A Shadow Bright and Burning

A Shadow Bright and Burning

eBook - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.
"Vivid characters, terrifying monsters, and world building as deep and dark as the ocean."
--Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen

I am Henrietta Howel.
The first female sorcerer in hundreds of years.
The prophesied one.
Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she's shocked when instead of being executed, she's invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen 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 Howel 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, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city&;and the one she loves?
Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces a powerful, unforgettably heroine, and a world filled with magic, romance, and betrayal. Hand to fans of Libba Bray, Sarah J. Maas, and Cassandra Clare.

"The magic! The intrigue! The guys! We were sucked into this monster-ridden, alternative England from page one. Henrietta is literally a 'girl on fire' and this team of sorcerers training for battle had a pinch of Potter blended with a drop of [Cassandra Clare's] Infernal Devices."
--Justine Magazine

"Cluess gamely turns the chosen-one trope upside down in this smashing dark fantasy."
--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Unputdownable. I loved the monsters, the magic, and the teen warriors who are their world's best hope! Jessica Cluess is an awesome storyteller!"
--Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"A fun, inventive fantasy. I totally have a book crush on Rook."
--Sarah Rees Brennan, New York Times bestselling author

"Pure enchantment. I love how Cluess turned the 'chosen one' archetype on its head. With the emotional intensity of my favorite fantasy books, this is the kind of story that makes you forget yourself."
--Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

"A glorious, fast-paced romp of an adventure. Jessica Cluess has built her story out of my favorite ingredients: sorcery, demons, romance, and danger."
--Kelly Link, author of Pretty Monsters

Baker & Taylor
Forced to reveal her powers of spontaneous combustion in order to save a friend, Henrietta, a first female supernatural in centuries, is invited to train as one of Her Majesty's secretive royal sorcerers in fulfillment of a prophecy that she comes to discover is part of a powerful deception. A first novel. Simultaneous eBook.

Publisher: Random House Childrens Books,, 2016
ISBN: 9780553535921
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 14, 2019

Good plot and character development. Thoroughly enjoyed it/

Mar 18, 2018

I think, at this point, I need to stop reading fantasies that sound the same as any other one. I had a feeling this was going to be a repeat of any other fantasy that I’ve read, but still gave it a try. The truth is that this is one of the most boring, anticlimactic book that I have ever read. To be fair, I couldn’t get past the halfway mark; but when nothing has happened, save for the sorceress naming her wand “Porridge”, you know it’s time to stop reading. Henrietta Howel is a young teacher when she is recruited by an all-powerful sorcerer and told she is the chosen one. But, is she, really? I don’t care to find out. Rating 1/5 @jewelreader of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Overall? I'd say this book felt like a classical example of Victorian time era plus some magic and teenage drama. I think the author could have gone with more of her own emotions and ideas, rather than targeting what "teens" like today and including all of these aspects in one book. But I did enjoy most of it while I was reading it. Henrietta, while infuriating at times, has a good heart. This isn't a book where the protagonist knows she is the protagonist and goes to prove her worth. This heroine has some intense doubts of her own strength, which is a nice detail that fuels a lot in the plot.
- @Siri of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Jul 24, 2017

It was definitely a twisted piece of fiction. I liked the way that the author changed the whole prophecy thing into an less common approach.
Hopefully the library can purchase the next book in the series! =)

ArapahoeCatherine Dec 29, 2016

Excellent world-building and magic system with lots of great twists! Although it's set a little earlier in history, I think this would be a great fit for Harry Potter fans.

Beatricksy Nov 26, 2016

This book is a smooshing together of a lot of things, but mostly it takes the more dull parts of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and Harry Potter, douses them in water, mixes in some ideas from other stories (swashbuckling romance, Doctor Who, ancient mythology) and tips out a book that's mostly boring and sometimes interesting but in general just ends up tasting sort of bland. I've seen the monsters before, the lead is a bit flat, but the banter between characters is very fun--some of the dialogue, mostly Mangus's, is sharp and clever and taken from the best parts of action movies. Also, I'm always a big fan of historical fantasy. If only there had been more fantasy, more of the Queen Mab and the wild, to counter out the rest. It just misses some color. It's harmlessly enjoyable if you can slog through the more slow parts--most of which is attempting to place the book in its setting.


Add Age Suitability
Apr 24, 2017

Benvolia thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jan 15, 2017

black_pony_62 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at BPL

To Top