Thursday, December 5, 2013

Review: The Burning Sky

The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1)Title: The Burning Sky
Author: Sherry Thomas
Series: The Elemental Trilogy
Volume: 1
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Why I Read It: Fantasy is one of my favourite genres. Also, I quite liked the cover.

A Quick Introduction: Iolanthe Seabourne is destined to be the greatest mage of her generation- not that she had any idea until the day she accidentally reveals the extent of her abilities, and is rescued from capture by a prince. Prince Titus VII has been waiting for her since a prophesy revealed his destiny-and hers. That destiny? To take down the Bane, the powerful tyrant mage. He's known about his destiny for a long time now, but wasn't clear on the specifics, especially the Elemental mage in question being somewhat an impossible girl.

Review: This one was alright. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but it was enjoyable none the less. If I had a complaint, it would be that I would occasionally loose focus during focus during revelation moments and world building moments. I felt like there were some gaps in the world building. That said, there were aspects of the book that I did enjoy. Once I got more in touch with the world, which took a while, it was interesting, though I'm not really clear on how aspects of the world work, though it is a trilogy, so it's understandable that parts of the background have yet to be fleshed out. It's definitely complicated. London exists, but so do a whole plethora of places that have never existed in the real world, and I'm not entirely clear on how they're linked (alternate worlds style? realms?). Wands are used, but not for all magic, not the kind of Elemental magic that Iolanthe has the ability to use. Iolanthe, after revealing the extent of her power is hidden at Eton (the school in England), as a boy (the prince who rescued her was planning for a boy). Suddenly, she has a destiny, and is in a lot of danger.

This book is told in third person limited point of view, from both the views of Iolanthe and Titus. Iolanthe is thrust into a position she never knew she had, and doesn't want- taking on the Bane is essentially a suicidal task. She's quite a good actress, and also usually good at thinking on her feet. She's stubborn and proud, and also very brave. Titus has never been honest with anyone, unable to trust anyone, he has carefully constructed the personal of a selfish boy, who has no interest in ruling, while that is the opposite of the truth. In the beginning he was still quite manipulative, even with Iolanthe, whom he hoped to be honest with, as they were meant to share a common goal. The result of his trying (with varying degrees of success) to manipulate Iolanthe is many disagreements. The relationship between them felt like a lot of back and forth, and developed pretty quickly, though I wouldn't say it was an insta-love situation, as it did develop over the course of the novel. It just seemed a little... desperate, maybe? Frantic? I didn't really feel too much for the relationship one way or the other, I suppose. I might have felt more interest if there had been more build up, and if they had been given more time to get to know each other as people, and the reader to get to know them. It was as if a lot of that either didn't happen, or happened behind the scenes, where the reader couldn't see it.

To wrap up, this was alright. It seemed like the world building could have been executed better, especially in a world with so many components and I wish the development of the characters and relationship had been more gradual, but it was still an enjoyable enough read.

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