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A Shadow Bright and Burning
Contributor(s): Cluess, Jessica
ISBN: 0553535919     ISBN-13: 9780553535914
Publisher: Random House Childrens Books
    OUR PRICE: $20.99  
Product Type: Library - Other Formats
Published: September 2016
Annotation: 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.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Magic; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2015014593
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Series: Kingdom on Fire
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.50" W x 1.25" (1.15 lbs) 407 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 186138
Reading Level: 4.7   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 14.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q71687
Reading Level: 4.3   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 23.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): JESSICA CLUESS is a writer, a graduate of Northwestern University, and an unapologetic nerd. After college, she moved to Los Angeles, where she served coffee to the rich and famous while working on her first novel. When she's not writing books, she's an instructor at Writopia Lab, helping kids and teens tell their own stories. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter at @JessCluess.

From the Hardcover edition.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2017 Spring)
In this series-opener, a prophecy describes a female sorcerer who will kill the Ancients--demons ravaging the land. Henrietta's fire powers mark her as that sorcerer, but her magic is strangely un-sorcerous. Gender roles in this alternate Victorian London complicate Henrietta's struggles in a solid fantasy with the requisite action and romance as well as some genre-shaking surprises. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2016 July #2)

Sixteen-year-old Henrietta Howel can start fires with a thought, but because women aren't permitted to practice magic, she must keeps her power under wraps at the Brimthorn School for Girls, where she teaches in a magical version of Victorian London. After a sorcerer, Master Agrippa, visits the school, an attack by a "Familiar" of the (decidedly Lovecraftian) Ancients forces Henrietta's hand. Agrippa believes that Henrietta is integral to fighting the Ancients, offering to train her for eventual commendation by a young Queen Victoria and a place among the royal sorcerers. She agrees, on the condition that her childhood friend Rook comes along. In a strong opening to the Kingdom on Fire trilogy, debut author Cluess makes the most of her setting, never shying from gritty details, such as the "burned and ravaged" London outside the wards that protect the sorcerers; the contentious history between sorcerers and magicians adds heft. Henrietta is pragmatic and bitingly funny, and she more than holds her own in a man's world. Cluess gamely turns the chosen-one trope upside down in this smashing dark fantasy. Ages 12–up. Agent: Brooks Sherman, Bent Agency. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2016 July)

Gr 7 Up—Sixteen-year-old Henrietta Howel has the power to burst into flames. She believes that she will be executed when she comes forward to defend a friend; instead she is invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers, among whom Henrietta is the only female. The heroine struggles to combat the enchantment of Victorian London, even though her male classmates wish to fight against her. With humanity at risk, Henrietta discovers the secrets of others and her own strength while she tries to defeat the Ancients, terrorizing demons. Readers who enjoy books about magic, fantastical monsters, and forces of good and evil will not be able to put this first installment down. While Cluess's debut novel might be reminiscent of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter," it features a protagonist who proves to be more than just a chosen one with a wand. The work has well-developed secondary characters, including Rook, Henrietta's childhood friend, and while the author takes time to introduce readers to the heroine and her new surroundings, she keeps the adventure moving at a good clip. VERDICT Fantasy fans will rejoice and impatiently await the second volume in this new series.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI

[Page 75]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.