The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Description: Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.
Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to revenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.
But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.
My thoughts: How I hate to give such a high rating to the first book of a trilogy! I don't want to be disappointed by the next book!
What we have is a fresh, new author, a fresh story, and a beautiful vocabulary that made me glad I was reading on my kindle so I could use the definition feature. So there is that. Then there is the many realms that intersect. The magical realm is in upheaval as a different ruler from another place with new powers is in control. But losing it. Then there is a figurehead prince who has secretly been preparing for a powerful elemental mage to manifest. But the prince attends secondary school at Eton. In 1882. For some reason, he prepares for the great mage to be a boy, about his age. The mistake is that he is a she and she has no idea she is the powerful one. So he has to pass her off as a student at Eton which is the same today as it was back then; all boys.
There are spies and informants. Subterfuge and magic but underlying it all is funny and clever dialogue, interesting vocabulary, and building of a world and friendships.
The book can be read alone as the the cliff hangers are tired up but the general story leaves plenty to be pursued. But enough closure to be satisfied with this book. I'm looking forward to the next installment.