It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning…
Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she’s being 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 greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.
Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he’s also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.
But Titus 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 Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.
Harry Potter. This is what comes to mind when I try to think of a way to sum up this whirlwind of a novel. Mages. Sorcery. Lots of wand pointing. The Inquisitor. Expecto patronum. Harry. Bumbling. Potter.
Now, I will not disclose whether I ever read the infamous book series, or if I consider myself a fan, but I will admit that, yes, I have seen all (or most of?) the movies and Draco is very well my kind of antagonist, and it’s not just that beautiful hair I’m talking about.
You’re probably wondering why I’m sounding so hostile towards The Burning Sky, and that is because I am a very hostile person so I don’t expect too many people to be offended by it because that’s just who I am, but I had a lot of problems with this novel that led to me looking at it in a very uncharacteristically hostile way.
I will start with the first and foremost.
Harry Potter has already been written. We’ve been there, we’ve done that. Hogwarts is always waiting to welcome us home and all that nice jazz, which is totally cool with me, but I so could have done without this Part Two thing we have here.
I am all for wands. I am all for Wingardium Leviosaaa. Yes. Yes. Yes. Fine by me. But I am not fine with things that sound very close to all the casting spells I’ve heard come out of Emma Watson’s pretty little mouth. That is not okay, and I will not pretend that it is.
Last. (I’m trying to paraphrase things here because we know just how long I can really rant when I’m in the mood)
There was lots of talk about Gryffindors and emblems and mysterious logos as far as the all-boys boarding school in UK was concerned. If you are not “hmmmmm”ing as much as I am right now this might be the time to start worrying.
Moving along, it was made fairly obvious that Sherry Thomas is a big fan of all things Harry Potter related. Is this a crime of any sort? Of course not. What is a crime? That the entire time I was reading The Burning Sky I kept thinking “This sounds familiar.” “I’ve heard this before.” “This character really reminds me of *insert selected Harry Potter character*.”
There’s nothing wrong with reading something that’s written in light of another novel, but there is most definitely something wrong with feeling that constant passing state of remembrance.
While The Burning Sky is by no means the next Harry Potter, substance can be found in small peaks of pages. I, personally, had trouble moving past, well, just about everything in this book, but that’s because the subject didn’t all too entice me and I expected something entirely different upon receiving my arc in the mail. The summary I read in no way reminded me of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but it was all there in the prologue, and on and on past then.
Characters, though familiar, felt somewhat unique and I liked the idea of Iolanthe disguising herself as a boy in an all-boys school, but again, this is something we’ve all heard of. While I was skipping through very boring, though thoroughly descriptive pages, the one thing that kept me going was the extremely scarce romance.
I think this book has the potential to win over a new generation of HP lovers, but The Burning Sky just didn’t hit the spot for me.
**Thanks to Sherry Thomas for the advanced reader copy of The Burning Sky**