A Shadow Bright And Burning


This was rather enjoyable in a sense. Although Henrietta to me, is one of the flattest character I have read through. It was as though she was perfect from the start. And the love interests which does seem to be increasing(there are at least three which I can really say will be important.) 

But there were some points which were enjoyable, the world, the society and also on some level the plot and its twists. I really would never guess Henrietta a magician, yet pull it off so well. And the author has a knack for inserting some instances of magic into England’s history, which was rather well done. 

But Henrietta, it’s just that she had no flaws. Most of her actions are well justified, she simply has no mistakes. Even how horrible she was when it came to magic, but it didn’t feel like a flaw. She has almost no flaws in reality, and she just sounded way too kind-hearted to be able to take anything. 

And for healthy female representation, apart from Henrietta there is no one else. Show it through their wives, show another side of Eliza then. There are so many places where even Lilly would have been helpful somewhat, and she could show a deeper connection than simply a maid. I have almost no words for the lack of female representation here, and for Queen Victoria, I do want a little more in showing her aura as a monarch. She did feel like a queen on some level, but I do want to see more to how Victoria is here. There have been series which does it quite well(aka black butler)

But some twists which I didn’t see was interesting to find out, and went in unexpected directions. But the only flaw in this is that I really didn’t like how the ending was, it clearly didn’t feel like Henrietta. But she is supposedly perfect and never wrong, and as such I can’t really grasp onto her personality except that it is impulsive and intelligent. 

As for the three men who became important in her lives, I like Magnus the most. Funny, charming, and respectful of woman, all the while not being the whiny brat that he could have been. I mean, he has a healthy respect for women although he won’t inherit a dime, but who cares, he probably has almost no expectation on her behaviour and is the one person who welcomed her wholeheartedly at first, I would say that Henrietta should really consider this guy. It’s not everyday during the Victorian era would you meet such a guy. 

But the other two, Rook is slightly more likeable than the complicated Earl of Sorrow-fell, he felt more boring than anything, and Rook didn’t really capture my attention nor had my sympathy unlike Magnus who really showed an interesting personality who also has attributes which makes a healthy relationship, he won’t objectify them, not mock them. He is an example of a good man, and thus I like him in this sense. 

But I do want more development in all of them. This book failed to really create depth for any of the characters, apart from surface personalities, they were about as flat as paper. 

Overall, I would recommend this if you are new to the genre. But not if you like books with plenty of depth or will break status quo, this doesn’t cut it at all. 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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