“A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire Book One)” by Jessica Cluess


It comes with a lovely cover, and inside are certainly a collection of lovely words that form a vivid world.

“A Shadow Bright and Burning” throws you into alternate universe England, and seven grotesque and almost Lovecraftian monsters are ruining the world. We are introduced to the complex factions fighting them: Sorcerers (Acknowledged by the Queen, and mostly male), and Magicians and Witches, who are their hated counterparts. The interaction and history of these three groups is the best reason to read this book in my opinion, and it is constructed beautifully.

All of characters are vivid and memorable, but the heroine fell flat in a few areas for me. Too many times her interactions with powerful people in her life felt taken out of the pages of a shallow period romance, and too many times her choices felt so selfish they clashed with how the reader needs to view her.

The only other hurdle I had into diving into this universe was the battle scenes. Anyone who writes can tell you these are so DIFFICULT to write in most cases. That gets worse if you are dealing with people who are supposed to be trained (or specifically not trained in certain areas). Some of them really work, but sometimes the pacing set seems off or the actions timeworn, and it gives you a jostle.

Neither of those things stopped me from finished the novel and it won’t stop me from recommending it. It’s enjoyable and transporting, and reminded me of how I first felt when reading magical fantasy as a young girl.


Also, it made staves seem really, really cool…

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.*




3 thoughts on ““A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire Book One)” by Jessica Cluess

  1. I always find that problem with fighting scenes… They’re either really smooth and visual or extremely confusing and ill-paced. I just wish more authors would polish that writing skill, because it *is* hard and I just think it’s overestimated most of the time.
    Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It would be cool to see some books or classes just dealing with actions scenes, I know that those are so hard to work on!


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