The Burning Sky
The days when elemental magic decided the fate of the realms has long passed, and though Iolanth Seaborne has promise as an elemental mage, she is forced to hide her prowess with fire, water and earth. Even worse, she is stuck trying to salvage her guardian, Master Haywood’s, reputation and job in a little town on the edge of the Domain.
"Thomas creates a colorful, yet dismal world of magic and monsters, with characters that persevere and stand up to face their obstacles."
When Master Haywood ruins a light elixir that would have saved his position as the school teacher of the town, Iolanthe tears through shelves of books to find a solution. The only thing she manages to discover is a small, handwritten note in the margins of an old textbook, directing her to use lightning to fix the elixir. Though it sounds simple enough, Iolanthe is running out of time and it’s a perfectly clear day. With few options, she decides to try her elemental powers on lightning, a feat that has only appeared in old myths.
With a flash in the sky and a tremendous burst of light, Iolanthe not only calls forth a lightning bolt, but the beginning of her undeniable destiny. Suddenly the agents of Atlantis, the de facto ruler of the Domain, are after her. Iolanthe is forced to flee, leaving her master and peaceful life behind.
She is found by Prince Titus, the seemingly handsome and charming ruler of the Domain who promises to protect her. Charm, however, is not Titus’ strong point. With an agenda of his own, Titus tricks Iolanthe into helping him confront Atlantis and its ruler, the Bane. Seething with hatred at being used, Iolanthe finds herself training for a destiny she never asked for, while posing as a returning student at an all-boy’s school in England.
Titus is supposed to be using her, and she’s supposed to be a tool --- but destiny has a funny way of working sometimes, turning even hatred into something much more.
THE BURNING SKY was one of those books you found yourself reading until you lost track of time. Thomas creates a colorful, yet dismal world of magic and monsters, with characters that persevere and stand up to face their obstacles. I found myself constantly amid the story’s action, delving into the characters’ feelings and motivations as I went along.
Now, I have always been a sucker for fantasy romance books, and this one was no exception. Though speckled with romance, THE BURNING SKY never sacrificed plot for the sake of love. The unfolding romance wasn’t trite or out of place. Instead, Thomas weaves an interesting and well-balanced story filled with a handful of heart-wrenching feelings and an even bigger handful of magic and action.
More than being just about destiny and love, THE BURNING SKY challenges readers to look at friendship, trust and learning to triumph over fate. It is a great sit-back-and-relax read for anyone in the mood for a good fantasy book.
Reviewed by Ashley Tran on May 29, 2013