Nov 6, 2014

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas (The Elemental Trilogy #1)

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Bottom Line: This story has a well developed magic system with some very strong characters and a very sweet romance. 

The Elemental Trilogy
1.  The Burning Sky
2.  The Perilous Sea

Synopsis (Goodreads):

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. 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.

The Burning Sky—the first book in the Elemental Trilogy—is an electrifying and unforgettable novel of intrigue and adventure.

My Thoughts:

I'm ashamed to say it, but sometimes I forget how great a book can be without dirty, passionate romance. This book was absolutely wonderful. As the first YA book I've read in several months, I must say I really enjoyed the innocence of this story.  The romance (while certainly not the main plot) was really adorable, and the action was exciting and a little whimsical.

I thought the magic system in this story was well thought out while still being fairly original. The magic realm was separate from the human realm, but overlapping in some locations, allowing mages to travel between both realms. There are magical creatures, instant teleportation spells (super handy), and some really useful enchanted training books. If some aspects of this magic system are a bit too convenient, I'm willing to let it slide, because I feel that everything worked well with Thomas' plot.

Prince Titus and Iolanthe were brought together by Titus' mother's prophesies, and the plot is primarily driven by these prophesies. While it was a little annoying how strongly Titus held too his mother's visions, I think it was a necessary character flaw. It was interesting to consider whether Titus would give up the prophesies as his trust in Iolanthe grew. The relationship between Titus and Iola was fun and sweet. Titus generally played the part of the lovesick puppy, while Iola was all business, but it actually didn't get overly obnoxious. Their developing relationship fit in nicely with the much more important saving-the-world parts of the story.

Find it on: Amazon | Goodreads | Sherry Thomas

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