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Burning Bright

(The Extraordinaries #1)

by
4.04  ·  Rating details ·  2,399 ratings  ·  358 reviews
In 1812, Elinor Pembroke wakes to find her bedchamber in flames—and extinguishes them with a thought. At 21, she is old to manifest magical talent, but the evidence is unmistakable: she not only has the ability to start fires, but the far more powerful ability to control and extinguish them. She is an Extraordinary, and the only one in England capable of wielding fire in o ...more
ebook, 318 pages
Published August 15th 2016 by Curiosity Quills Press
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Sanasai I would say it is balanced between historical/lightly fantasy and romance, but I found the navy vs. pirates plot to be well done and satisfying enough…moreI would say it is balanced between historical/lightly fantasy and romance, but I found the navy vs. pirates plot to be well done and satisfying enough to have stood on it's own. (less)

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4.04  · 
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 ·  2,399 ratings  ·  358 reviews


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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Highly recommended if a Regency era fantasy appeals to you. Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Twenty-one year old Elinor Pembroke, dreaming of fire burning all around her, awakes to find her room actually ablaze with an intense fire ― a fire she caused in her sleep. Elinor is able to quench the fire with simply a thought. The ability to not only mentally generate but also to extinguish fire makes her an Extraordinary Scorcher, the first British person with this high level of power
...more
Aisling Zena
4 stars

To my smut lovers, fair warning, this has no rumpy pumpy in it. I really enjoyed it anyway though and that's rare for me. This is a regency era fantasy book. I found the powers described in it very interesting and intriguing. Imagine, Regent England with fire starters(Scorchers), telekinetics (Movers), teleporters(Bounders) and a woman that's not just a Scorcher but an Extraordinary one (meaning she can stop the fire and manipulate it). Simply, kick ass!

More detailed review, later. Maybe.
...more
Sherwood Smith
Mar 21, 2017 added it
Shelves: fantasy
Fantastical Regency historical romances have become a popular subgenre, ever since Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer published their fictional letter game Sorcery and Cecelia two or three decades ago. Melissa McShane has come up with my favorite since the above--and for totally different reasons.

While Wrede and Stevermer were basically inserting magic into a Georgette Heyer world, McShane has eschewed the Heyerverse, drawing on influence from Jane Austen and Patrick O'Brian, to come up wi
...more
Monty Cupcake ☠ Queen of Bloodshed ☠
Elinor, age 21, awakens one day to a bedroom on fire. Bad for the curtains, but good for her, her talent has finally emerged. Her parents thought she was going to be an ordinary talent-less chick as most manifest much earlier. Her late manifestation means she's an Extraordinary Sorcher - the super gifted. Her mean old dad is over the moon excited about selling her off in marriage now to the highest bidder and woe to Elinor if she doesn't obey. She's way nicer than what I'd have done. She doesn't ...more
Mei
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paranormal
Elinor is a Scorcher. An Extraordinary Scorcher!



What a marvelous world! Here people have gifts: long-distance talk, seers, movers, etc. The possibilities are endless! And I hope Ms. McShane will explore them throughly! :)

But while many people have talents, very few are extraordinarily talented. Elinor is one of those and she's a force of nature withe her element: the fire!!!

Elinor is not a meak female. She's very quiet, but also very stubborn. And when her father forces her to choose between mar
...more
Melissa McShane
Nov 11, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Re-read 5/21/18 in preparation for writing the next book in the series: I love having written this book, I'm proud of it, and what's the only thing I ever notice? That I wrote Wellington instead of Wellesley. Seriously, I do know the difference!

10/17/16: I wrote this book sort of on a dare. I love the Napoleonic/Regency era in fiction, but never thought of writing anything like that. But I had this magic system I wanted to do something with, and my husband challenged me to see what I could do wi
...more
Jacob Proffitt
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've taken to rereading Melissa's books as they come out, if only to refresh my memory about what made it in and what didn't. And yes, that means I'm unusually closely involved and you can safely discount my review as biased if you desire. I do try to be clear, if not precisely impartial, so I hope you'll give the review a glance and discover a story you can love.

In Burning Bright, Melissa sticks closer to the real world than she usually does by setting it in a Regency period much like our own,
...more
Audrey
I don’t want to give any of the story away, so let’s see how vague I can keep this. This is a historical fiction with fantasy elements, sort of an alternate history. When Elinor Pembroke is 21, the ability to manipulate fire awakens in her. Her tyrannical father wants to exploit this for personal gain, but Elinor seeks an alternate life to the one he has planned.

It’s written in the steady, deliberate pace and style of the Regency era. There are some common tropes such as the awkward meeting wit
...more
Emmy
**4.5**

This book gets points just for originality. I LOVE the premise. A historical, but with superpowers? Yes, please!

This book is probably more adventure than romance, so if you are looking for a book that shoves romance down your throat, you might want to look elsewhere. The romance part doesn't really come in until the very end, but that's also what I loved about it. I knew who Elinor would end up with, but there were no heated glances or accidentally "electric" touches throughout the book.
...more
Mandapanda
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a unique story. A romance that is a cross between a Regency romp and Master and Commander. With a dash of the supernatural thrown in. It was intriguing, smart, fast-paced and had a great sense of adventure. Elinor was a great heroine. Very tame romance with no sex scenes. This was a Secret Santa (2016) gift. Thanks :)
Hailee (haibooklovers)
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

What an unexpected delight! Definitely recommend.

I feel like I should tell you why I loved this book so much.
1. The premise was so fun! I happen to love me historical fiction. I'm also a bit obsessed with anything related to elemental control (hello Air Awakens and A Darker Shade of Magic and Half-Blood). So combining the two?? Yes, please.
2. Headstrong main character. I'll admit I've got something of a soft spot for a leading lady that questions and/or flouts the rules
...more
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
This story was slow and intense and full of battle scenes and superpowers and I completely loved it. The romance is also a slow-burn...almost to the point of non-existence, but it's just lovely. I really love the idea of giving Regency-era ladies X-Men-like powers and seeing what they do with them, especially in a time where women were considered inferior in every way. I've always loved those characters in historical fiction who flout the rules of society, consequences be damned, and Elinor is n ...more
Lisa
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
There was one aspect that really bothered me about this book (why can't they be better strategists when it comes to utilizing their powers!?!) but overall, this was an EXCELLENT fantasy romance, nearly perfect blend of the two genres. Fun read, highly recommend to lovers of romance or fantasy, especially if you're looking for stories set on the high seas.
Sara Kate
I enjoyed this! Reminded me of the Darkest London Series that I’m done with so this will give me that little bit of historical romance with a paranormal flare to it.
Sophia
This was one of those books that I knew from the beginning that it was just my thing. Intrepid heroine set for adventure, magic, war on the high seas, dashing Navy Captain, pirates, shipboard adventure, danger, and maybe love when she least expects it? This was history and fantasy blended together at it's best. A young woman courageously steps out of the restraints of her current life and boldly embraces the adventure of a lifetime so she can live free. I read it in two sittings and then groaned ...more
Michelle
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I don't read a lot of fantasy historical books, I love the genre, but I don't find that many that interest me. I really enjoyed how the magical abilities in this book are very interesting but not overwhelming. Something easily to follow, but not boring or something that takes away from the story. Just a touch of romance and a great adventure.

Elinor is a Scorcher as in she can manipulate fire. She decides that instead of marrying a man she certainly doesn't want to marry (nor should she) or stay
...more
A
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received the ARC of this fantastic story from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, and it was yet another example that Curiosity Quills Press is my go-to place to find unique and amazing books… ;) and it should be yours as well ;) because let me tell you… I knew from the synopsis that it will be something else, and that made me curious and at the same time a little bit afraid… ;) because not only this is a brand new author for me, but also the premise, sounding so original, might ha ...more
Sky
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Please note that I received a free ebook via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Now, I normally never pick up historical fiction. Most of the time I find them to be super heavy reads. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just isn’t my thing. But I admit when I saw this cover on Netgalley I was intrigued. We all know I’m a suckered for a good cover. But let me tell you, this book is so much more than a good cover. It was an amazing journey about a sheltered girl who wanted to choose h
...more
Jen
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This book was nothing short of amazing for me. I'm partial to the Regency era in my historical fiction, so right there, the setting was up my alley. I love books where the romance isn't the primary focus, where the characters get to know one another and they don't do any pre-marital things (I rather have plot than naughty bits, unless I want naughty, then I don't need the plot so much). The magic system was great, I loved how it worked. The MC kinda has this amazing out of this world power, BUT ...more
Rosemarie Short
Nov 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, arc
There are times in which a book leaves me at a loss as to how to review it. This could be because a book is incredibly good, or incredibly bad. It can also be when a book is, extraordinarily, both. In this case, Burning Bright manages to somehow achieve the latter of those three things.

One moment, I would be reading at what felt like a snail’s pace, wondering how much closer to the end each page would bring me. All of a sudden, a well written character interaction or a sizzling action scene woul
...more
Tandie
I loved this! 4.5 stars. A Lady possessing rare fire magic is basically being sold by her father to the highest bidder. Fire girl sneaks away & demonstrates her power to the Royal Navy. Burners are quite useful in battle. They reluctantly allow her to (sort of) enlist. Having a woman onboard is distracting and many consider it bad luck.

Fire girl proves herself in battle and wins most of the crew over. Oooh, there's a hot captain who can fly! At first, I found that a bit silly -like Captain
...more
Hallie
Nov 14, 2016 added it
I read this way back, and loved it. I'm going to reread, and hope to say something more coherent than that, but all the same, 'I loved it' cuts the verbiage and gives the essentials, right?
A (Is For Awkward)
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I loved the concept behind this book: regency romance fantasy with magic. On the high seas.

Some aspects of the story felt a bit too cliched, and not enough time was spent on character building for secondary characters.

The biggest flaws in this book are in fact the relationships. First as romances go there was hardly any time spent on developing things, beyond the initial stages of friendship and some maybe small hints they both might someday want more. While the plot climax was perfect for the
...more
Danya
3.5 stars

BURNING BRIGHT by Melissa McShane is part traditional Regency era novel, part nautical fantasy – a combination that’s a ton of fun and sure to entertain anyone who enjoys historical fantasy.

Stifled by her overbearing and emotionally abusive father, Elinor Pembroke is desperate to escape her life. But there are few options for a girl with no fortune and average looks; few options, that is, until her Extraordinary magical gift manifests. Most members of the upper class are gifted in some
...more
eyes.2c
Fabulous read!

Extraordonaires is an interesting series set in a Regency era where magical talent is manifest. I must admit I kept thinking about the Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses books and Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series. I really enjoyed this and am sad it took me so long to get around to it. In fact I purchased the next in the series, 'Wandering Sight', after reading 'Burning Bright.'
What more do you need? A young, talented woman, Elinor Pembroke, trodden down by an autocratic, self
...more
Aerin Proffitt
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love exactly two things in this world; fire magic, and regency era romances. THIS HITS ALL MY FAVS. My mother has been trying to get me to read her books for YEARS and I finally got around to reading this (because its on audible now) and I literally had to pull over my car to call her and yell about it.
it talks about boats in a way that didnt make me want to vomit, it had characters i loved (or loved to hate) and the meaningful hand touch blew the rest of the Austens away... ha.
I recently lear
...more
Rachel
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m a little shocked by how much I loved this. This was such an immersive book and the magic was constantly interesting in a way that I just wasn’t expecting. Also one of the best books about naval warfare I’ve ever read. Again, to my shock!
Jennifer
2 stars.

I wanted to like this: a historical romance where some people have super powers? It sounded awesome. Unfortunately, the execution of it wasn't that great. I had a hard time believing that nothing else about the world had changed except for the existence of the powers. It really felt like the author just slapped a supernatural veneer on top of what was actually going on in the world at that time and called it an alternate reality. Honestly, how could Regency society have still be the same
...more
Kaja
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review was first posted on my blog, Of Dragons and Hearts.

Burning Bright is a curious book. It’s a historical romance with fantasy elements yet it’s actually very slow and light on romance – so maybe it’s a historical fantasy with romance elements? You know I’m rubbish at classifying books.

I liked the story a lot, actually. Elinor makes an important decision and joins the royal navy instead of being bartered off to the highest bidder like a prize mare when her talent manifests. She can mani
...more
Shelley
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Fantasy
*Rating* 4.0

*My Thoughts*

*Full Review Posted @ Talk Supe Blog!

http://www.talksupeblog.com/2016/08/g...

Expected publication: August 15th 2016 by Curiosity Quills Press

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584 followers
Melissa grew up a nomad, following her family all over the United States, and ended up living in the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains with her husband, four kids, and three very needy cats. Her love of reading was always a constant during those uncertain years, and her love of writing grew out of that. She wrote reviews and critical essays for many years before turning to fiction, and was surprised ...more

Other books in the series

The Extraordinaries (3 books)
  • Wondering Sight (The Extraordinaries, #2)
  • Abounding Might (The Extraordinaries, #3)
“and mouth and made her eyes feel roasted. She felt no fear, merely sat with her arms around her knees, her white, flannel nightgown tucked over her feet, and marveled at the fire’s power and beauty. She had never seen such color. It made every memory she had of this dismal room seem even more faded and dispirited. Then the heat battered at her again, and she realized she would die if she did nothing. So she reached out from within herself, and extinguished it. It vanished between one heartbeat and the next, leaving behind the cold ash and charred beams of a long-dead fire. Patches of wallpaper here and there lent a leprous look to the walls. She heard screaming from somewhere nearby; that, and the void left by the fire’s howl, filled her ears with a dull ringing sound. I believe” 0 likes
“Peace, tentative like a new shoot of grass, began working its way through the anxiety she had been carrying with her for a week. She who had never been more than one hundred miles from home in her life was now nearly ten times that distance away and preparing to go even farther. Thank you, papa, for driving me out of my tiny life into something so much vaster than I imagined. Thank you for thinking so little of me that I was forced to find a place where I was valued. Thank you.” 0 likes
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