Book Review: The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy #1) by Sherry Thomas

Name: The Burning Sky
(The Elemental Trilogy #1)
Sherry Thomas
Number of Pages:
376 pages in Hardcover
September 17th 2013
by Balzer + Bray
High Fantasy, Young Adult,
Romance, Adventure


It all began with a ruined elixir and a bolt of lightning.
Iolanthe Seaborne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she’s been 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 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.

LineThoughtsThis is my feature for the month of January for the meme Random Reads. I’ve had this in my shelf for quite a while now and got to read it because of the meme. Excellent right? 🙂 Anyway, apart from blogger friends who rated it awesome, I also got recommendations from random people so I was excited to read the book. Some of them even told me that this is the adventure book that I would really love. Most especially because it’s a magical world. Hmm. Honestly, not quite.

The writing was rather confusing in most parts or let’s should say, a lot was confusing about the book. I guess this series needs to have a prequel before the first book or something. I must say that the transition between two POVs was not written smoothly that I need to pay attention to the “He” and “She”. I don’t know. Is it just me? I also nearly asked friends “What in the hell is VAULTING?”.

Only to find out (by myself) that it means TELEPORTING. Duh? I felt stupid. Don’t worry. I’ve moved on easily. The world building though disliked by many (as per reviews I’ve read), seemed fascinating to me. However, I must admit that the world building is also puzzling in some parts since a lot of odd things were being thrown here and there. I didn’t grasp what Atlantis is and so as the Domain, but I love the idea of the Crucible. Let me tell you why. The Crucible is a book where you can enter fairy tales as part of the book. The characters would be alive for you to talk to, but of course, so as the dragons and any creature that lives in the fairy tale. Yes. The dragons and wyverns would be so alive. You can fight them and also die inside the book. The good thing about it though is you can change or add things on it. Let’s say you want to have Chris Hemsworth as the Prince Charming, you could certainly do so. Thrilling right? 😀 I would love to have a Crucible of my own since I love fairy tales. Lol! Going back. The plot got better and better, chapter after chapter. It started as fast-paced then eventually dulled with a huge deal of info dumping and got better again. A lot of names, terms and back stories that got me so confused. Like I said, it got better. The cross-dressing part was exciting. Their entire stay in the boys dormitory was quite engaging and the use of magic and magical stuff were really fascinating. The final battle is short of what I’m expecting, but I liked it still. Not really the sort of epic kick-ass stuff, but decent enough to be likable. There were also times where my heart was thumping hard on my chest because of nearly-caught parts and then a sigh of relief because they’ve got to get away with it. The romance was the second best part for me. It was done lightly and not forced. Yeah, it started as Instalove, but have grown to suspicion and animosity because of certain situations and needed manipulation to fulfill their destinies. I liked their exchanges of heated words and sarcasm when they’re in each other’s throats. Lol! The romance indeed is pretty well written because they’ve developed a solid relationship in the end. The book ended in an intriguing way that readers would want to have the second book just because you can’t get enough of it and wants to read more about the book. Good thing is, I already have The Perilous Sea. Teehee! 😀

I’ve mentioned that the romance was the second best part of the book because the characters were the first for me. Yeah, Iolanthe was somehow too perfect. Like she’s born special with no efforts in it, but I liked her. Her thoughts and actions were believable. Realistic in a way, but not most of the time. I love how she developed from someone who’s valuing self-preservation more than fulfilling her destiny to someone so determined to be better at her craft for the greater good. That’s something right? Wait, my only questions was.. Who were her parents? They were never mentioned. I bet they’re powerful mages since Iolanthe is the greatest elemental mage. Hmm.. Titus on the other hand was such a faker. I didn’t mean it in a bad way though. He tends to mask his true self for others not to suspect that he’s brewing something to take down the Bane and he succeeded a little. A little, yeah. That is for you to find out. He’s a great mage too and can do a lot of unbelievable things. So unbelievable, he could be the greatest elemental mage himself instead of Iolanthe. I wonder why he’s not with the things he can do. He’s somehow too perfect as well, but then again, not in an annoying way so I liked him. I love the part when Titus also fought with the villains and not Iolanthe alone. They’re really in this together and I liked that. However, I didn’t get to meet the Bane not until the last couple of chapters so I didn’t care. Not really sure who he was aside from he’s the main villain and the Highest Commander or something. The Inquisitor, on the contrary, is presented in some such way, but all I know about her was that she was destined to be the Inquisitor. Pretty vague huh? Anyway, apart from those two vague villains, I love most of the characters in this book. 😀

RecommendationThe book has a lot of potential to be amazing and I did enjoy it, despite the confusions
so I’m recommending it for fantasy and adventure readers out there.
I can’t even wait to start reading the second book.

RatingI’m not really a fan of the book’s world building,
but I can’t deny I had fun so here’s a 3.5 😀Stars



4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy #1) by Sherry Thomas

  1. Confusing world-building is confusing! I need to feel like there is something I understand, even if the world is alien, underwater or far in a dystopian future. I’m glad you enjoyed this, even if it wasn’t fully satisfying you, Nyze.
    Have a great weekend and happy reading.

    • I felt so lost about the things being thrown since the world building was poorly written, but the characters were likable so I think that pretty much covered it. Thanks babe ♥

  2. I remember the world building being confusing when I read this too. Also, there’s just something about the author’s writing style that made it harder for me to read the book. She writes beautifully, but I thought her prose was a bit too stiff and formal, too literary for the mood of the novel.

    • Exactly what I felt. I was wondering if the author could write something like Hamlet. Lol!

      “This above all: to thine own self be true,
      And it must follow, as the night the day,
      Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

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