SST: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess + Giveaway!


Sunday Street Team comes from the fabulous brain of Nori over at ReadWriteLove28. Basically we act as a street team for a particular author (or authors) every month, promoting their book and basically flailing about (we do that right?). To learn more about it you can visit the Sunday Street Team page over on Nori’s site.

I am SO excited to be a part of this particular month because this is a book that I was HIGHLY anticipating. I read the synopsis and instantly added it to my ever growing TBR because it should so cool and so unique.



I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she’s brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

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This book is released on September 20, 2016 and I am HIGHLY recommending you get your hands on it. This book was an adventure, filled with twists and turns and a unique look at a pretty typical troupe in fantasy books. I found myself diving right into this book and just being completely and totally lost to the real world (because I was in this world, and this world…oh it was good). Some specifics that I really loved about it…

  • A unique take on someone being The Chosen One. Because how many times have we read that? Don’t get me wrong…I love this kind of thing. I have been hooked on books about The Chosen One since Harry Potter and have never looked back. This book…well it has someone who is considered to be the person to fulfill their prophesy, but in all honesty…things don’t look so good for her. It started off with so much promise for her, and so much excitement…but then she had to work a lot harder than most prophesied ones and dealt with a lot of heartache and frustration along the way. That is kind of all I can say about it without giving away some plot details, but I promise you…it’s really unique. I haven’t read too many books that tackle this particular plot point in this way.
  • Henrietta was relate-able to me. She is thrown into this new world, this world she didn’t necessarily know if she wanted to be a part of. And once she is there she has to choose. She has to make a lot of choices for herself, and for the people that she holds most dear. She finds herself not really knowing where she stands and where to turn, which is a situation I tend to find myself in from time to time (and I know I am not alone). I just hope that I can tackle my real world problems with the strength and fierceness that Henrietta did.
  • There were amazing friendships and some female empowerment. Henrietta enters a world that is dominated by men. There are very few female sorcerers, and these guys sure let her know it. They test her, challenge her, and make her grow even more as a person. I think that without them she would have been lost. The group really formed a bond towards the end, and found themselves needing to work together more than anything. And while doing all of that Henrietta is working to prove that she, a woman, can do this just as well as any guy can…and she does this in the least obnoxious way possible. I won’t get into my views on feminism because that could take awhile, but I do believe there is a right and wrong way to do it…and this book did it right. Because, lets face it, this world is filled with men AND women. What are the chances you are going to have to work together? Pretty darn high. This book shows the teamwork between sexes, and it shows that it’s possible to do so with class but it is also possible to maintain some snark and attitude if you really need it.

Bonuses: Victorian era, monsters that were quite honestly terrifying, a romance that really grew on me, an amazing ending that was NOT a cliffhanger, a world I felt I could easily wander and get lost in.


But seriously…it’s worth your time and money.

Anyone planning on getting their hands on this one? Or if you have gotten the opportunity to read it, what did you think?

About the Author:

JESSICA CLUESS is a writer, a graduate of Northwestern University, and an unapologetic nerd. After college, she moved to Los Angeles, where she served coffee to the rich and famous while working on her first novel. When she’s not writing books, she’s an instructor at Writopia Lab, helping kids and teens tell their own stories.


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