Waiting On Wednesday: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine where you showcase which books you’re looking forward to being released.

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This week I’m waiting on new YA Fantasy A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess.


The cover is really pretty which is what caught my eye at first. This is Cluess’ first novel and the YA Fantasy genre is definitely having a resurgence in the past year or two, toppling Dystopian off the top spot. Whilst I love dystopian/apocalyptic novels (as you know), I’m really enjoying the popularity of fantasy at the moment. In previous years, fantasy has received a bit of a bad rep as being too geeky or too masculine, so it’s great to see so many new fantasy novels written by women, especially in YA where it can cull that stigma and get the next generation interested in fantasy.

A Shadow Bright and Burning isn’t High Fantasy in that it’s set in a mythical land, but is instead set in an alternate Victorian London. This is another popular theme at the moment that I’m loving: the idea of creating an alternate London. I don’t always feel quite as in touch with novels that are set in the USA so it’s great to see London being such a popular setting. It’s a city with so much history and this creates scope for all these alternate realities.

Anyway, here’s the synopsis for A Shadow Bright and Burning:

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.

Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is “not” the chosen one.

As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city and the one she loves?

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What do you think? Is this a novel you’re interested in reading? Are you enjoying the resurgence of the Fantasy genre in YA? Let me know in the comments below!



14 thoughts on “Waiting On Wednesday: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

    • I’ve only recently just stumbled across it and haven’t actually seen anything else about, which is odd because it sounds great! And thank you! I’ll be sure to check out your WoW and follow back 😊


  1. I have this on my tbr and I can’t wait to see if it lives up to all the hype surrounding it. I love books set in Victorian London so that’s one of the reasons I’m so excited to read it. I hope you enjoy it!

    Here’s my WoW


    • Yeah I’m really hoping it lives up to the hype, so fingers crossed! And same here! There’s something about Victorian London, it can be creepy or beautiful. Thank you, I hope you enjoy it too! I’ll check out your WoW 🙂


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