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.
"Fortune favors the brave, and the brave make their own fortune!"
Iolanthe Seabourne (aka Archer Fairfax) and Prince Titus's epic journey continues with The Perilous Sea in which fate and destiny are challenged, explored, and ultimately torn apart. The Perilous Sea is not only broken down into two distinct timelines that switch after each chapter, but is also told through the eyes of both characters. This all leads to a cliffhanger ending and the next step in the battle with the Bane, leader of Atlantis.
The first timeline happens after Iola and Titus wake up in the middle of the Sahara Desert without any memories of how they got there, or who they really are. As this is "current" events, readers have no clue how we got from the end of The Burning Sky to here. While switching between past and present is often times discombobulating, Thomas's choice eventually works out when the timelines ultimately connect and the answers are laid out for you. Iola and Titus's Saharan journey is fraught with danger, stimulating chase scenes filled with Atlanteans, wyverns, chariots, as well as meeting new allies in their mission to defeat the Bane.
The second begins seven weeks in the past while the Eton school is on summer break and ultimately bridges the gap between the ending of The Burning Sky and the present. Iola and Titus each have their own trials at Eton. After a rather mysterious event happens to one of the secondary characters named Wintervale, it throws everything that Titus believed in into disarray and leaves Iola questioning her worth in battling Bane. The second time line is perhaps the more telling of the two. Things happen to shake the very foundation of both characters lives, truths are slowly revealed, and nothing will be the same again.
The one thing that aggravates me in any series, is when a character like Titus, who supposedly adores and cherishes Iola, suddenly makes stupid choices that ultimately leads to heart break, and pain that could have been avoided. This story started out as a decision between accepting destiny, and throwing caution to the wind and following your own path. His inability to put his mother's dairy aside and trusting Iola and his instincts made me want to scream like a wild cat. It was painful to watch Iola as she finds herself in an entirely different role, that of being a supporting cast member, rather than the star of the battle between good and evil. But, never doubt the love that exists between Iola and Titus. Titus may be a blunder head at times, but he would cross an ocean filled with sharks to protect her.
While The Burning Sky focused on Titus's mother and her sad fate, this time Thomas explores Iola's heritage which I have been wondering about from the beginning of the trilogy. Who was Iola's real parents? What really happened to them? How did she end up with Haywood as her mentor, and protector? I won't spoil the answers, or what truths are revealed, but I will say that things definitely take on a different aspect once all avenues are explored. Memories are a major factor in this story, or the lack of them. Memories are a very powerful thing but once they are gone, or removed, the search for the truth becomes that much harder to overcome.
I love the fact that there isn't a love triangle tossed into this story. The romance between Iola and Titus is solid as a rock and doesn't need any unnecessary interruptions to break it up. I liked that Thomas explored more of the students at Eton, and they weren't just there for background noise. I liked that Kashkari played more than a supporting role this time out. I also liked his family angle, as well as his abilities that lead him into being more than a bit player but an ally.
I believe The Perilous Sea is more action packed than The Burning Sky and covers some interesting ground. I would like to know more about the non mage, vs mage worlds in how they are connected. We really haven't dived into how one timeline can be 1833, while another is YD1007. I miss time spent in the Crucible. I enjoyed Iola's adventures while she was learning how to defeat the Bane with her powerful elemental magic. I really can't wait until we travel to Atlantis, and Thomas tells us where it is located. I also want to understand whether or not there is actually a Chosen one, or if it really matters when all is said and done.
The last installment will be released September 2015, and I am eager to take one last journey with Thomas's fantastic world building, and the characters she's created.
Author - Sherry Thomas Title - The Perilous Sea Series - The Elemental Trilogy # 2 Published by Balzer + Bray Released date: September 16, 2014 Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Format: E-Book 432 pages