Exploring Children's Books

News and reviews from Mia Macrossan

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

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A Shadow Bright and Burning by debut author Jessica Cluess is for slightly older readers, say 13+. It is about a girl, Henrietta who can burst into flames. She is discovered and taken to London along with her best friend Rook, a boy who has been damaged by the evil Ancients who are threatening to destroy the country. People hope that Henrietta will prove herself as a sorcerer and be approved by the queen as the prophesied one, the one who will save them all. Hettie is not so sure that she is this much wanted person and doubts her own powers, as well as being suspicious of the motives of some people around her. She is helped and hindered by the bunch of trainee sorcerers with whom she studies and works. It all comes to an exciting climax in a battle at the end of the book. But as we all know winning a battle does not mean  you have won the war so there is a sequel coming. This is a delightful book, Henrietta is an engaging character and the created world blends Victorian customs and technology with some very inventive fantasy elements. Great fun A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessical Cluess published by Random House for $19.99.

Author: Mia Macrossan

I have been a CBCA judge and am currently a judge for the Queensland Literary Awards. I review for Magpies, Reading Time, 4MBS radio and StoryLinks. I also co-ordinate The Last Tuesday Children's Book Club (for adults). My favourite book is the one I am currently reading.

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