A Shadow Bright and Burning, by Jessica Cluess

3 too many men and not enough Henrietta!!



This book while pleasant was not what I was expecting.  I was expecting a kick butt heroine and we sort of got that but then not.. I was also expecting it to be more about Victorian England and it wasn’t. Okay I’ll try not to be a Debby Downer but I really just feel indifferent about this book.

Henrietta has not had an easy life, that is obvious from the beginning.  The one consistent thing she has done is keep the girls safe from harm at the school she lives at. She also has always had Rook, they have always had each other’s backs. Then something outside of Nettie’s control happens and she must reveal herself for what she really is.  From that point forward it kind of spirals onward.   I enjoyed Nettie as a character, however she had some major pitfalls.  I wish she would’ve stood up for herself more.  She lacked the backbone for herself but stood up for anyone else that needed it.  The standing up for the little guy was a great trait.  I didn’t understand why she let Rook by himself for so long after they left the school.  (maybe that’s a spoiler sorry)  I felt like if they had such an amazing bond that it wouldn’t of happened. Also why couldn’t we have more of Rook’s character?  He was pretty awesome in his own right and I feel like we barely got a glimpse of his awesomeness.

My star rating it due to the many love triangles/pentagons happening. Obviously Rook is a possible suitor, then there is Magnus, and Mr. Blackthorne.  I’m just kind of over the whole everyone loves one girl thing and she wants them all. I did really enjoy the fact that not all the boys/men weren’t in love with her.  Some of them just wanted to treat her like a sister instead of a love interest. I enjoyed that she had a friendship with another girl in the book and they didn’t hate each other.  I wish the magic was explained a little more we got some detail on how she controlled hers but after she got porridge they seemed to explain it less.

Overall it was an enjoyable book , but not one I felt compelled to pick up and read after I quit for the night.  I very much enjoyed the last 50 pages or so but there was a lot of action during those parts. Would I recommend, probably not, but if someone asked about it I would say sure go for it.  Like I said I felt very indifferent about this book, I wish I would’ve liked it more but I just couldn’t connect to the characters. I hope that in the second book there is a little more character development.

Thank your to Jessica Cluess, Random House, and Blogging for Book for my copy in lieu of my honest review.

Goodreads link here.


Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Original Title
A Shadow Bright and Burning
ISBN 0553535900 (ISBN13: 9780553535907)
Edition Language English

Henrietta can burst into flames.

Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s named the first female sorcerer in hundreds of years and invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the prophesied 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 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, how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?


8 thoughts on “A Shadow Bright and Burning, by Jessica Cluess

  1. Aww, sorry this one fell a little flat for you…
    I’ve been reading a couple of series where the reverse harem thing happens… and it sounded much like you explained in your review- one girl- everyone wants her and she wants all of the boys… It’s like- greedy much? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems you are either indifferent to this one like me or you absolutely love it! If you could borrow it from your library I would say give it a chance… if not I don’t know if I would buy it.


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