but could have been better
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting start I picked up this book because it seemed like the only book out these days that's not heavily emphasized on a kingdom with a queen, king, prince, princess, etc. While this world has a kingdom, it is not entirely the focus of the story. It is something different. I just started the book and I am enjoying it so far. This book has mixed reviews though, so let's see how it turns out by the end. I am expecting it to be good though.
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magical Tale I liked this book, I thought it had some amazing magical elements to it and the twisted Victorian setting is very interesting. There were some dragging moments in the book that left me kind of bored. But it had great action, over all. It does have a love triangle, which I am not a fan of, but it is not too prominent in this book. I genuinely look forward to the sequel as if was a suspenseful ending!
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay, nothing amazing I found this story to fall a little short of what I expected, based on the summary. Yes, there's magic involved, which I liked. However, character development wasn't overly moving for me. The pace of the story was a little slow, and nothing major ever seemed to happen. While I kept on reading in the hopes of something new developing (it has so much potential!), I found it the story overall fell flat. It was an okay book for me.
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Solid debut! I listened to the audiobook of A Shadow Bright and Burning and loved it. A few areas were a little predictable, but overall the characters were well developed and I felt like I was inside the world of the sorcerers. I can't wait for the sequel to come out!
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from So Much Potential, But No Follow Through I’ll be honest, I was hesitant about this book, unsure of what to expect. I was immediately worried by the fact that half of the book synopsis focused on the “handsome young men” Henrietta would meet and her relationships with them. Yet the intrigue of magic and an alternate Victorian England was simply too much, so of course I picked A Shadow Bright and Burning up, despite my reservations. After reading, I can say this about A Shadow Bright and Burning; it was a very standard piece of YA Fantasy, with all the necessary elements to make it enjoyable, however it still fell short through a lack of originality and wow factor. Honestly, nothing about this book felt fresh and new – most aspects, even the characters themselves, felt recycled and reused. Think along the lines of Infernal Devices, Grave Mercy, Icons and the like. That being said, the characters were initially intriguing, but quickly became quite bland and their “secrets” were steadily revealed and it quickly became clear which of the young men would challenge her, would fight for her, and would betray her. Henrietta herself was rather bland, and her character quickly became utterly predictable. Rook, her childhood friend and an Unclean (i.e. marked by the Ancients), has a ton of potential to be the most unique character in this book (on account of his strange shadow abilitiies), but Cluess makes him into a boring, love-sick boy who quickly gets pushed to the side by Henrietta’s new love interests and Henrietta’s own self-absorption. The story, or plot line, explored in A Shadow Bright and Burning was just as uninspiring and unoriginal as its characters. Cluess didn’t do anything original here – the plot screams archetype at every “twist”. Building upon the discussion of plot, one could not say, by the largest stretch of the imagination, that this novel was well-written. It was very clinical, yes, and hit all the points it needed to in order to maintain the illusion of “good writing”, but there was simply no depth to it. Cluess said what she said, but there was no deep meaning, no “wow” moments where her writing blew the reader away, no deep immersion in the writing because it was simply so … Basic. Overall, this novel had great potential, but Cluess dropped the ball a bit here. A Shadow Bright and Burning was not the standout piece of literature many hoped it would be; instead, it was a very standard, unoriginal, almost sterile piece of Ya Fantasy, with uninspiring characters, a typical setting and far too many tropes and archetypes for one novel (if one is hoping to be memorable). It was not a bad read, but as I said, certainly not memorable enough to make it spectacular.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Marvellous I love this book nearly as much as Harry Potter!! I can't wait for more from the series! The characters are all amazing, I love their relationships, I love the magic in this world
Date published: 2016-11-13

Read from the Book

1  The sorcerer arrived on a Saturday. Sarah, barely six years old, squeezed my hand as we walked the school corridors toward the headmaster’s parlor. I’d allowed her to wear her gray cloak indoors because the morning fires hadn’t yet been laid. Fog pressed in against the high windows, darkening the stone hall. For Sarah’s sake, I kept a smile on my face. My fear could not win today. “Will he beat me, Henrietta? I mean, Miss Howel?” She often forgot to use my last name, but I’d only become a teacher two months before. Sometimes when I stood at the head of the classroom to give a lesson, I’d look at the empty place on the student bench where I used to sit, and feel like a fraud. “A sorcerer would never harm children,” I said, squeezing her hand in return. Granted, I’d never met a sorcerer, but Sarah didn’t need to know that. She smiled and sighed. How simple to reassure her. How difficult to reassure myself, for why would a royal sorcerer travel to Yorkshire for an audience with a child? Was the war against the Ancients going so poorly that he needed young girls, armed with sewing needles and a little French, for the front lines? No. He had heard about the fires. We entered the parlor to find two men seated before the hearth, sipping their tea. This was the only heated room in the entire school, and I rubbed my numb fingers in appreciation. Sarah raced past the men to warm her hands and, embarrassingly, her backside before the fireplace. “Miss Howel!” our headmaster snapped, leaping up from his chair. “Control that child at once.” I motioned Sarah back to me, and we curtsied together. “Good day, Mr. Colegrind,” I murmured. Colegrind was a pale, hook-nosed gentleman with gray whiskers and a gray personality. When I was five, he’d terrified me. Now that I was sixteen, I found him repulsive. He frowned. “Why does Sarah wear her cloak?” “The fires haven’t been lit, sir,” I said, stating what should have been bloody obvious. Dreadful man. “I didn’t want her shivering before our illustrious guest.” Colegrind sniffed. I gave him my least sincere smile. The other man, who had been surveying our scene with a cup of tea, rose to his feet. “It’s all right,” the sorcerer said. “Little girls must keep warm.” He knelt before Sarah. “How are you, my dear?” This man couldn’t be a sorcerer. I’d always pictured the royal Order as being filled with humorless men who wore simple robes and smelled of cabbage water. This gentleman was more like a grandfather from a storybook, with a shock of curling salt-and-pepper hair, dimpled cheeks, and warm brown eyes. He swept off his cape, trimmed with sable fur, and wrapped it around Sarah. She hugged herself. “There, now,” he said. “Just the right fit.” He nodded to me. “You’re very good to take such care of her.” I lowered my eyes. “Thank you, sir,” I mumbled. As he stood, I noticed something hanging in a sheath by his side. It was the length of a sword, but it had to be his sorcerer’s stave, the great instrument of his power. I’d heard of such things but never glimpsed one. I gasped without thinking. Agrippa patted the handle. “Would you like to see it?” he asked. Bloody fool, I was supposed to be unnoticeable today. For once, I was grateful for Colegrind’s interruption. “Master Agrippa,” Colegrind said, “shall we proceed?” The sorcerer guided Sarah to a chair while I remained by the wall, invisible as always. Schoolteachers don’t stand out naturally, and I was far too thin and dark-haired to make much of an impact. Granted, I didn’t want to stand out to Agrippa today, not if he’d come about the fires. I exhaled, praying that my heartbeat would slow. Please say that he had come for some other reason. The scenery, the terrible April weather, anything. The sorcerer produced a toffee from his coat and handed it to Sarah. While she munched, Agrippa took a lit candle and held it before her. The flame flickered. Grabbing a fistful of my skirt, I squeezed to distract myself. I wouldn’t be afraid, because fear often summoned the . . . I wouldn’t be afraid. “Think of the flame,” Agrippa whispered. “Think of fire.” No. As if responding to the sorcerer’s words, my body grew warm, desperately warm. I slipped my hands behind my back, knotted my fingers together, and prayed. Sarah was clearly doing her best to be helpful, thinking so hard that her face turned bright red. The candle did nothing in response. “Don’t lie,” Colegrind ordered Sarah. “If you hide anything, Master Agrippa will know. Do you want him to think you a bad girl?” A bad girl. That was whom they hunted. Eleven years earlier, girls with magic would’ve been tolerated. Now, my God, only death awaited them. Awaited me. I curled my toes in my shoes, bit my tongue until my eyes watered. My fingers burned so badly. . . . “Look at the flame!” Colegrind said. I pressed my palms against the cold stone wall. I thought of freezing things, like snow and ice. Hold on. Hold on. . . . Sarah burst into tears. Between Colegrind’s cruelty and my own physical pain, I snapped. “There’s no need to make her cry.” The men turned. Agrippa raised his eyebrows in surprise. Colegrind looked as if he’d like to strike me down where I stood. With a sorcerer present, he’d have to contain himself, though after Agrippa left, I suspected I’d feel the headmaster’s birch cane. Beatings were his favorite form of exercise. But the burning eased somewhat, so my outburst had been worth it. Agrippa said, “Miss Howel is right. There’s no need to fret, Sarah.” He shushed her crying and waved his hand above the candle. He collected the fire into his palm, where it hovered mere inches above his skin. He then took his stave—it was a plain wooden staff, quite ordinary-looking—and pointed it at the flame. Concentrating, he made the fire dance and swirl into different shapes before extinguishing it with one deft movement. Mouth open in astonishment, Sarah applauded wildly, her tears forgotten. “You’re all done,” Agrippa said, giving her another toffee. Sarah took it and ran from the room as fast as she could. Fortunate child. “I apologize for the inexcusable outbursts, Master Agrippa,” Colegrind said, glaring at me. “At the Brimthorn School for Girls, we try to curb female waywardness and insolence.” He could try to curb me all he liked. But right now that was the least of my worries. My hands were beginning to burn again. “I find a dash of insolence to be quite enjoyable from time to time.” Agrippa smiled at me. “Would you be so kind as to bring me the next girl, my dear? I will be testing every child at this school.” If he was testing all thirty-five of them, he had to be searching for a witch. I groaned inwardly. “Of course. I’ll return shortly.” I left the room, breaking into a run. I had to get outside. Pushing through the front door, I raced out the yard and up the hill. Just a few more steps and I’d be hidden from sight. I collapsed to my knees as the fire spilled from my hands. Blue flames tickled my outstretched palms. I closed my eyes and sighed as I grabbed fistfuls of the damp grass. Colegrind and Master Agrippa couldn’t know, not ever. Female magic—witchcraft—was criminal, and the sentence, death. As the flames slowed and sparks glinted off my fingertips, I felt someone sit behind me. “There’s a sorcerer from the royal Order here to test the girls,” I told Rook, without turning around. Only my dearest friend would react with nonchalance when my hands were burning. Smoke hissed out from between my fingers. “He’s looking for the one starting the fires.” “This is why you should only unleash it out on the moor. I’ve told you,” he said. “I don’t always have that luxury, you know.” If my temper got the best of me, if something startled me, if Colegrind did something particularly loathsome, the fire would come upon me. I could never control it for long. “The sorcerer won’t test you, will he?” Rook leaned his back to mine. “As a teacher I’m spared, thank heavens. Can anyone down there see us?” I was fairly safe here, but not as far away as I’d have liked. If someone came up the hill unexpectedly, it wouldn’t end well. “Not with me sitting around and ignoring my work.” I could tell from his tone that he was smiling. “Whoever looks up here will only find me.” “Thank you,” I whispered, nudging his arm. “I should get back. They’ve more girls to test.” “Think of the cold,” Rook said as he rose and helped me to my feet. His left hand gripped mine tightly, and he winced. “Do your scars hurt?” I asked, pressing a hand to his chest. I could imagine the older teachers clucking at my “forward” behavior, but we’d known each other since we were children. Granted, Rook was attractive, with sharp, elegant features and blue eyes. His hair was still the same flaxen down it had been when we were eight. He looked like a poet or a gentleman, I’d always thought, even if he was only a stable boy. But most people would turn away from Rook, for all his beauty, if they knew what he kept hidden beneath his shirt. The scars were terrible. They weren’t visible, as he took care to button himself up, but they were there. Most who suffer an Ancient’s attack die. Rook had been one of the lucky few to survive, but he’d paid dearly for his life. “Bit more painful than usual. You know how bad it gets in damp weather,” he said. As if in response, thunder rumbled in the distance. “Meet me after the girls are tested,” I said. “I’ll bring the paste.” “You know how to make a fellow happy, Nettie.” He nodded, his eyes serious. “Be careful.” “Always,” I said, and returned to the school.   Two hours later I knelt in the empty parlor. Tears filled my eyes as the cane landed across the back of my neck. Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, I counted. Three to go. I pictured banks of snow in winter. Thankfully, I’d gotten through the rest of the students’ tests with only an occasional flush of heat. Twenty. A warm trickle of blood ran down my neck and into my collar. I tried to rise to my feet, but Colegrind gripped my shoulder and kept me in place. Damn him. “You were a wayward child, Henrietta. Do not allow your passions to lead you astray as a young woman.” I stifled a shudder as Colegrind’s hand trailed across my back. He’d taken to “noticing” me in such ways these past three years. Disgusting man. “Yes, sir,” I said automatically. It was the single acceptable answer to Colegrind’s tirades. A slow heat prickled my palms. If only I could loose my anger and show him the response he deserved, but that was an insane thought. As I got to my feet, Agrippa entered the room. “Beg pardon,” he said, and stopped. His eyes flicked to Colegrind’s cane, to me. I put a hand to the back of my neck to hide the marks, but I could tell he understood. His next words were cold and clipped. “Mr. Colegrind, there seems to be confusion with my carriage.” “The servants are useless,” Colegrind said, as though we should pity him. “Perhaps you might see to it yourself, then.” That was an order dressed as a request. Colegrind tightened his jaw, on the verge of talking back, and then thought better of it. He left, grumbling to himself. Agrippa came toward me, concern written on his face. “Are you all right?” He spoke so kindly that I felt tears forming at the corners of my eyes. I nodded and began neatening the room. “Mr. Colegrind’s angry that we didn’t find the one starting the fires,” I said, placing a chair against the wall. “It’s been a hard three years for him. He was certain the culprit would be discovered.” I felt a twinge of pride; the old fool was disappointed again. “Has it really been going on for three years?” “Oh yes. Mostly it’s been patches of fire around the stables, but several of the headmaster’s favorite coats have met ‘accidental’ deaths.” I worked to keep glee out of my voice. “I would give you a list of those who dislike Mr. Colegrind, but I fear that wouldn’t narrow your search.” I knew it was bold to speak this way, but Agrippa laughed. “How did you hear of us, sir?” “My Order keeps its collective ear to the ground for cases like these,” he said. I turned to look at him. He seemed to be choosing his words with care. “Cases of witchcraft?” I nearly stumbled over the word. “In a sense.” “What you did with the fire was brilliant,” I said, straightening a corner of the rug. “I mean, putting on that show for Sarah.” Agrippa laughed. “I appreciate a good audience.” The rain became a dim roar on the roof. I winced as I listened to it. “Really, are you all right?” Agrippa asked, noticing my reaction. “They say that rain usually brings Familiars with it. Or, heaven forbid, one of the Ancients.” At this, Agrippa sobered and nodded. “There’s nothing to fear. The only Ancient who favors this weather is Korozoth, and he’s near London at present.” Korozoth, the great Shadow and Fog. They called him the fiercest warrior of all the Seven Ancients. “Have you ever fought him?” Thoughts of Agrippa rising into the air against a giant black cloud flashed through my mind, as thrilling a picture as I could create. “On several occasions. This doesn’t frighten you?” He said it with a laugh. I’d sat down in a chair, entranced. “No. I always want news of how the war’s progressing.” I knew I should wish him a speedy departure, but my curiosity got the better of me. I’d spent countless childhood evenings awake in my bed, watching shadows and moonlight form images on the ceiling. I’d imagined them as monsters, pictured myself meeting them in battle. Miss Morris, the head teacher, had sniffed and informed me how unfeminine those dreams were. “How old were you when the Ancients arrived?” Agrippa said as he took a seat opposite me. “Five.” I remembered hiding under the bed when the news first came, listening as my aunt shrieked orders to our maid. We had to pack only what we needed, she said, because we must travel by nightfall. Clutching my doll to my chest, I whispered that I would protect us. Now I nearly laughed to think of it. My doll, my aunt, my old life in Devon—all had vanished. “You’ve never seen one of the Ancients, have you?” Agrippa asked, returning me to the present.

Editorial Reviews

"Is it clear that Cluess adores the Harry Potter series and Jane Eyre? Yes. So do you. So does everyone. What matters is that her voice is her own. . . . A Shadow Bright and Burning delivers on the promise of its title. This is a novel that gives off light and heat."—The New York Times"Henrietta is pragmatic and bitingly funny, and she more than holds her own in a man’s world. Cluess gamely turns the chosen-one trope upside down in this smashing dark fantasy." —Publishers Weekly, starred review"Jessica Cluess manages to hook the reader on the very first page. . . . The pages turn quickly and this first installment in the story is over before the reader will want it to be. The ending is perfect, too. Just enough of a conclusion to be satisfying, but also enough mystery to make readers anxious to see the next installment. Lovely debut novel by a talented writer." —Huffington Post