Book Review

Burning Bright – Melissa McShane

Book Title: Burning Bright

Series: The Extraordinaries #1

Author: Melissa McShane

Goodreads Link: Click here



Star Rating: gold stargold stargold stargold starempty star – Really good book. Recommended.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an un-biased review.

Love that cover!  I must admit that in this case I did judge by it’s cover and when presented with a list of new ARC’s to choose from this was first on my list. I was not disappointed.

Here is the Goodreads blurb:

In 1812, Elinor Pembroke wakes to find her bedchamber in flames—and extinguishes them with a thought. At 21, she is old to manifest magical talent, but the evidence is unmistakable: she not only has the ability to start fires, but the far more powerful ability to control and extinguish them. She is an Extraordinary, and the only one in England capable of wielding fire in over one hundred years.

As an Extraordinary, she is respected and feared, but to her father, she represents power and prestige for himself. Mr. Pembroke, having spent his life studying magic, is determined to control Elinor and her talent by forcing her to marry where he chooses, a marriage that will produce even more powerful offspring. Trapped between the choices of a loveless marriage or living penniless and dependent on her parents, Elinor takes a third path: she defies tradition and society to join the Royal Navy.

A young woman suddenly manifests frightening new powers.  Instead of staying  under her fathers thumb and being forced into a loveless marriage, she suddenly she has choices and agency.  She acts on it and starts a new life in the Royal Navy.  Ok  … so maybe she did kind of swing a little far to the opposite extreme in her search for autonomy, but there definitely weren’t many choices for a single young woman in those days.  At least the military provides a way out for her.

Elinor is magically gifted but she adjusts to these new powers in a realistic fashion that I appreciated. She wasn’t automatically a powerhouse.  She is a young lady of modest demeanor and battle is certainly not in her wheelhouse.  She has no knowledge of her abilities, her limits or even how to use them.  Thankfully, she ends up assigned to ship with a Captain who is forward thinking enough to create a suitable environment in which she can learn more about these new skills.  Of course, things won’t stay that way forever.  England is at war, and she has made herself a weapon at her country’s disposal.

This is a great start to a new series. It’s Pride & Prejudice meets Darkest Minds meets Horatio Hornblower and I love it! Plus … oh Captain, my Captain! Captain Ramsay is delicious and he makes this book officially ship-worthy. (see what I did there?)  Pick this one up if you like historical fantasy, or magical romance. It’s a keeper!


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