November 22, 2017

A Shadow Bright and Burning

A Shadow Bright and Burning
Jessica Cluess
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This was a pretty good one, but I felt like it's ideas were conflicted.

The idea of the world itself was fantastic, but the world-building in the book could have been much better.
Basically, there are magicians and sorcerers. A while ago, a witch and a magician opened up a portal and released 7 'Ancients' (bad people with crazy powers) and now the magicians are banned from doing magic. I understand why people hate the magicians, but it seems weird that they revere the sorcerers so much. Why hate one and not the other? It's still magic just in a different sense.
The setting was a bit weird as well. They talk about Joan of Arc, Henry VIII and multiple other people in history, so it's basically like our world but with different magic and ideals of what a 'proper' woman does. This is where I get confused. In the beginning, Henrietta talks about being oppressed, that women don't have much of a choice in what they can do other than be governesses or servants. Throughout the book, however, she acts like an American teenager with no fear of repercussions if she speaks out of turn or whatever it is that they don't want women to do (basically anything). There's a little backlash here and there, but really not many people are surprised by her behavior, so I think it would have been a lot better if she was more conscious of the social setting or feared retribution more while secretly plotting to save the world. Also, if women were not supposed to be in power at all (no female sorcerers because they're too 'emotional'), why was a Queen in power? Why would someone listen to a woman if they aren't supposed to have power? That confused me a lot. Along with that, there's a prophecy (of course) and Henrietta IMMEDIATELY after hearing the prophecy accepts the fact that it's her, even though people thought that another girl in the past was the 'chosen one' and she clearly wasn't. Her faith does not falter at all. She just keeps going on 'I'm the one from the prophecy' even though she has evidence that it probably isn't her.
I didn't really like Henrietta. Or really any of the characters. The bad guys are the only reason I really liked the world. They seemed pretty original.

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