Night after night the members of the Thorn Coven burn in order to patrol the veil between Death and Life. It is their job to make sure that the veil remains intact and nothing escapes Death. Now Penny is old enough to join her fellow witches and walk in Death. But in Death, Penny finds things that simply shouldn’t exist. And Life isn’t exactly working out like it should either. Penny is pulled between the two worlds. And both are in danger from an evil man who seeks to control everything. Can Penny find a way to save the people and places she loves or will the next time she burns be the last? Find out in the romance fantasy Tonight, I Burn by Katharine J. Adams.
[Note: While I am reviewing this novel independently and honestly, it should be noted that it has been provided to me by Orbit for the purpose of this review. Warning: My review of Tonight, I Burn contains some light spoilers!]
A young witch will burn…
Every single night a Thorn witch is burned alive. It is the easiest and quickest way for them to cross over from the world of the living into Death. And as long as their special crystal is intact, they can easily cross the veil and return to life. But it is a painful journey. Penny has shared the pain with her sisters but she has never crossed over herself, until now. With her twenty-first birthday approaching Penny is finally old enough to burn. But before she can her sister disappears into death. The first rule of death walking is that only one witch can be in Death at a time, otherwise, the witches’ lifelines will get tangled and they’ll both be lost.
Penny isn’t exactly in a hurry to burn, but she’s very worried about her sister, Ella. If Ella stays in Death too long her life will fail and she’ll be lost. Encouraged by the mysterious witch, the Spinner, Penny decides to defy her grandmother (the Thorn Queen) and burn alone to find and save Ella. Penny does find Ella, but she finds a whole lot more too.
There is supposed to be nothing in Death. Just a vast desert wasteland of sand with the veil on one side and the horizon, marked by a bright light of course, on the other. But Penny finds a home. A whole manor house to be exact and a person. Neither of these should be in death, but they are. And the only way to save her sister is to make a deal with the strange man she finds. He wants her to spy on the High Warden of Halstett. Penny must return to him every night for thirty nights with information on the High Warden or he will own her soul. Penny knows that to agree to such a dangerous deal with someone she doesn’t know is the definition of idiotic but to save her sister she’ll do anything. Even this.
Little does Penny know that she is now a part of something much bigger. The High Warden is a twisted, cruel dictator. And while Penny could never see a way to escape him, others could. Now the rebellion is close to achieving its goals. They just need one thing. Funny how that thing is Penny. Penny is more special than she could imagine. And she’s the key to finally ending the High Warden’s brutal reign if she can just decide who to trust.
Love is everywhere in Tonight, I Burn
Tonight, I Burn is a dystopian fantasy that follows an unlikely rebel as she accidentally sets her world on fire. But it’s also a romance, albeit a slightly different one. First off, there isn’t one person that our heroine falls for, but two. And I know that having two love interests fighting for the lead isn’t unusual. But this time one is a man, and one is a woman. And they aren’t fighting. Both seem perfectly content to share Penny with no jealousy whatsoever. Penny herself seems very uncertain about this open relationship, but her two paramours are fine with it, removing that source of romantic tension.
The weirder part of this trouple is that Penny doesn’t ever really seem to like Malin (the male love interest) until the very end. It’s all lust on her part. She hates him and wants him all at the same time. I know this is a common romance trope but it’s one we ought to leave behind. I’d rather see a woman walk away from someone who they don’t like no matter how their body whines about it. We are more than hormones right ladies? The whole “I hate them until I suddenly realize I’m actually madly in love with them” just doesn’t seem like a healthy relationship.
The really weird thing was that I got more love vibes between Penny and Tobias, her sister’s fiance than I did between Penny and Malin. And that bothered me because it’s her sister’s fiance, reign it in Penny! Penny just felt a little all over with her attractions, which made it hard to really invest in any of the romantic relationships.
Tonight, I Burn is an okay-time passer
Tonight, I Burn was an okay book. It wasn’t an earth-shattering piece of work but it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read either. It was very down the middle “okay”. Anyone looking for some romantic intrigue will enjoy it. Especially if they don’t want something strictly vanilla. It should also be noted that this is book one of a trilogy so don’t start it expecting a resolution right away, you’ve got two more books on the way.
My Rating: 7/10
Tonight, I Burn by Katharine J. Adams is available November 7, 2023. Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord if you plan on checking on this novel from Orbit Books!