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 saviour 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.
This was not an easy one to rate at all, disappointingly enough. In all honesty, I love reads where I set them down and just know, this is what it is. They all can’t be that easy of course.
For this book, I started off with a positive mindset, and possibly too high expectations. I felt like with the prologue it had, a lot more and a much better story could have come out of it. I still feel that way. Chapters into it, two new things were focused on; I was going to finish the book because I do not want to have DNF and this will be a two star rating. So, congrats Thomas, your ending got me to put it up another star. That’s all I can say though that’s truly good.
For the majority of this story, I felt like I wasn’t really getting to see or truly know the characters. Yea sure, I got random blurps, but not enough to ever make me care about them. And trust me, Thomas put in events that were supposed to make you care. I didn’t. In fact I couldn’t. Somehow, Thomas made Titus into an Anti-hero for the middle of the book and he was the most god awful anti-hero I have ever read. I just didn’t like him at all. Normally, anti-heroes are my favourite characters of all. Not this time around sadly.
Also, the take on seers in this one. Yes, I know, very random bit of magic to pick on in a book isn’t it? Well considering how much stock this author put into it, it’s not surprising once you read it. It doesn’t help that I just read Mind Games a weak ago that had the opposite take on seers. In Mind Games, the future is forever changing, each decision leads to something different.
But in this case, the future is set and stone and when those who can tell you the future tell it, you listen. I just can’t appreciate that. Of course it’s trying to follow the idea of destiny. But the idea that someone can’t alter their destiny and go down a path written by them, frustrates me beyond belief. It also made the visions coming true corny and tedious. Some of those visions too, ridiculous to the effect they have on the characters. Worst part is, how do you know someone isn’t making the shit they ‘see’ up?
Moving on. When talking about the plot, I’m not sure exactly what to say, good or bad. I mean, it was easily a typical kind of fantasy idea. Evil overlord, people want to rebel and kill me. The only twist (spoiler) this one has been killed and magically does not die. Woooowwww. Not. Pretty simple solution in my mind to why it’s happen and a poor attempt on Thomas’ part at throwing a wrench in the main characters plans. The solution was far too obvious.
Otherwise though, one I got to about 2/3’s of the book I began to enjoy where it was going. It became interesting, even if not thrilling, and I wanted to know how it would work and what would happen (even if the seers slightly ruined it). I liked the characters enough by this point though that I wanted to know the how and why to what happened. Enough so that come the ending, I’ve put the second book on my to-read list. When I’ll get around to it we’ll see, but there’s a chance I’ll finish this trilogy now.
The most positive thing I can say here; I liked the main character. I felt like it was the author that messed her up for me. Iolanthe makes a stupid error with Titus right in the beginning that was blatantly so absurd and powerless I nearly gave up reading right there. That is, if it weren’t for the attitude she took up soon afterwards, the saying, make the bastards squirm, comes to mind. She bites back after as much as she can. But I could not forgive the idiocy of that action until long after.
What I did like of course, was the magic. Any good fantasy has some decent magic and fantasy. Also, there wasn’t chapter after chapter of world building. Although that wasn’t exactly a good thing either. I feel like I’d be much more interested in reading about this world a hundred or so years before, when the world had even more potential for action and adventure. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the elemental magics though, but even more, the subtle magic employed by Titus was wonderful. Talk about making use with what you have.
So this book held a lot of mixed enjoyment for me. I don’t really know who to recommend it to in all honesty. Fantasy lovers, I feel you might be disappointed like me. I haven’t even read Harry Potter yet (don’t worry I have the first book waiting for me to read at home at long last) and I already feel like J.K. Rowling’s story trumps this one beyond anything. I guess that’s all I’ve got. Except that if you do decide to give this book a try, be patient, it does develop into something better and maybe my expectations were too high. Badass cover after all.
Until next time,