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  • Writer's pictureChrissy

A Shadow Bright and Burning - Jessica Cluess

Henrietta has a secret. To save the life of her best friend, her secret is out. She is the first female sorcerer since Joan of Arc, or is she? She would do anything to protect Rook. Even pretending to be the girl prophecy foretold would bring down the ancients, but how long can she keep up the charade when her magic begins to fail?

When I started reading A Shadow Bright and Burning I was sure I had read the plot before. Turns out I almost had. This book had many of the same elements as Shadow & Bone, by Leigh Bardugo. I actually looked up when each book was published to see who got the idea from the other. While A Shadow Bright and Burning shares a lot of similarities to the Shadow and Bone series, Cluess' execution of bringing a fantasy world to life was more fulfilling as a reader. The difference for me was the growth of the characters. I didn't see as much growth in Alina's character in Shadow & Bone as I did in Henrietta's. Henrietta builds friendships throughout her time training as a sorcerer and each one is built on nothing other than the characters interacting honestly with each other. There aren't missing pieces where you're sitting there like "wait, didn't they just hate each other?" Cluess shows you up close and personal how each bond is formed.

“Perhaps Porridge?” I said, grinning. To my surprise, the carvings glowed with blue light. “Oh no!” Dee said. “You should’ve given it a grand name. What’ll it say in the history books? Miss Henrietta Howel, the savior of England, and her stave, Porridge?”

I didn't make very many notes while reading this book because I was that into it. I enjoyed the characters, the world building, all of it. It has romance, intrigue, betrayal, a little science fiction and a lot of magic. If you liked Shadow & Bone, you'll definitely enjoy A Shadow Bright and Burning. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Harry Potter, magic and romanticism. I wouldn't suggest it for anyone who doesn't like mixing a little reality with a lot of fantasy.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 Beautiful Superb stars for A Shadow Bright and Burning

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