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The Resource A shadow bright and burning, Jessica Cluess

A shadow bright and burning, Jessica Cluess

Label
A shadow bright and burning
Title
A shadow bright and burning
Statement of responsibility
Jessica Cluess
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"When her unusual powers mark her as the one destined to lead the war against the seven Ancients, Henrietta trains to become the first female sorcerer in centuries--though the true nature of her ability threatens to be revealed"--
Member of
Storyline
Pace
Character
Review
  • Grades 8-11 Cluess’ debut is a marvelous mash-up of Dickens, the students-with-magical-powers genre, and alt-history. Sixteen-year-old Henrietta Howel, discovered in a rural Yorkshire orphanage, is proclaimed as the prophesied female sorcerer who will, with training, finally defeat the seven Ancients. Victorian London has been attacked by these terrifying monsters for years while sorcerers searched for the Chosen One. Henrietta, who has the ability to summon and harness fire, arrives in London for training. At first, she’s delighted to be encouraged in her desire to learn. Then Henrietta discovers a secret truth: she is not, in fact, the girl of the prophecy. Afraid of letting down her beloved teacher, she struggles to meet expectations, while simultaneously discovering the thrill of sexual attraction to both her childhood friend Rook and another student. It’s a fascinating look at a society wherein magic, though accepted and respected, has its own class boundaries. Cluess’ clever prose employs Dickensian names and rolls along at a speedy and compelling clip. Expect a demand for future series titles. -- Carton, Debbie (Reviewed 9/1/2016) (Booklist, vol 113, number 1, p110)
  • 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 --Karen Alexander (Reviewed 07/01/2016) (School Library Journal, vol 62, issue 7, p75)
  • /* Starred Review */ 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.) --Staff (Reviewed 07/11/2016) (Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 28, p)
  • The only thing more terrifying than being proclaimed the chosen one is secretly knowing you aren't.Of the three orders of magic practiced in this alternative Victorian Britain, only sorcery is legal—and it's exclusively male. Fearing execution for witchcraft, 16-year-old Henrietta Howel has worked to hide her fiery powers, so she's astonished to be hailed as the fulfillment of prophecy, the first female sorcerer in centuries. Whisked off to London, surrounded by luxury (and handsome young sorcerers-in-training), Henrietta fights to master magic and protect her dearest childhood friend, knowing that she'll forfeit everything should her secrets be revealed. Every plot beat and character note here is utterly familiar; even the "subverted" tropes are upended in predictable ways. Henrietta is a stereotypical girl fantasy protagonist: uniquely gifted, haunted by childhood abuse, sympathetic to outcasts, "unfeminine" in her interests, believing herself unlovable even while adored by everyone except spiteful (and misogynistic) villains....Still, originality isn't the only literary virtue, and Cluess deploys every timeworn device with stylish aplomb. Her gaslit world besieged by Lovecraft-ian horrors possesses vivid life, and if Henrietta's hunky harem is populated by stock characters, their friendship still rings true. Despite frequent allusions to Henrietta's "dark complexion" from her Welsh heritage, the characters are clearly all white, save the black, outlaw magician she befriends; even with the looming romantic polygon, hints abound that this world isn't entirely heterosexual. Despite possessing every cliché in the genre, an elegantly addictive read. (Fantasy. 12-18)(Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2016)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10524352
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Cluess, Jessica
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
  • HL590L
  • Decoding demand: 98 (very high)
  • Semantic demand: 100 (very high)
  • Syntactic demand: 86 (very high)
  • Structure demand: 90 (very high)
Intended audience source
  • Lexile
  • Lexile
Interest level
MG+
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 7
  • 12
Reading level
4.7
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Kingdom on fire
Series volume
book 1
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Fantasy
  • Magic
  • Magic
  • Wizards
  • Demonology
  • Magic
  • Young adult fiction
  • YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Fantasy / General
  • YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Romance / General
Target audience
adolescent
Label
A shadow bright and burning, Jessica Cluess
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1647448
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
407 pages
Isbn
9780553535907
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2015014593
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780553535907
  • (OCoLC)914296330
Label
A shadow bright and burning, Jessica Cluess
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1647448
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
407 pages
Isbn
9780553535907
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2015014593
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780553535907
  • (OCoLC)914296330

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Windsor Park BranchBorrow it
      5833 Westminster Dr., Austin, TX, 78723, US
      30.3116523 -97.6902298
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