Tonight, I Burn

Katharine J. Adams

Tonight, I Burn
Hachette Australia
1 November 2023

Tonight, I Burn

Katharine J. Adams

Thorns, Tides, Embers, Storms and Ores. All five covens are bound in servitude to the tyrant High Warden of Halstett.

Penny Albright is a daughter of the thorn coven, forced to patrol the veil between the realms of Life and Death, keeping it safe and whole. Each night, one thorn witch - and only one - must cross the veil by burning at the stake. Each morning, that witch returns with the help of their magical lifeline. Failure to follow the rules of Death risks them all.

When Penny's favourite sister doesn't return from Death, Penny breaks the rules. She burns in secret.

Determined to find her sister, Penny makes a deal with the devastating Lord Malin who she meets in Death. Someone who shouldn't be there at all. This bargain leads her to Alice, a mysterious captive prophet, and to a rebellion against the High Warden brewing in the shadows of their city. Penny soon learns all is not as it seems in Life or Death. And as her world splits between her growing love for the ethereal Alice in Life and her attraction to the seductive Malin in Death she'll face a devastating choice.

Because it's not just her sister's life that hangs in the balance. It's the fate of all magic.

All it takes is one witch - and one spark - to set the world ablaze.


It isn’t easy to put out something that feels unique in Young Adult fiction, but I think Tonight, I Burn brings something refreshing and deeply intriguing to the category. Set in a world where witchcraft has been shackled and bound to the whims of a dictator, Penny Albright and her coven exist solely to appease the Warden’s quest for power. However, her coven, the thorn witches, can walk in the realm of death, which they achieve only by burning themselves alive every night. When it’s Penny’s turn, the desire to save her lost sister leads her to break the rules of death-walking, leading her to fall in love with a man from the world of death and a woman from life.

Tonight, I Burn is dark, enticing and alluring, an exciting foray into supernatural YA fiction. Katharine J. Adams delivers rich imagery, nuanced worldbuilding, and profoundly moving queer and matriarchal relationships throughout the book. Penny and her sisters are constantly tested with the idea that the world they’ve come to know, and the powers of life and death, are not what they seem – ideas paired with dangerous and alluring romantic interests and slightly older characters in their early twenties. As the first title in an eventual trilogy, Tonight, I Burn leaves many unanswered questions but is ultimately a promising start to an exciting new world to delve into. For ages 15+.

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