A Shadow Bright & Burning by Jessica Cluess
This book snagged my attention early on because of three things: London, Victorian era and magic! It is the first in a series but I’m not sure how many books Cluess plans on writing. The story revolves around Henrietta Howell, an orphaned girl who discovers that she has sorcerer abilities. She’s taken to London to study under one of the great masters and be commended by the queen. England is under assault from the Ancients who were released into the world by magicians. All the sorcerers are trained to battle the ancients and Henrietta might be the prophesied ‘girl sorcerer’ who will save them all. No pressure, right?
I enjoy a good fantasy book and this one fits the bill. It doesn’t stray too far from typical magic good and evil traits but the characters are fun and the mystery surround Henrietta’s parentage and magical abilities keeps me interested to see what happens next in the series. Henrietta is a solid lead protagonist but the supporting characters intrigued me even more.
There is Rook, Henriatta’s long time friend from the school she grew up in. He was attacked by one of the Ancients and is considered ‘unclean’. Henrietta won’t part with him when she is taken to London and he is brought along for the ride. Their relationship is complicated and Rook undergoes a transformation in London that only adds more layers to their complications.
The newest members of Henrietta’s life are her fellow peers training as sorcerers. Since she is the first female sorcerer in a while, she is surrounded by young men. Two of these men stand out the most to her, Magnus and Blackwood. As you can imagine, complicated love triangles will ensue!
If you are a fan of fantasy and magic, give this new series a try. I found that it had enough action and mystery to keep me reading and I’ll be slightly impatiently waiting for the next installment in the series!