The Burning Sky got off to and not that gripping beginning but I had heard that from other reviewers that have similar taste, so I plodded through. Soon enough it did pick up. There were some themes that seemed to be borrow from other fantasy novels, but it is mostly ones that are rather universal, so I can't discredit that. I really came to care for Iolanthe, even though even in my head I have no idea how to say it. She is strong and smart, and trusting. Her interactions with Titus kept everything moving, especially when she has to pose as a boy in order to remain safe. They go on an epic adventure the ultimate quest, and at its heart, Titus seems to want the best for the kingdom, and he will lay down his life for Iolanthe even while they are both at risk because of the mission. The world is complex but I really got into it and understood everything. The writing is vivid and it is almost like I am there with them. There is also a surprising amount of character growth and emotion. The romance is an undertone that builds but there is the threat of death and this seemingly insurmountable task before them. It is in 3rd person, but it never bothered me, and everything flowed naturally. Sometimes with that point of view, I feel detached, but that never happened here, and Bottom Line: Good start with a strong main character.