- Copertina rigida: 449 pagine
- Editore: Elemental Trilogy (17 settembre 2013)
- Collana: Elemental Trilogy
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 0062207296
- ISBN-13: 978-0062207296
- Peso di spedizione: 540 g
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: n. 759.551 in Libri in altre lingue (Visualizza i Top 100 nella categoria Libri in altre lingue)
The Burning Sky (Inglese) Copertina rigida – 17 set 2013
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“Thomas weaves a lush, intricate fantasy world around a gorgeous romance that kept me riveted until the very last page. What a breathtaking journey!” (Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series)
“As expected, Thomas’s romantic touch is sure, but she is just as adept with fantasy world-building, carrying the banners of Anne McCaffrey and Caroline Stevermer, among others, in a wonderfully satisfying magical saga.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Bids fair to be the next big epic fantasy success. Teens and adults in the target audience will devour it.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“The Burning Sky combines one of the most creative magical systems since Harry Potter, with sizzling romance and characters who will win your heart.” (Cinda Williams Chima, New York Times bestselling author of the Seven Realms series)
“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.” (Rae Carson, bestselling author of the Girl of Fire and Thorns series)
“A rich, captivating world, full of intrigue, romance, and magic. The Burning Sky is truly unique and unlike anything else I’ve read!” (Sarah J. Maas, bestselling author of Throne of Glass)
“Heightened action combined with Scarlet Pimpernel-esque cleverness will keep readers eagerly turning pages, while the romantic tension between the two leads adds juiciness to the plot. This blend of magic, gender-bending disguise, and self-sacrificial longing will satisfy fantasy lovers.” (Horn Book Magazine)
“Strong focus on characters and world building make this a fantasy saga to watch.” (Booklist)
Dalla quarta di copertina
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 a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.
Guided by his mother's visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.
The Burning Sky—the first book in the Elemental Trilogy—is an electrifying and unforgettable novel of intrigue and adventure.Visualizza tutta la Descrizione prodotto
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The characters are fantastic, especially our two protagonists. Iolanthe aka Archer Fairfax is an awesome heroine - her personality is endearing, she's brave, level-headed, strong (uhm, as I'm writing this, I'm starting to realize that maybe she was a little TOO perfect. Oh well, whatever, it didn't bother me). She possesses incredible magical powers and is destined to defeat the Bad Guy.
And then there's Titus, the Prince of the Domain, who has spent years meticulously preparing for the time when he and Iolanthe would finally meet, as she is the only one who can help him with his secret goal. But while Iolanthe's power is the key to everything, the day they meet also starts the clock ticking for the prince and marks his impending death.
"The beginning of the end, for his prophesied role was that of a mentor, a stepping-stone--the one who did not survive to the end of the quest."
This is revealed very early on in the book and I have to say, with that sentence I was pretty much a goner when it came to the prince. There was an air of tragedy that surrounded him, and despite all his highly calculated actions and necessarily aloof demeanor, there was never a scene with him where my heart didn't break a little for the guy. His character was developed very well and was one of my favorite things of the story.
The setting of this book is pretty cool -- one moment you're holding your breath as Iolanthe and Titus battle dragons and wyverns in a castle and then later you can find yourself cheering Fairfax in a cricket match and grinning at the easy camaraderie amongst the rowdy boys of Eton College. While I was definitely confused in the beginning about how the magical world and 19th century London existed together, it did eventually click in my head and I found myself able to roll with the world-building -- it was actually kinda fun. This probably isn't for the heavy duty fantasy readers, but it was great for what it was. The end was a tiny bit unsatisfying (it felt a little anticlimactic), but I'll definitely be reading the next book -- and don't worry, no cliffhanger.
For me, that is when everything came screeching to a halt. I’ll admit, I didn’t read the footnotes provided (In my mind, that was thinly disguised attempt to info dump by an author who couldn’t bear letting her carefully planned world building go to waste.) I’ll try to explain the setting, but even I’m confused: Apparently there is a magical realm of Elemental Mages, teleporting, and various beasties. SOMEHOW this magical realm is connected to the non-mage realm, or Earth, where Exiles and Too Valuable to Kill Princes are sent to live/go to school and keep them out of the hair of Atlantis. What’s that, you ask? There’s a lost underwater city here, too? I have no clue. Apparently Atlantis is a group of mages or something that rule the magical realm? I guess?
Anyway, Prince Titus has planned his whole life to find a powerful mage who is destined to save them all. When he finds Iolanthe and tries to convince her of her destiny, she flat-out refuses. She’s no fool, and she sees his plan for what it is- a suicide mission based on the visions of his dead seer mother. Not to be deterred, Titus tricks Iolanthe into swearing a blood-oath to him. The result is over 100 pages of tedious thinly- veiled hatred between the two that you just KNOW is going to shift into love. (The author writes mostly romance, you know).
The world that’s built is beautiful, and I enjoy the boy’s boarding school bits (though that did stretch on a little too long.) Titus is charming even when he’s acting like a pompous jerk to maintain his image as being too stuck on himself to threaten Atlantis, and he is wise and cunning beyond his years. Iolanthe is a breath of fresh air when it comes to YA heroines- she doesn’t spend her time whining about whether or not he loves her/ she loves him and instead comes across as a no-nonsense and relatable. However, the who and what and why of the bad guys and our hero remains a bit vague (something about an oppressive Atlantis?) which is why I couldn’t give it more than three stars.
(This review also appears on Goodreads)
Nothing ever really tells you that most of the book actually takes place in late nineteenth century London, and that much of the world is unaware of the magical goings-on in Elberon (along with a couple of other countries). The synopsis reads like much more of a high fantasy than it really is, but that's totally okay. Once I realized this (on the first page, honestly, since it mentions Eton), all was well.
Iolanthe and Titus are both very interesting characters, with warring emotions, motivations, and actions. Iolanthe has always wanted a comfortable, quiet life, so when she brings down lighting and uproar ensues, that dream goes out the window. She is now running from the Bane, who wants to use her power for...something, and must trust Prince Titus, who keeps her in the dark. She surprises with every action and remains independent and wholly intelligent throughout the book, never relying on someone else to get her out of a tight situation. Titus seems as if his life has largely been charmed, with servants to answer his beck and call and the best schooling, but his past is filled with pain and brutality. He knows the only way to save his kingdom is to take down the Bane, but he must rely on a mage to do so. Even as he seems haughty and cold at times, he is warm and affectionate, and clearly only wants what's best for his people and kingdom. They may be at odds, but they work.
What I enjoyed most was watching the progression of the relationship between Iolanthe and Titus. It's fun to see how their feelings for one another volleyed back and forth over the course of the book--just like their rapport!--even as I just wished they'd settle into mutual affection (of course!) Theirs is a relationship that hinges on trust, and that trust is hard won. Nothing happens quickly, but it's all the more satisfying for that. :)
If you like fantasy in any way, shape, or form, check out The Burning Sky. It is one of those books that you probably could sit around and nitpick about, but if you just sit back and enjoy the ride, it'll probably surprise you. I know I'll be among the first in line for the sequel.
The beginning of this book was quite slow. It was difficult for me to summon interest as we were taken through the day-to-day life of Iolanthe, and I wasn't particularly invested yet in her character. But once the action kicks off, there's no turning back. Even though there are occasional lulls, the plot keeps moving forward until we reach that crucial, if slightly painful ending.
Elemental magic (!) is an essential part of this book, as it's really what sets this story in motion. Iolanthe and Titus meet because of her errant, surprise use of elemental magic, and the rest becomes a series of plot turns and twists that involve intense training, Iolanthe disguised as a boy in Eton and a series of showdowns that leave the reader on the edge of their seat with bated breath.
Iolanthe is someone who I'd like to be, mostly because she's brave and capable and smart. While her hot head and stubborn nature occasionally gets her into scrapes, she manages to demonstrate a sense of loyalty and camaraderie that simply moved me. She certainly has a way to go before she's fully in control of her abilities, but that's something I can't wait to see happen when her journey continues. Plus, she's a freaking elemental Mage, which is already pretty awesome in itself!
Titus, however, is immediately the character for me in this book. By that, I mean that from his very first appearance, I already adored him. It appears that he's part of a privileged family, with duties and obligations to keep. And the boy is just so gosh darn responsible, taking on the weight of the world and then some. His courage, determination, intelligence, cunning and just being plain boy really worked for his character, and I was pretty much in love with him by the time the book came to an end.
Together, these two jump through what feels like a billion hoops, all with the goal of keeping Iolanthe safe and undetected. It seems like every time they relax and let down their guard, something new happens to make them wary again. While the incidents start out smaller, they escalate until we hit the final confrontation. And that confrontation just broke my heart! I certainly had all the feels -- and you'll know why when you read it.
There is one bit of the book that I found really fascinating: the Crucible. Seriously, that thing is wicked awesome and scary at the same time. But the invention of it is so simple, so well done that I must applaud Thomas for creating this item that I am now kind of obsessed with.
The Burning Sky wowed me, though it did start off a bit clunky and slow. It's such a subtle woven fantasy read, drawing me in close in a fashion that I don't notice until I'm finally enmeshed and invested. It will certainly be interesting to learn more about Iolanthe, Titus and the world they are fighting to protect in the sequel, and I look forward to more swoons and feels in the next book!
There's so much going on with this book that made it a great read, that I was fine with being a little disappointed by the the other major aspect of the plot - the romance. Iolanthe and Titus are fantastic characters on their own, and I really enjoyed their interactions and the push and pull of their emotions, but I also felt it was a little too emphasized throughout. Their tension felt inflated to me, because almost every chapter had a moment (or several) where they were overcome with their feelings for each other but always pulled back. I also thought their connection wasn't very well delineated - it mostly seemed superficial, and a little too "insta" - relying more on physical attraction, or attraction based on their forced camaraderie. The story switches between their two POVs as well which added to the overemphasis on their feelings since the reader has to deal with their emotional confusion from two perspectives. I think it would have been great to only know what Iolanthe was thinking with the reader being kept in the dark as to Titus' plans as Iolanthe so often was. The changing POVs just felt too jarring to me unfortunately.
There was one more aspect of this story that I found a bit perplexing - the nature of prophecy. The prophecy adds suspense to the story because the reader doesn't know exactly how it will be fulfilled and it can be very deceptive by setting up expectations, but it seems like the fulfillment of the prophecy was often cheating because the characters made themselves fulfill it by following exactly what was forseen. This didn't bother me so much, but I would be interested in seeing what would happen if the characters directly went against what the prophecy foretold.
This first book in this series sets up what sounds like a really great epic confrontation, and I am looking forward to knowing more about Iolanthe's powers, and how she will overcome the very powerful Bane. This book has a fantastic take on magic, some nail-bitingly suspenseful moments, and great characters - I think it is a great start to the series.