The Burning Sky

Paperback | September 16, 2014

bySherry Thomas

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Magic, romance, and intrigue combine in this extraordinary novel—the first in the Elemental Trilogy—for fans of Cinda Williams Chima and Kristin Cashore. Publishers Weekly called it "a wonderfully satisfying magical saga" in a starred review, and Kirkus Reviews said it "bids fair to be the next big epic fantasy success."

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's been 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 most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.

Guided by his mother's visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he 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 tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.

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From the Publisher

Magic, romance, and intrigue combine in this extraordinary novel—the first in the Elemental Trilogy—for fans of Cinda Williams Chima and Kristin Cashore. Publishers Weekly called it "a wonderfully satisfying magical saga" in a starred review, and Kirkus Reviews said it "bids fair to be the next big epic fantasy success."Iolanthe Seabou...

From the Jacket

It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's been told. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-y...

Sherry Thomas is the author ofThe Burning SkyandThe Perilous Sea, the first two books in the Elemental Trilogy. Sherry immigrated to the United States from China when she was thirteen and taught herself English in part by devouring science fiction and romance novels. She is the author of several acclaimed romance novels and is the reci...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1.12 inPublished:September 16, 2014Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:006220730X

ISBN - 13:9780062207302

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from There are better high-fantasies out there 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. 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 cool 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 downhill from there. Iolanthe and Titus just spend too many pages doing old-timey schoolboy activities to keep under the enemy’s radar. That might be fun and might work in some books, but it didn’t in this one. Also, the romance in the book was supposed to be swoony, but it just pissed me off. The old I-hate-you-but-I’m-intensely-attracted-to-you cliche. I’m not inherently against romantic cliches, as long as they are well-executed. This wasn’t, and I’m not sure if it’s because of the clumsy writing (some of the most clunking, least graceful writing I’ve ever read) or because they didn’t start off hating each other and that beginning was also awkward. At first, Titus saved Iolanthe, and so she trusted him. From POV to POV, they kept admiring every aspect of each other, from looks to the smallest actions. It was so mutual and similar that they didn’t even seem like distinct people when they thought of each other. On the bright side, they have different personalities when they speak directly. However, they are both such clever, flawless people that the different voices and principles do not make up for it. It’s irritating to see them waltz so easily through everything they do. Very little plot, very little character development. ‘ 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.
Date published: 2016-01-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magically Enjoyable This is a story for people who loved the Harry Potter series and need a magically fix. The environment and plot are very similar to the popular series with some new twists. Iolanthe Seabourne is a mage living with her adopted father who is more than a little broken after a series of unfortunate pit falls. In trying to prepare a key decoration for a wedding with a little lighting she inadvertently sets in motion a Destiny foretold by the stars and a dead seer. Forcibly teamed with a lying and seemingly merciless Prince Titus, she prepares for her Destiny to overthrow an immortal dictator, fools an entire school about her gender and all while hiding from a mage that could tear her mind to shreds. But enough about the supporting character. Prince Titus, the real subject of the story is a Prince tasked by his mother to die so that implanted will have a chance to defeat the Bane. To cover up a past of pain, loss, and a short future he's created a wall of lies, deception and arrogance to ward off companions and stay under his enemy's radar. Titus is a brilliant character that you grow with from willing to sacrifice anyone-even himself-to complete his goal to a man willing to risk it all for life and love. The book says Iolanthe is the main character back after reading this I feel like she was more decoration to Titus' story and growth. A strong character but overshadowed by her witty and brilliant counterpart. The book was slow to start but enjoyable once it picked up.
Date published: 2015-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good so far I am still reading this book but so far it is really good. It is hard to put it down and I really hoped the 2nd book would be out by now but it is not. I am looking forward to reading the 2nd one and seeing how this trilogy goes.
Date published: 2014-06-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good mix of magic, suspense, mystery, budding romance It's the start of what I think is going to be a great series, but I didn't give it a 5/5 because I think it's building up to that. It has all the right elements of a great adventure/journey leading up to what is sure to be one epic battle in the final book. The bulk of the story takes place in an all-boys boarding school, where the main character pretends to be a boy to escape the notice of the Atlantians hunting for her. It may remind you of other things (to me, it kind of feels like a shojo manga, picture Host Club or Hana-Kimi: girl pretending to be boy at private school. Also, it has elements that will remind you of Harry Potter: magic, "vaulting" like apparating, speaking to the likeness of old rulers who are already dead, reminds me of the portraits at hogwarts who can speak), but it holds up as its own story and it pretty entertaining throughout the whole novel. The prince, regardless of circumstances making him ruthless, is pretty likable, as is Iolanthe, who makes a funny boy. I would recommend it for 12 to adult.
Date published: 2014-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magically Enjoyable "The Burning Sky" by Sherry Thomas is one of the best all around books I've read in a while, and certainly one of the best in the fantasy genre. Thinking back to while I was reading it, there was never a lull in the pacing or moments where I felt it needed huge improvement. To start off, the two protagonists, Iolanthe and Prince Titus, were, hands down, the best thing about the book. The two have great chemistry together and perfect the love-hate relationship. Both are super smart, book and street wise, and it allowed them to have humourous banter, as well as deep, intellectual conversations. Iolanthe takes on a more aggressive, impulsive role of the two, while Titus is more calculating and emotional. Their romance is one that builds slowly throughout the book and has you anticipating and eager to see them finally recognize their unspoken feelings about each other. The writing is also another strong point for the book. Thomas's writing is simply magical, pun intended. Her ability to create such an extensive and original world is amazing, as well creating characters that I felt were 100% genuine in every aspect. The only qualm I had with the book, albeit it being a very small one, had to do with the world building. While Thomas did an excellent job creating such an original setting, it was slightly confusing at times. There is just so much information about it all at once that it definitely left me feeling like I missed some things, especially in the beginning. However, everything else about the novel pushed these worries to the side, and everything did start to make more sense as the story progressed. Overall, an amazing, amazing story. Crossing over from adult romance to young adult fantasy is no small feat and is potentially disastrous, but Thomas was able to do it expertly and I have no doubts that this is going to be one of the best YA fantasy series in a while
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not what I was expecting There has been so much hype surrounding this novel and I was really excited to finally be able to read it. When I saw that it was fantasy and magic I knew I wanted to dive right in. Maybe it was because I wasn't in the mood, or maybe it just wasnt for me, but honestly I was let down by this novel. For one I was told that the author was amazing at sexual tension and that the love story was crazy and intense but I felt none of that. Yes, there were moments where I felt my heart beating fast because I knew what I wanted to happen between the two characters but I found that there was just a lack of chemistry on the page between the characters. As for the world itself. I loved the magical element and how Iolanthe, the main character was seen as a strong female who was capable of extraordinary magic. But in the end she was not captivating enough for me. I felt myself struggling to keep reading. Usually I have to pull myself away from a book, but in this case I found myself not wanting to read it, but knowing that I wanted to review it so badly that I should at least finish it. I am not saying that this is a horrible book, because it wasn't. There were areas of the book that were brilliant and amazing. And I have to say something about the secondary characters because that was the best part in my books. Not only did they entertain on their own, but they also showed us different sides of the two main characters Iolanthe and Tanis. The humor in their dialogue was brilliant and I loved that. The writing style in this book is beautiful, you can tell that the author does not soley write for YA because the prose s flawless. She is able to capture your attention at the drop of a hat and I loved reading it. But sadly the two main characters did not do it for me and they seemed to drag the plot a little too much. But overall I thought that the world and plot were interesting and I am very interested to see where this series goes.
Date published: 2014-01-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Beautifully Written Fantasy Novel Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, so naturally I couldn't pass up The Burning Sky. Sherry Thomas has created a beautiful world with elemental mages, a handsome prince, an evil villian and the occasional dragon. Iolanthe is our protagonist though she is often called Fairfax throughout the whole book. She is the greatest elemental mage of her generation and she has been prophesied to defeat the Bane, the most powerful mage and tyrant in the whole world. Prince Titus, her companion, helps prepare her for battle as he's guided by his late mother's visions. He never though the powerful elemental mage in the prophecy could be a girl and he makes the mistake of falling in love with her. I really loved the world Sherry Thomas has created. There were great details and everything was just so magical. In this kingdom, the elements are fading and less elemental mages are being born. As Fairfax and Titus set out on their adventure, I was never bored for a moment and I couldn't stop turning the pages. My favorite parts were when they played through the stories in the Crucible (a book that lets them practice their magic in fairytales) and the times Fairfax interacted with the Eton boys (they're always there for a good laugh). Even when they're on a super dangerous mission, I'm always on my toes as I watch them go through nearly impossible tasks. There's also Wintervale and Kashkari, the Eton boys that are part of Fairfax's daily life. They make everyday life so much better and plus, Kashkari is my favorite side character. I wouldn't say the romance was a big part of this book but it was certainly there. I know that they care deeply for each other and Titus is always concerned about Fairfax's safety. Their relationship feels real. They go through fights sometimes but they fix it by communicating with each other. Their banters are funny and entertaining as well. The Burning Sky is a great book that I'd recommend to all fantasy fans. The magical adventure kept me turning the pages! Those Eton boys won't know what hit them ;)
Date published: 2013-11-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Beautifully Written Fantasy Novel Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, so naturally I couldn't pass up The Burning Sky. Sherry Thomas has created a beautiful world with elemental mages, a handsome prince, an evil villian and the occasional dragon. Iolanthe is our protagonist though she is often called Fairfax throughout the whole book. She is the greatest elemental mage of her generation and she has been prophesied to defeat the Bane, the most powerful mage and tyrant in the whole world. Prince Titus, her companion, helps prepare her for battle as he's guided by his late mother's visions. He never though the powerful elemental mage in the prophecy could be a girl and he makes the mistake of falling in love with her. I really loved the world Sherry Thomas has created. There were great details and everything was just so magical. In this kingdom, the elements are fading and less elemental mages are being born. As Fairfax and Titus set out on their adventure, I was never bored for a moment and I couldn't stop turning the pages. My favorite parts were when they played through the stories in the Crucible (a book that lets them practice their magic in fairytales) and the times Fairfax interacted with the Eton boys (they're always there for a good laugh). Even when they're on a super dangerous mission, I'm always on my toes as I watch them go through nearly impossible tasks. There's also Wintervale and Kashkari, the Eton boys that are part of Fairfax's daily life. They make everyday life so much better and plus, Kashkari is my favorite side character. I wouldn't say the romance was a big part of this book but it was certainly there. I know that they care deeply for each other and Titus is always concerned about Fairfax's safety. Their relationship feels real. They go through fights sometimes but they fix it by communicating with each other. Their banters are funny and entertaining as well. The Burning Sky is a great book that I'd recommend to all fantasy fans. The magical adventure kept me turning the pages! Those Eton boys won't know what hit them ;)
Date published: 2013-11-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Wished there was more magic.. Iolanthe grows up to to have three elemental powers, but what she doesn’t know is that she is actually a Great One. A Mage who has all four elemental powers. By trying to save her potion for a friend’s wedding, she unknowingly and mistakingly creates lightning out of nowhere. All of a sudden, she’s on the run from the villain who wants nothing but to claim her. I thought this book would be different and more action packed then it let on, so I was sad when it started to drag on and got very boring. I’m all for learning about one’s powers, and developing character relationships, but it needs to also include a running plot. I felt all the action was in the beginning and the end which was great, but I wanted more. It had such potential because the magical powers that certain people had sounds extraordinary, exceptional even. But what I found was less of an evil plot against the bad guys and a love/hate relationship between the two main characters. Overall, I believe you won’t be missing too much if you pass on this one, unless you enjoy magic!
Date published: 2013-09-30

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

“Strong focus on characters and world building make this a fantasy saga to watch.”