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The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Sherry Thomas
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)

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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

Magic, romance, and intrigue combine in this extraordinary novel—the first in the Elemental Trilogy—for fans of Cinda Williams Chima and Kristin Cashore. Publishers Weekly called it "a wonderfully satisfying magical saga" in a starred review, and Kirkus Reviews said it "bids fair to be the next big epic fantasy success."

Iolanthe Seabourne 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.

Editorial Reviews Review

The Burning Sky Quiz - What is Your Elemental Power?

Elemental magic was elder magic, a direct, primordial connection between the mage and the universe, needing no words or procedures as intermediaries.

An elemental mage is able to control one of the elements: fire, water, earth, or air. A great elemental mage is able to control all four. But a great elemental mage has not been seen in a thousand years. For Iolanthe Seabourne, fire is easy. Fireballs dance and sparks fly from her fingers. It is a natural ability that makes her powers superior.

What about you? If you had a connection with one element, what would it be? Find out with this quiz! Then discover if Iolanthe Seabourne really is the greatest elemental made of her generation in Sherry Thomas’s The Burning Sky.

1. What’s your astrological sign?

a. Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius

b. Capricorn, Taurus, or Virgo

c. Pisces, Cancer, or Scorpio

d. Aquarius, Gemini, or Libra

2. Your dream vacation is:

a. Paris, Las Vegas, New York – a bustling hotspot where you can see and be seen.

b. Hiking the Grand Canyon – an adventure that gets you outdoors and staying active.

c. The Caribbean – any island provides plenty of opportunities for relaxation and reflection.

d. Italy or Greece – from historical ruins to museums and fabulous dining you’ll never get bored.

3. We’ll admit it: we all have a character flaw. What’s the one quality you would change about yourself?

a. Your temper. You tend to lose your cool sometimes.

b. Your stubbornness.

c. Your tendency to zone out.

d. Your nosiness.

4. There is a new student this semester at your school. You…

a. Introduce yourself and offer to show her around campus.

b. Say hello and welcome her to the school before hurrying to your first class.

c. Smile and continue on your way. If she needs something, she’ll probably ask.

d. Don’t say anything. You’re not being mean, you just get nervous meeting new people.

5. Two of your best friends are fighting. Where do you stand?

a. You talk with each of them separately about the other. So what if it adds fuel to the fire? They need to vent!

b. You don’t understand why they’re arguing. Someone is wrong and someone is right. There is no gray area.

c. You listen to both sides of the story and try and figure out a solution. You’re good at reading a situation.

d. You try and get them to talk to each other face to face. Once they communicate in a healthy manner, their issues are sure to be resolved.

6. If you could major in any subject in college, it would be:

a. Theater – on stage or behind the scenes, you want to run the show.

b. Math – it’s logical and useful. Plain and simple.

c. Art history – combining the concrete nature of history, with the emotional nature of art, appeals to multiple parts of your personality.

d. Philosophy – you love discussions and thinking outside boundaries. These classes sound like your cup of tea.

Mostly A’s – Fire

Filled with energy and a burning passion for living life to the fullest, you embody FIRE. Those around you love your enthusiasm and optimism. You are outgoing and love helping others. Sometimes your energy can flare up in less-than-flattering form, and those that are on the wrong side of your temper are sure to get burned. Be careful and try and look before you leap (or throw a fireball at someone) and you’re destined for great power.

Mostly B’s – Earth

Grounded and practical, you command EARTH. You look at things logically and with a level-head. You work hard and are usually very extroverted, sharing your thoughts and ideas with others. Yet sometimes, you can be a bit stubborn. For those around you, trying to get you to see a different viewpoint, or take a break from work, can seem as difficult as moving mountains. Know that your strength and strong will wield great amounts of power, and relaxing every once in a while won’t change that.

Mostly C’s – Water

Like Fire, you are full of passion, but WATER is a quieter, more controlled passion. You throw yourself into whatever you do, and exhibit a strength that often surprises those around you. You’re intuitive and and tactful in your relationships with others. Make sure to use your powers for good, though—with your keen senses, you also have the ability to be extremely manipulative. People can easily get swept under your charms and it can be difficult for you to stay aware of personal boundaries.

Mostly D’s – Air

With your serene nature and cool demeanor, you glide through life on AIR. You are great at communication and tend to be a mediator when trouble is brewing between others. You have a clear head, and tend to remain calm in high-pressure situations. Just make sure your ability to detach yourself from a situation doesn’t come across as being aloof! And don’t completely block out your emotions—sometimes your heart is just as good of a guide.

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–When her guardian purposefully ruins her meticulously prepared potion to prevent her from performing a rite at a local wedding, 16-year-old Iolanthe Seabourne tries to revive it by bringing down a bolt of lightning and instead brings down a load of trouble. Turns out, Iolanthe has been kept hidden her whole life because of a prophecy that she would destroy the Bane, a powerful mage and tyrant who rules the Realm. The teen would be happy lying low, but Prince Titus has spent his life training to avenge his family and restore power to his throne, and he is determined that she fulfill her destiny. The fun begins when Titus brings Iolanthe to London–real, nonmagical London–and pressures her to enroll in Eton College with him disguised as a boy named Arthur Fairfax. Though Iolanthe is initially furious at Titus, romance quickly begins to crackle as they plot how to save the Realm. This first book in a trilogy thankfully lacks a cliff-hanger ending, instead promising more adventures in a vividly realized fantasy world.–Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

  • File Size: 582 KB
  • Print Length: 485 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062207296
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray; Reprint edition (September 17, 2013)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,449 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Angieville: THE BURNING SKY September 4, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In a somewhat amusing turn of events, I actually picked up a copy of Sherry Thomas' debut young adult fantasy THE BURNING SKY because I read one of her adult historical romances several months back and really loved it. And while I really do love the cover after having read it (and for blessedly not featuring any actual human beings or, worse, a young boy reaching out to a young girl in space), I really don't know if I would have picked it up on its own. In my experience, when an author transitions from adult to YA, it is often (sadly) an absolute train wreck. As though the writing has been . . . sanitized or lobotomized . . . and all I want to do is wipe my mind clean of the lost chance. This is not always the case, of course, and there are instances of the exact opposite. And when that happens, everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. But. I do tend to hold my breath. Especially when it is a beloved author. But knowing how much I loved Ms. Thomas' writing before, I just had to see what she would do with a whole new world and a whole new readership at her disposal.

Iolanthe Seabourne has spent her life in relative isolation, living in quiet scholarship, moving from village to village with her increasingly unreliable guardian. And then one unsuspecting morning, as she is busy preparing for a local wedding, her life splinters into tiny, unrecognizable pieces. As an elemental mage, she is able to control three of the four elements, and her powers with fire (her best element) are often sought for weddings and other local celebrations. But when she succeeds in summoning an actual bolt of lightning, all manner of hell breaks loose and Iolanthe finds herself unceremoniously magicked away to a far corner of England where a strange young man insists she disguise herself as a boy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good first book in YA fantasy trilogy October 10, 2013
By BookY
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was such delicious YA fantasy awesomeness and I really enjoyed it. It didn't hurt that it utilized some of my favorite devices: girl disguised as a boy, boarding school setting, and a romance that was subtle and believable (NO insta-love). The prologue set the stage nicely and once I started this book, I had a hard time putting it down. The pacing is good and the story is told in a way that makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens next until suddenly you reach a point where you NEED to know what happens next and then there's no going back after that. The story is heavily driven by prophecies and seeing how everything plays out is thrilling and intriguing.

The characters are fantastic, especially our two protagonists. Iolanthe aka Archer Fairfax is an awesome heroine - her personality is endearing, she's brave, level-headed, strong (uhm, as I'm writing this, I'm starting to realize that maybe she was a little TOO perfect. Oh well, whatever, it didn't bother me). She possesses incredible magical powers and is destined to defeat the Bad Guy.

And then there's Titus, the Prince of the Domain, who has spent years meticulously preparing for the time when he and Iolanthe would finally meet, as she is the only one who can help him with his secret goal. But while Iolanthe's power is the key to everything, the day they meet also starts the clock ticking for the prince and marks his impending death.

"The beginning of the end, for his prophesied role was that of a mentor, a stepping-stone--the one who did not survive to the end of the quest."

This is revealed very early on in the book and I have to say, with that sentence I was pretty much a goner when it came to the prince.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Middle-Grade than YA October 1, 2013
I think THE BURNING SKY is a book I would have enjoyed more if I hadn't read the blurbs and I had realized from the get-go was a book written more for the Middle-Grade crowd than older adults.

To explain:

One of the problems I had with the book is that the magic is easy. By which I mean that there's a lot of it and it apparently costs nothing. Magic, magic, magic, and people aren't even tired.

The other thing I found is that the characters just weren't fascinating enough, nor 3-dimensional enough for me to be drawn into the story. And when you drag in the many plot-convinces and the old trope of a girl disguising herself as a dude, well, it feels all too familiar. And, like I said, I was expecting more of a YA book, which just sort of set me up with all the wrong expectations.

HOWEVER, that said, I know this book is going to appeal to the right reader. If you enjoyed the writing and plotting of I AM NUMBER FOUR, and are looking for a classically styled fantasy, try THE BURNING SUN.

If you liked HARRY POTTER or THE EMERALD ATLAS, and you are open to something that is essentially an easier, quicker read, you should look at a sample chapter or two of this book.

I-personally didn't like THE EMERALD ATLAS, and I despised I AM NUMBER FOUR, so I hope that gives you some additional information as to whether you can trust my opinion on this one.


The story is pretty much as described in the blurb, except with less drama. There's a girl who is an undiscovered brilliant mage, who the bad guys discover and want to use for their own purposes. There is the prince who is prince-in-name-only, who rescues her. And who intends to defeat the bad guys with her help.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... price so I took and chance and was so glad I did
Was reviewed online and an affordable price so I took and chance and was so glad I did. This is a much better more mature and grownup version of wizard goes to school with... Read more
Published 2 days ago by BRNZ
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book
This book is a magical and full of adventures. Their love is like no other, but their friendship is what defines each other.
Published 6 days ago by Ariadne Calva
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start to the series!
I loved almost everything about this book. The characters, the story line, the alternate worlds of mage and nonmage, the romance that was just enough but not too much.. Read more
Published 7 days ago by B. Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting characters and believable story.
Cool story and well developed characters. Poignant characters and a charming prince and a cool heroine that come vibrantly alive on,these pages.Harry Potter watch out!
Published 1 month ago by AIDA
4.0 out of 5 stars Book one in The Elemental Trilogy
This was a 3.5 star read for me. Great magical storyline with wonderful characters but lots of confusion to what actually took place in the crucible. Read more
Published 1 month ago by T. Geo
3.0 out of 5 stars like clunky wording in sentences
The first chunk of The Burning Sky was, to put it bluntly, a mess. In the very beginning, it was little things, like clunky wording in sentences. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Shae Has Left the Room
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great series, I wish the second book hadn't ended on a cliffhanger!
Published 1 month ago by Julie Planes
4.0 out of 5 stars Good start, no cliff hanger ending.
If you like fantasy series like Graceling, Five Kingdoms, Septimus Heap, and Frontier Magic, then you will enjoy The Burning Sky. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. C
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastical journey!
Loved this, want to read more!
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it. Best beginning to a fantasy series I ...
Hooked me in from the beginning. The book flows smoothly and quickly. A page turner from start to finish. Loved it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Emily Prissel
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More About the Author

Sherry Thomas writes both historical romance and young adult fantasy.

On the romance side, she is one of the most acclaimed authors working in the genre today, her books regularly receiving starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA® Award.

On the young adult fantasy side, there isn't much to report yet, her debut book, THE BURNING SKY, book 1 of the Elemental Trilogy, has received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and been named to the Autumn '13 Kids' Indie Next List.

Sherry writes in her second language. She learned English by reading romance and science fiction--every word Isaac Asimov ever wrote, in fact. She is proud to say that her son is her biggest fanboy--for the YA fantasy, not the romances. At least, not yet...

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