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The Burning Sky

(The Elemental Trilogy #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  17,271 ratings  ·  2,074 reviews
This is a previously published edition of ISBN13: 9780062207296.

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 ha
Hardcover, 449 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Balzer + Bray (first published September 15th 2013)
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Popular Answered Questions
Peter Deeks I would say "I-oh-lanth-ay" or I-oh-lanth-ee*
I would say "I-oh-lanth-ay" or I-oh-lanth-ee*
George More accurately, the male constantly WANTS to protect the female. It's how we're wired and/or socialized. Even I, who am gay, have occasionally felt t…moreMore accurately, the male constantly WANTS to protect the female. It's how we're wired and/or socialized. Even I, who am gay, have occasionally felt that tug.

So no, don't be afraid that the female will be inappropriately clinging.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  17,271 ratings  ·  2,074 reviews

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Start your review of The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1)
Emily May
Jul 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
"Why should Atlantis pay any mind to me?"
"Because you are younger and have far more potential."
. . .
"Potential for what?"
"For greatness."

The Burning Sky is the author's first YA Fantasy novel, after writing many adult Historical Romance novels, and it really shows. I expected some light fantasy and possibly a romance - I was okay with that - but this story is so ridiculously superficial. And not even in a fluffy, somewhat enjoyable way.

Some of YA's toughest critics on Goodreads enjoyed this
Khanh, first of her name, mother of 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
Wendy Darling
Dazzling magic, great characters, WYVERNS, and lovely romance. That's pretty much all you need to know.
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
Ahh!! This was so good! How are more people not talking about this series? I mean, I know I'm late to the game here, but still.

I absolutely adored this book. Easily one of the best ships in YA fantasy, and such a cool take on elemental magic. Super complex and fun storyline. My shipper's heart is a pile of mush.

Since there are already lots of reviews out there, I'm just going to leave you with a few reasons you need to pick up this book if you are a fantasy fan.

1. Seriously cool magic not just
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it

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
Simona Bartolotta
"And that is why you do not trifle with the Master of the Domain."

This is the story of how I fell in love with a book from literally the first three sentences.
The first three sentences.
I'm not joking.
That can't be true, you say? How dare you-
You know what? Just read this already.


Yeah, I know. And I am confident that you now understand what I meant by "first three sentences".
This prologue swept me off my feet. It left me breathless. I have no word to describe how surprised an
Rachel E. Carter
Nov 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: br

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
Katerina Kondrenko
9 out of 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog
Living A Thousand Lives
(please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

Immediate Music – Burning Sky
Jon McLaughlin – We All Need Saving
Coldplay – Us Against the World

Stuff: mages, good vs. evil, elemental magic, parallel worlds
Fail: there are not enough romantic moments, instead - too much world-building information (necessary but still)
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
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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,
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 wo
Nina (Every Word A Doorway)
Oct 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Nina (Every Word A Doorway) by: Simona Bartolotta
Shelves: urban-fantasy
3.5 stars

I was warned by my friends Nastassja and Katerina that this book was going to make me fall in love with a prince – and it did. Titus VII is my small son and must be protected at all costs. As a hopeless shipper of love-hate relationships and devoted fan of girls disguising as boys, The Burning Sky was the perfect read for me, in the sense that it offered me a light read with some of my favourites plot devices. Alas, I could not ignore the flaws this urban fantasy presented me with, whic
Nenia ☠️ Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Protector of Out of Print Gems, Mother of Smut, and Actual Garbage Can ☠️ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

🌟 I read this for the Yule Bingo Challenge, for the category of Harry: "chosen one" trope. For more info on this challenge, click here. 🌟

This book has some of my favorite things in it: magic spells, dragons, and forbidden romance! I've had this kicking around my Kindle and finally got around to reading it because I needed a book with the "chosen one" trope. THE BURNING SKY, which reads a bit like a Victorian-era Harry Potter, more than
This is the kind of Fantasy that I can just devour in a day. It's light, adventurous, romantic, and hard to put down. Soooo not epic. It's not that I don't enjoy Epic Fantasy, too. It's just such an investment, and you have to have patience, and often the characters are just a little too remote. Usually I have to take breaks from the Epics, both during and between installments.

Sometimes I just want to jump in and enjoy. I want a couple of characters that I can like, with problems that are a bit
First read: September 2013
Second read: September 2015

4.5 stars

The Burning Sky is 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
May 22, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy, blurbs
The Burning Sky combines one of the most creative magical system since Harry Potter with sizzling romance and characters who will win your heart.
Maggie ☘ (Wonderland-Reader)
*1.5/5 stars*

“A messy business, rescuing princes.”

This book was so slow for me. So. Slow. Very little happened for most of the book and everything was packed just in the last chapters. And I just did not care. I didn't care about the story. I didn't care about the characters in the slightest.

The story is alternately told from two POVs: Iolanthe - The Chosen One elemental mage, and Titus - scheming prince of the realm. While Titus's character had some personality at least, Iolanthe was entir
I have changed my rating from a 3 to 2 1/2 stars.

Beware, this review will have a shitload of The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra gifs.

Well this was a lot different from what I was expecting.

It reminded me a lot of my baby Zuko. *Heart eyes*


And how could I forget dear Mako?


Now enough of that.

"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 Th
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
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Gillian Berry
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 start
Mayim de Vries
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just before the start of Summer Half, in April 1883, a very minor event took place at Eton College, that venerable and illustrious English public school for boys. A sixteen-year-old pupil named Archer Fairfax returned from a three-month absence, caused by fractured femur, to resume his education.

Almost every word in the preceding sentence is false. Archer Fairfax had not suffered a broken limb. He had never before set foot in Eton. His name was not Archer Fairfax. And he was not, in fact, even
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
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
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

With a whole lot of curiosity I delved into this book, and was completely immersed in the world Sherry Thomas created. I was hooked by page one! Everything from the characters to the magical world and the time period.

This didn't feel at all like a YA, maybe because both leads Iolanthe Seabourne & Prince Titus VII while only 16 acted mature for their ages and didn't act sullen or whine about their life, but took life by the horns and thought their actions through instead of jumping the gun and
Melissa (Ever So Mela)

Don't be put off by the 3 stars!

“This is the story of a girl who fooled a thousand boys, a boy who fooled an entire country, a partnership that would change the fate of realms, and a power to challenge the greatest tyrant the world had ever known.”

This is a very, very light YA epic fantasy. It reads like a middle grade book.

I'm pretty sure this was her first take on epic fantasy, having only written historical fiction before, and it shows. The world building was severely lacking. It wasn't e
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, school, ya, adventure
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
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Because actual world domination is too much trouble, USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas decided that her goal is life is to write every kind of book she enjoys reading. Thus far she has published romance, fantasy, mystery, and a wuxia-inspired duology. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Tim ...more

Other books in the series

The Elemental Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy, #2)
  • The Immortal Heights (The Elemental Trilogy, #3)

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“Love will make you weak and indecisive, remember?" she murmured.
What a fool he had been. For a journey like theirs, love was the only thing that would make him strong enough.
"Don't ever listen to an idiot like me," he answered.”
“You can live forever for me.” 51 likes
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