Thoughts Overdue #10

Thoughts Overdue #10

'A Shadow Bright and Burning' by Jessica Cluess is a fantasy novel. Its premise goes like this - 

Henrietta Howel has the ability to burst into flames. When she comes to London to train with Her Majesty's wizards, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers. Henrietta gradually begins to unravel a few secrets of the world of magic that she's tangled herself in, as people doubt her to be the Prophesied One. As battle looms over the city, can she save the people who believe in her?

To the readers who are going to decide whether or not to read this novel based on the review, here is my advice- READ IT!!
I decided to read this novel despite seeing a few of my trusted reviewers giving it a one star rating.

Well here's the review :
(Let me apologize in advance for all the exclamation marks)


I don't think I have changed my mind SO MANY times about a novel, ever!First it bored me, then I despised it, later I had a grudging sort of respect towards it, then I freaking adored it. In the first 10% of the novel, the novel's motto seemed to be "kill 'em with blandnsss". But, once you get past the initial few chapters, this novel picks up wonderfully well....and it feels as though you are thrust into a whirlwind of events... Without a single moment of respite!

I feel that the purpose of the initial dullness is to root out the readers who judge a book only by reading the first few chapters. And boy am I glad I stuck around!

The romance, the setting, the worldbuilding is all written in a fantastic way so as to not feel pretentious or boring in ANY way. To all the reviewers who said the romance felt forced, I beg to differ. There was no instant-love trope (which in itself is a miracle as most Young Adult books feature romances based on instant love), the main character was not Mary Suish (plain and boring) at all, and there is no definite love triangle! There is however some amount of angst .

One of the best things about this novel is the concept about Ancients. It was completely well executed and unique. The descriptions are so vivid and vibrant that I could almost literally picture them right before me.

The setting is described in small paragraphs and does not consist of descriptions that ramble on for pages altogether....This was something I loved!! Because many ya novels dump a ton of information on our brains and expect us to soak it all in as though we are some sort of a sponge! This was not the case here at all!

The character development of our mc is mind blowing. The way she transforms right in front of our eyes is just epic! The author did an amazing job with this novel!
This novel is a perfect blend of fantasy, romance, action and comedy (yes, there is comedy)!
I agree the parallels to the Harry Potter series and The Infernal Devices trilogy were slightly off putting... But, the plot is - I assure you - completely unique.

And, the "Chosen One" trope is explored in a completely different way here!

Bonus points:
The novel's pacing was perfect!
The mc is a dark skinned character! (Yay for coloured representation).
The battle scenes are too good for words.The action scenes are brilliant. The scenes came to life for me as I read the novel. That's how good the descriptions were.
The plot twists are surprising and cannot be guessed easily.
The gorgeous and totally relevant cover. (The cover relates to a scene in the novel).

Well, I'm off to read the next novel in this series.

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