A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess
Review by Bronwyn Eley
This was my pick for my book club and I stand wholeheartedly by that decision. Firstly, I love that cover! Secondly, I also happen to love the concept. Take Victorian London, add a dash of ancient, bloodthirsty demons, mix in a headstrong female sorcerer, top it off with an entourage of handsome men and you’ve got A Shadow Bright and Burning.
My favourite thing about this book was definitely its setting – I love a good Victorian Era setting, but it ended up doing way more for me than I expected. I mean, think about the Victorian Era – proper society, women having to be ‘ladies’, men having to be ‘gentlemen’… but here was our heroine, Henrietta, astounding me with her seemingly contradictory personality traits. She combined the lessons of her upbringing – ladies must be ladies, protect your virtue, all that archaic stuff we’ve thankfully left behind – with this other-worldly bravery that comes from growing up with demons running amok.
Speaking of demons, I also love to think about what our world would be like today if something like this had happened in the past. What if we had gotten to a point in the 1800s and BAM! Someone rips a hole in the fabric of the universe and out pour the demons. Oops…
I really enjoyed this book, it was such an amazing read – count me in for book two!
A Shadow Bright and Burning
Henrietta can burst into flames. Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she's shocked when, instead of being executed, she's invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers.
Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorising humanity. Her fellow trainees are handsome young men, eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one. As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city - and the one she loves?...
About the Contributor
Before entering the exciting world of books, Bronwyn served in the Royal Australian Air Force, travelled extensively and worked (still does!) as a barista on the weekends. Books are her true passion. Bronwyn's debut fantasy novel Relic is coming out in 2019 with indie publishing house Talem Press. They are to publish her entire trilogy called The Relic Trilogy. In her spare time, Bronwyn writes, reads and enjoys keeping fit (which she undoes by eating loads of chocolate) with Martial Arts and personal training. She can't answer what her favourite book is but she has a soft spot for Peter Pan (J.M Barrie), Outlander (Diana Gabaldon), Stardust (Neil Gaiman), The Illuminae Files (Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman) and Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo). Fantasy, sci-fi and YA make up the majority of her bookshelves.