A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1) by Jessica Cluess

a-shadow-bright-and-burningTJ Burns — February 28, 2017


I very much like Ms. Cluess’ writing style – it flows nicely. I was pulled in right from the start –intrigued, interested — and had so many questions:
What is the prophecy? What does it mean to be “unclean” and can Rook heal? What are the Familiars? Scary bunch, those… And the Ancients?

Nettie is a fun and interesting character, at times brave and feisty, at others insecure and questioning her abilities — very real, very much the typical teenager, despite her less than typical abilities and environment.

And of course the possibility of romance looms before Nettie: There’s Rook, the loyal and constant best friend, there’s cavalier and charming Mr. Magnus, and there’s cool, mysterious, and arrogant Lord Blackwood.

Rook was my preference from the start, but I am worried that there may be “complications” (see spoilers on my Goodreads Review page — link below).  I like Magnus a lot — who wouldn’t? But Blackwood may turn out to rise above his upbringing and prove himself worthy… ahhh the choices one must make when one is young… ;). 

The Chosen One
I am not thrilled about the whole “chosen one” business. I’m not a fan of predestination. I think a hero is made through her actions and her choices, not because of predestination or some prophecy. I would really love it if Henriette turns out not be “the chosen one,” but a hero nonetheless (or in spite of it).

I am also worried about Henriette’s connection to the Blackwood family. She knows the house and it feels like “home” in her dreams. I hope she is not part of that noble sorcerer family. That would just make all her claims that even a commoner can rise up and be a hero (and/or a great sorcerer) crumble and support Blackwood’s claim that noble blood is more valuable than common blood.

No sooner had I written my thoughts about disliking the “chosen one” scenario than Ms. Cluess remixed the cards entirely! Yes!

While I was able to guess and predict a few events, many more were total shockers! Despite an exciting and thoroughly satisfying climax, still many unanswered questions remain. Guess I’ll just have to wait for the sequel… 😉

A Shadow Bright and Burning is an exciting story, with interesting characters, full of mystery and secrets, that culminates in a suspenseful and exciting climax!

[Update: I have already got my grubby little hands on an ARC of A Poison Dark and Drowning — So excited to read the next installment!]




Published September 20th 2016 by Random House BFYR

I received a copy of this book from Random House Children’s books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

You can find this book at:

Amazon: A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire, Book One) by Jessica Cluess

Barnes & Noble:

Teen and Young Adult Books at Amazon

tree-goodreads-profile-pictureTJ’s Goodreads Review of A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess (with more details and spoilers!!!)

TJ’s Goodreads Profile

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