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The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  5,518 ratings  ·  946 reviews
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
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Balzer + Bray (first published September 15th 2013)
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Shelby Day No witches. There are magicians sort of like in Harry Potter. It is about Good vs. Evil.
Shelby Day I really enjoyed it. If you are a fan of Harry Potter and/or Narnia, I would give it a shot.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wendy Darling
Dazzling magic, great characters, WYVERNS, and lovely romance. That's pretty much all you need to know.
Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
Actual rating: 3.5

Be patient.

That's the advice I would give to anyone starting this book. I ended up liking it a lot, but it took a long, long time for me to get past the first few chapters.

Sherry Thomas is an established author in the Historical Romance genre; this is her first foray into the YA fantasy genre, and I think it definitely shows. I can see it in the writing style---the book reads so much more comfortably and flows so much more smoothly when the author is writing about the Victorian

Trying to correct a tainted batch of light elixir, Iolanthe Seabourne calls down a bolt of lightning. Watching from a distance Prince Titus recognises the extraordinary lightning, the phenomenon of the burning sky, for what it is. A sign the prophecy had come true. Titus knows that the elemental mage that could bring down lightning is the one who will help him defeat the Bane.

Titus VII, Master of the Domain at sixteen years of age has not yet attained his majority. The Domain is under the oppres
Steph Sinclair
DNF. I thought for sure I would love this since a few of my friends highly recommended it to me, but I hated it. The main characters are terrible and underdeveloped. Let me count the ways: Iolanthe is virtually a Mary Sue and can do no wrong. She is The One with the power to save them because of reasons and has the BEST of luck. *wink, wink* Prince Titus is a spoiled brat that wants everything his way. He even tries to manipulate Iolanthe several times to get her to do things by preying on her f ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars, but I'm rounding up because I loved every minute.

In my experience, YA novels written by romance novelists generally go one of two ways: awesomely or atrociously. Now, this may not be the case for most, but, personally, I go to a romance novel and a YA novel for totally different reasons, and I don’t want a romance novel from my YA; romance can (perhaps should) be a part of that, but there should be more going on than that. Thankfully, Sherry Thomas has written an absolu
Rachel E. Carter

Okay, that was a bit creepy wasn't it? How about this:


Hey, it's not my fault. If you read the book you will totally understand why I chose Shrek GIF's.

So I read the blurb and was totally anticipating a hot arrogant prince (cough, cough, no surprise I would be drawn to that), a "She's The Man" (movie) meets Alanna: The First Adventure storyline, and some really cool Harry Potter-style magic. What I got was way more of a British boys' club vibe (we are talking about things like cricket, not Harry
He kissed the shell of her ear. “Then let me tell you this: I live for you, and you alone.”

The Burning Sky is a mesmerising epic fantasy with compelling characters and a heart achingly beautiful romance.

The world building in The Burning Sky is phenomenal. Thomas has weaved together a world of magic, adventure, and intrigue. In an effort to correct a tainted batch of light elixir, Iolanthe Seabourne summons a bolt of lightning and sets in motion a chain of events that will forever change her life
I really like this story, but I wasn't too crazy about the delivery.

Maybe it was just me, but Thomas' style was very difficult to read. The third-person narrative type of delivery made me feel as if I'm listening to an ancient storyteller depicting a folklore. And the way she formed her sentence structure, I felt as if I was reading Old English (not really) or a foreign language (nope, it's English). The switching-back-and-forth of points-of-view was interesting, but it wasn't very consistent, s
4.5 stars

The Burning Skyis one of those books with a premise and a cover that pretty much had me salivating. It sounded perfect for me. It hit all the right notes. And while I recognized many points on which the book could have been better, this was such an engaging and absorbing read that I loved it all the same.

Let's get the elephant out of the room: the romance. It is... amazing. Irresistible. Addicting. Iolanthe and Titus have a chemistry that drips off the page. It didn't take long at all f
Don’t read it for the fantasy, read it for the love. These characters will steal your heart and never give it back. Just go with it.

I could eat fantasy for every meal of the day and still be satisfied for the rest of my life. I’m a simple girl. Yes, the Jess who exists on the cusps of 2014 and 2015 still prefers to devour a fantasy (over her nemesis, the contemporary), just one that won’t work her as much. As a fantasy, The Burning Sky was confusing, rather convoluted and hard to follow word
A breathtaking masterpiece!

Wow! Have you ever finished reading a book and just wanted to sit there and hug it and read it all over again? The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas is that kind of book.

One of the things that I enjoyed about The Burning Sky was the complex and interesting world. The book is set in England at the Eton School at the end of the 19th century. But it is also set in a parallel magical world where elemental mages are hunted down by a powerful Inquisitor and a formidable mage know

Rating: We went from a hot mess of a beginning to an inventive, magical tale with EPIC romance.

Originally posted at Writer of Wrongs

I spent all of my Across a Star-Swept Sea review talking about my favorite tropes, and I sort of wish I'd saved that discussion for this book. Because The Burning Sky employed two of my utter favorite tropes brilliantly, so brilliantly that they overcame what I thought was a kind of horrendous beginning: Girl-Disguised-as-a-Boy and I-Hate-You-I-Love-You.

I started
Originally reviewed here @ Angieville

In a somewhat amusing turn of events, I actually picked up a copy of Sherry Thomas' debut young adult fantasy THE BURNING SKY because I read one of her adult historical romances several months back and really loved it. How's that for a commentary on the state of affairs in my neck of the woods these days? And while I really do love the cover after having read it (and for blessedly not featuring any actual human beings or, worse, a young boy reaching out to a
The Burning Sky combines one of the most creative magical system since Harry Potter with sizzling romance and characters who will win your heart.
Rating: 3.5 Stars

It isn't a truth universally acknowledged--but it should be--that The Burning Sky has one of the absolute worst beginnings ever. In fact, for nearly the entirety of the first quarter, I put the novel down dozens of time, scratched my head in confusion, searched online for clarity to my questions, and once again picked up the novel with a sigh. It's a chore to barrel through the beginning of this story but, I promise you, it is very much worth it.

The Burning Sky is the type of no
Solid! Gave me that joyful, satisfied feeling I had reading fantasy as a kid, but not at all dated. Strong characters, well-realized setting (I had a few questions about some aspects, but these were omissions rather than implausibilities), well-constructed plot.

I hope there's a sequel! I was actually expecting, as we neared the end and the larger plot (that is, Titus's plot against the Bane) didn't seem to have gotten much forwarder, that it was going to be a cliff-hanger, but no! All the immedi
It took me an agonizingly long time to get into the story. Frankly, this one required a lot of patience and it was a mostly arduous read for me.

I was so confused throughout the whole novel, and judging by the frequency the problem keeps occurring in, I really can't say if it's me or the book.

But let me just put my thoughts into words and let you decide if I'm being bias.

The world building was hard to keep up with and I badly wanted a map. I also hard a hard time figuring out how the mage-world
Zemira Warner
Sep 25, 2013 Zemira Warner rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of HP, Shadow and Bone, Throne of Glass
Do you want the know what was the first thought I got after finishing with The Burning Sky? Well it was - I need to find that 'throws confetti gif' online because that's how I feel right now. That was my first thought. Then I actually went and googled it and found out it's not confetti the dude is throwing but rose petals. *crickets chirp* At least I didn't announce it to the whole world I didn't notice till now, oh wait... I actually had the thing saved on my laptop under throws confetti.gif.

4.5 stars

Also reviewed for Addicted2Heroines.

The Burning Sky is one of those books with layers of goodness. There were so many things I loved about it that I'm not really sure where to start! I guess I can't really complain about this kind of dilemma, can I?
Although, knowing me...I could definitely try.

I guess I'll tackle the characters first.
Iolanthe is an awesome female lead. And what I mean by that is that she isn't so perfect and wonderful that you don't believe she's real. She has flaws,
Had been in a sensible, adult-type mood, friends, I probably would have rated The Burning Sky a bit lower.

But I was in a “Sure, what the hell, let’s go on a magical cross-dressing adventure that doesn’t require logic!” kind of mood instead.

And for that, this book was perfect!

Iolanthe has elemental powers the likes of which have never before been recorded? Awesome! She has to run away to the non-magical half of the world (read: Victorian England) to escape being tortured and killed by the peril
Jun 27, 2013 Rae rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: blurbs
Very entertaining, with lots of unique world-building. In fact, I liked it so much I gave it a blurb:

“Sherry Thomas’s The Burning Sky is a marvelous, magical adventure set in a beautifully imagined world. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.”
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
13 REASONS WHY I suffer still and won't recommend The Burning Sky:

1. A main character who hungers but deliberately keeps skipping out on numerous meals-4, I'm guessing, in the space of a day-because of "reasons" and then takes to complaining afterwards about the same. Sorry, Iolanthe, I can't with people like you. Yet, in the eyes of the story, she can do no wrong! She be perfect! Act like a boy? Easy peasy. Hit like a trio of boys? Easy peasy. Charm and educate everyone around you? Jesus, why y

The burning sky introduces us to Iolanthe and Titus. She is a gifted magician and Titus believes she is the one from the prophecy. She will be their savior and he is ready to train her. She goes undercover as Archer to a boy's school and the two become close friends. I was confused by the world-building (a map would have been great), but I loved the whole girl-dressed-as-boy concept. Plus, Titus/Iolanthe have crazy chemistry during their banter.
Jodi Meadows
I love this book.

And, uh, adding Titus to my collection of boys I name when someone asks, "Who's your book boyfriend?" Because YOW.
4.5 stars

My reading of YA books has been pretty much confined to Harry Potter (if that even counts!) and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materialsseries. Being an old codger, back when I was eleven there was no such thing as YA – you had kid’s books and you had adult books, and once you’d outgrown the one, you read the other, so the whole YA genre just wasn’t on my radar until I had kids of my own.

But Sherry Thomas writing YA? Given I’d read whatever this woman writes, even if it was the stuff on the
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The Burning Sky is a beautifully written novel, told in what I feel is a slightly more formal tone than most young adult fiction. The main plot itself -- about a girl who discovers she is the greatest elemental mage of her generation and who now must avoid being taken by enemies that want her power -- is actually quite straightforward, but the classical style adds on multiple layers to this fantasy story.

I have to say the
I know how unfair it is to compare books, but I really can't help myself in this case. The Burning Sky, when put up against other fantasy books like the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, by Laini Taylor, or Melina Marchetta's Lumatere Chronicles, cannot really hold its own.

To be fair, the Daughter of Smoke and Bone books are a whole other brand of fantasy, and you can't really compare the two; but there's something to be said about Laini Taylor's effortless ability to draw you into her world. W
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A cross between Harry Potter and She's The Man, this novel is beautiful and unique.

It also had a rich fantasy setting and great characters.
Robin (Bridge Four)
3.5 Stars

“We will never accomplish anything worthwhile in life if we require the guarantee of success at the onset.”

I’m a fantasy fanatic I love all aspects of the genre from high fantasy to the newly mainstream urban fantasies that are popping up everywhere. The Burning Sky is kind of middle of the road for me. I enjoyed most of the story, the world, the characters but it is still lacking something that would make it a great fantasy. This is the first book in a series and there is a lot of po
This book, you guys, this book! I had no expectations of it whatsoever. It sounded intriguing so I figured I’d give it a fair shot. So I started reading it and didn’t stop until it was done. It had everything I wanted and then some.

The synopsis doesn’t do the book justice because it makes it seem like a swooning romance-y YA and while there is romance present, it has its own place and doesn’t take over the narrative as one would fear, I mean, think. PLUS, there is no mush! But more on that later
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The Burning Sky: ENDING? *SPOILERS* 5 58 Jan 02, 2015 03:32PM  
SOS: Serious Over...: [Nov 2013] "The Burning Sky" Discussion **Spoilers** 5 42 Nov 10, 2013 07:37PM  
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Sherry Thomas writes both historical romance and young adult fantasy.

On the romance side, she is one of the most acclaimed authors working in the genre today, her books regularly receiving starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

On the young adult fantasy side, there isn't much to sa
More about Sherry Thomas...

Other Books in the Series

The Elemental Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy, #2)
  • The Immortal Heights (The Elemental Trilogy, #3)
Not Quite a Husband His at Night Private Arrangements The Luckiest Lady in London Ravishing the Heiress (Fitzhugh Trilogy, #2)

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“You can live forever for me.” 32 likes
“Dreams are not real; but when you are inside a dream, it is real to you.” 27 likes
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