Book Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning – Jessica Cluess

Now that’s one lengthy title.

I procrastinated so much, I’m writing this at 1:50am in the morning lol.


Name: A Shadow Bright and Burning
Author: Jessica Cluess
Publisher: Dutton Books
Release Date: September 20, 2016


I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city–and the one she loves?

Book Cover Comments

The burning rose is actually super gorgeous. That orange and turquoise flame looks ABSOLUTELY STUNNING TOGETHER.

The Actual Review

Victoria Aveyard’s blurb is 100% correct. The world building was definitely as deep and dark as the ocean.

I knew I didn’t want to put down this book from the very first moment I held it in my hands. Let’s begin by the fact that this book is basically partly historical fiction, which was really cooool. I was in London 2 months ago, and so I remember one or two key locations that was featured in the book.

The weirdest thing was reading this after Miss Peregrine’s Trilogy, because Ransom Riggs also used Christopher Wren and St. Paul’s Cathedral, which made me go haywire XD

Henrietta is a super cool character, with the secret that she needs to hide and her true identity, as well as how she chooses to overcome and face these obstacles. I loved it so much when in the end she chose her best friend as her one true love and to stay with him forever, even if there might be things that she is scared of him. One thing I’m going to complain about is: WHERE IS THAT KISS I’M LOOKING FOR!?!?!?!?!?!?

The other companion sorcerers that trained with Henrietta was really awesome as well, with how each of them has their own problems and annoying issues, as well as differing attitudes towards Henrietta being the first female sorcerer in quite a while. Some of them accept Henrietta for who she is, and her abilities of creating fire, which was really sweet and nice of them. I’d like a bunch of these kindhearted boys to train with me for anything except academics haha.

It’s probably just me and my monster-marshmallow-fying imagination, but I know how bloody and “bloody hell” and “goodness gracious” and “God save me” all the monsters are in this book. I also love how there was a little poem for all the boss monsters which was really fun to read, though I’d rather the leader be in Sunday, as Sunday was the last line of that poem, and Sundays are different in a way, so it’d make it more unique XD

There are tons of revelations going on in this book, and I obviously won’t spoil you so I can’t tell you what it is, but you’ll come to learn more stuff about the wizard who brought Henrietta here.

It was kind of sad to see Henrietta and her best friend growing apart in the training house, how their distance kept increasing because they now have different life missions, but I’m also so glad in the end, how the last time the book mentioned the two of them together was really sweet and touching and heartwarming at the same time.

I see this book as one with a lot of morals of accepting your abilities, embracing it and using it in the best way possible, as well as believing in your friends and don’t be mad just because someone said something.

Of course I can’t spoil how Henrietta’s past plays an important role in this story, but please go read it because this book was actually really beautiful and powerful, and I can’t wait to read the sequel to know what happens next after boss stage climax passed.

A Shadow Bright and Burning tells the tale of Henrietta Howel, who Is the one shining bright and burning, with her fire to extinguish the evil to protect her loved ones.


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