Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.
But Titus 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 Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.
Fantasy books for me are either the best thing ever or they just miss. My favorite books at the moment tend to be fantasy, and I can’t really get enough of it. So I was really excited for The Burning Sky. Seriously, slap a Kristin Cashore comparison on anything and I’ll probably give it a try. Unfortunately, this one turned out to be a miss for me. I think I missed something important, because I never really clicked with this story. I never got that moment where I was completely transported into another world – I was very much an outsider looking into this story, so I was a little bummed.
There are great things about this book, but they’re all in concept, as the delivery didn’t come through for me. I love elemental stuff, so I think it’s great that the magic in this book came from elemental powers. I also really love thunderstorms, so the fact that Iolanthe can call lightening was the coolest thing ever. The other thing I really got into was the part where Iolanthe and Titus are pretty much living She’s the Man - which, ok, is really Twelfth Night, but still we’re talking a girl dressing up like a guy at a boy’s boarding school. Plus, they had a bit of a romance thing going on, which they had to be careful to hide since everyone thinks Iolanthe is a guy. That was pretty great.
The problem is that I never really connected with Iolanthe or Titus, or anyone really. I felt a bit like I was getting this story filtered through a few sources, so it was distorted and it wasn’t personal. There was no one there to transport me into their shoes or to show me this new world. I had to just hear about it, and that didn’t really work well for me. Even the romance between Iolanthe and Titus was a little lukewarm for me, which is probably because I didn’t care about them individually like I probably should have. Every once in a while Titus would say something totally adorable, but pages later I felt like his magic wore off quickly.
I’m sure this world is amazing because how can it not be when you have elemental magic, but I felt like I wasn’t really able to quite see it. Part of that was because of my lack of attachment, and the other part was wrapping my head around its boundaries. I was slow getting into the story (and okay, pretty slow getting out of it, too) because I couldn’t quite figure out what this world was supposed to be. In some ways it’s like the old boys of Oxford and in other ways it’s the kind of fantasy land that might fit better in a medieval time. Then there’s this fairy tale book where they could go in and become a part of the story – which was useful for training against things like dragons or other imaginary scenarios. I love that concept, and it led to a cool twist, but it confused other elements for me.
I should have loved this book, and I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it, so I’m just going to go with a missed connection or a clashing of personalities here as a reason for not loving it. I think there’s some awesome in here, I just wasn’t able to pick it up. So if this books sounds like your kind of book, please don’t let me stop you from picking it up. I just really wasn’t feeling it, which is bound to happen every once in a while.