Sunday Street Team is organized by Nori @ ReadWriteLove28. SST is a cross between a blog tour and street team for a couple different titles each month. As the title suggests, the posts go up on Sundays!
Go here to learn more about SST.
2016 is full of amazing debuts and today I'm helping promote & shine a spotlight to one of my most awaited and the beginning of a new YA fantasy trilogy: A Shadow Bright & Burning by Jessica Cluess!
I'm gonna give you some information about the book and authors and will also be sharing my review!
A Shadow Bright & Burning by Jessica Cluess
I am Henrietta Howel.
The first female sorcerer in hundreds of years.
The prophesied one.
Or am I?
Henrietta Howel 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 chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, 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 that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?
Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces a powerful, unforgettably heroine, and a world filled with magic, romance, and betrayal. Hand to fans of Libba Bray, Sarah J. Maas, and Cassandra Clare.
About the author:
JESSICA CLUESS is a writer, a graduate of Northwestern University, and an unapologetic nerd. After college, she moved to Los Angeles, where she served coffee to the rich and famous while working on her first novel. When she's not writing books, she's an instructor at Writopia Lab, helping kids and teens tell their own stories.
An excellent debut and very promising first book in a new fantasy series!
Herrietta is our main character and she's always been a survivor in a world where women are second class citizens at best, and were women & magic equals witch and witch equals death. As someone with magic she's been scared & hiding her powers all her life and when she's discovered, her life is shaken upside down, but not by the threat she expected at all!
This book might seem to be going through often throd paths when it comes to setting, as it's Victorian London, with the constrictions and customs of the time, and when magic is added to the mix, we keep on thinking it'll be the magic we know well and true, and very early on we start to see that none of the tropes and cliches to be expected will remain so.
Jessica Cluess does an amazing job at building a different system of magic from the ones we've usually seen, nothing that we haven't seen before, not really, but mixed and done fresh and differently! Same with the world and mythology of it, and we keep discovering how different things are from the expected route along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed having my expectations turned upside down and being wrong about what might come next!
We get a heroine that is NOT the chosen one but will not back down from doing what she can in the fight and in challenging the prejudices of society. We get some light romance because it's very much on the side and even if it's not a linear romance, it's also not clearly stablished as any sort of geometrical shape either. There's a very close relationship with a childhood friend & ally that could be something more but undefined and unexplored, and there's a certain entanglement of attraction with another fellow magic user but that's cut short very wisely. And there's something that might be nothing that's the one I'm rooting for because apparently I like things complicated!
We get quite a few revelations that shake not only our preconceptions but also the characters' knowledge of their world and history or at least what they thought they know, and although that leaves us really looking forward to what's to come in the next book(s), it manages to avoid the utter pain of a cliffhanger, which I was extremely thankful for!
Fantasy can have many well known characteristics and tropes and they can still be used to construe a fresh and original story, and this book is proof of that! 4 to 4.5 stars to this one!