The Burning Sky is Sherry Thomas's first YA novel and first fantasy novel as well. She has written a whole lot of romance, which I'm not interested in reading. I was surprised at how well she did on this book. I think she has a talent for YA fantasy and should keep writing it. There was something about the tone of this book that reminded me of Harry Potter here and there. Not all the time by any means, but occasionally something would stand out. Would I compare the two? Not really. There are a lot of differences, and Harry Potter has way more depth to it.
I enjoyed the world building in this book. I thought the Mage world was well done, even though we don't get to spend a whole lot of time there. We spend most of the time at Eton where Iolanthe is in hiding disguised as a boy with the help of a magic spell. I enjoyed their forays into the crucible, which is kind of a dream world where they go while their bodies "sleep". I think the best part of the book were the interactions between Iolanthe and Titus. I enjoyed reading the way their relationship built and changed.
There are several supporting characters, but we barely get to know any of them. Some might think this a weakness in the story, but I think it helped to illustrate how very alone and dependent upon just each other they really were. I'm guessing we will get to know the supporting characters better in the next two books. I'll be looking forward to reading them.