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'Vivid characters, terrifying monsters, and world building as deep and dark as the ocean.' Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen

I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer in ages. The prophesied one. Or am I?
Henrietta 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 girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorising humanity. Her fellow trainees are 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 the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city – and the one she loves?

Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces a powerful, unforgettable heroine, and a world filled with magic, romance, and betrayal.


A Shadow Bright and Burning is powerful, thrilling and addictive . . . I loved falling into this story world. It is deep and intriguing, and Jessica Cluess does a marvellous job of pulling you in, scattering mysteries and almost but-not-quite-completely giving you all the answers . . . [The monsters are] spectacularly gruesome and refreshingly original, these monstrous creations are simply bone-chilling. They are an ominous cloud hanging over the pages, striking the story world and its characters without mercy throughout the novel . . . A Shadow Bright and Burning is gripping and suspenseful with twists and turns you won’t see coming. It will make you think and question, but above all, it will thrill and entertain like a good book should.

Shayne Wardrop, Kids' Book Review

Unputdownable. I loved the monsters, the magic, and the teen warriors who are their world's best hope! Jessica Cluess is an awesome storyteller!

Tamora Pierce, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author

A fun, inventive fantasy. I totally have a book crush on Rook.

Sarah Rees Brennan, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author

Pure enchantment. I love how Cluess turned the "chosen one" archetype on its head. With the emotional intensity of my favorite fantasy books, this is the kind of story that makes you forget yourself.

Roshani Chokshi, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN

A glorious, fast-paced romp of an adventure. Jessica Cluess has built her story out of my favorite ingredients: sorcery, demons, romance, and danger.

Kelly Link, author of PRETTY MONSTERS

Henrietta is pragmatic and bitingly funny, and she more than holds her own in a man's world. Cluess gamely turns the chosen-one trope upside down in this smashing dark fantasy.

Starred review, Publishers Weekly

[Cluess's] gaslit world besieged by Lovecraft-ian horrors possesses vivid life . . . an elegantly addictive read.

Kirkus Reviews

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    January 3, 2017

    Random House Australia Children's

    416 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    October 30, 2016

    RHA eBooks Child

    416 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au


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