I had picked up A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess after seeing it recommended by several YA authors on Twitter. I really enjoyed it and made sure I picked up the sequel. It was just as enjoyable as the first one.
In the first book we meet Henrietta and Rook. They are best friends having grown up at an orphan school in miserable conditions. This universe that Henrietta and Rook live in has monsters, glorious monsters and human monsters. Rook is "unclean" because he has scars from surviving a brush with one of the Seven Ancients. He has to fight to keep the darkness or evil from taking him over.
Henrietta is identified as the chosen one who will defeat the Ancients and save England. There are so many questions about whether Henrietta is indeed the one, who her parents were and what type of magic she turny wields.
In this second book, we find out the truth about so many things, not only Henrietta but what truly allowed the Ancients to enter their reality. The boys she trained with are also learning new truths and what their place is in helping defeat the Ancients.
What I really enjoyed about this book is the revelations were a total surprise. I did not see them coming. They did make sense though. It is hard to praise this book without giving examples that would be spoilers. So let me say as soon as I finished the book last night, I was ready to start the next one. Unfortunately it wasn't ready for me. I have pre-ordered the next book and am looking forward to going to the universe where the Ancients rage and Henrietta fights to save humanity.