Book: The Perilous Sea
Author: Sherry Thomas
Series: The Elemental Trilogy
Standing: Book 2
POV: 3rd person by Iolanthe and Titus
Setting: Sahara and London, 1883
Source: Physical copy
Release: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bay
Favourite line: "But I am not meant to be kept safe...I am meant for fearsome risks and epic clashes."
Rating: 5 stars
After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.
Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
That first chapter had me reeling. The. First. Freaking. Chapter. Not even 10 pages in, and I was already hit by feels.
This book picks up a little after the last book, after Iolanthe and Titus' attempt at killing the Bane. However, this book runs two separate plot lines, one taking place 7 weeks earlier to show the events leading up to the current situation. In the prior 7 weeks, Titus discovers something that literally changes everything, and puts Iolanthe's role on hold, all while the Bane continues to get closer and closer...
One of things I liked about this was that there was an alternating storyline. From the blurb, I was afraid that it would take place solely at Eton College, and thus the plot would be very school-orientated, with little (or less) fantasy elements. But I was not disappointed! Though one plot line is at Eton College, the other is in the Sahara Desert, which is a very empty place, and thus magic is used freely. But even with the plot line in Eton College, there was still the Crucible, which happens to be my favourite fantasy element in this series. So no, this book was not lacking in fantasy at all, regardless of the school setting! It was awesome!
Both Iolanthe and Titus' characters evolve through the discovery Titus makes, one that brings them both a lot of self doubt. As we get to see, they both deal with self doubt differently, which brings a lot of depth to their characters. Iolanthe, initially angry, is able to find the calm in the storm. Though upset, she doesn't simply shut down, but continues to be useful by looking into other matters, such as the location of Master Haywood. Titus, on the other hand, is much more directly impacted, and we get to see him struggle with following his mother's prophecies and staying true to what he believes in. Both face their struggles, and both are able to triumph over it.
Two side characters I wish to address: Wintervale and Kashkari. Wintervale I found to be quite fun in the last book, even if he was a little strange. However, in this book, I began to become more and more suspicious of him, finding that he got in the way between Titus and Iolanthe. But in the end, I ultimately felt sorry for him, due to events that are too spoilery for me to get into. Kashkari I liked a lot in this book. I had a feeling he would be playing a much bigger role ever since we were introduced to him in the last book, and I was glad that he lived up to my expectations.
This book completely took me by surprise, which is saying a lot, since the first book took me by surprise too. But this book was filled with completely unsuspecting events one after another. Characters were unpredictable, with information about their histories surfacing. And all those PLOT TWISTS. Yes, that's plural. As in, the book begins with a plot twist, and everything goes up and down from there. I absolutely loved it, as it had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. This book does not suffer from Second-book Syndrome, and is filled with new revelations, new sets of agony and feels, and, of course, new fantasy elements such as spells, creatures, and dark magic. So. Good.
I highly recommend this series for anyone who loves action, deception, a good old-fashioned hunt, startling revelations, a battle between good and evil, or just fantasy in general. Seriously. Pick this up, and read it asap, because the next book, The Immortal Heights, comes out October 13th, 2015, so you don't want to miss out!
(To read my review on The Burning Sky, go here)