Friday, October 28, 2016

#Saturday Review - The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas #YALit #Fantasy

Series: The Elemental Trilogy # 3
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher
Genre: YA, Fantasy

In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good.

However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible—finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort…

Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough?

The Immortal Heights is the third and final installment in author Sherry Thomas's The Elemental trilogy. The story picks up right where The Perilous Sea left off with Prince Titus IV, Master of the Domain, and Iolanthe Seabourne, the powerful elemental that Bane, leader of Atlantis, desperately wants, fighting against the Bane's forces in an effort to keep Iola out of the Bane's clutches. This series has been based on prophecies which have haunted Titus from the very beginning. 

Whether or not that prophecy actually happens, and whether or not Iola can actually defeat the Bane so that she and Titus can have a future together, is at the center of everything that happens in this story. Titus, Iola, Mohanda Kashkari, and Amara, commander of the Rebel base in the Sahara, find themselves jumping from continent to continent in an effort to stay one step ahead of the Bane. I am happy that Amara has become one of the four main characters in this story. Her participation, her actions, and her overall storyline adds a bit of depth and likability to the story.

The story is told in alternating narratives. Sometimes it ends up being Titus, sometimes it ends up being Iola/Fairfax's. In case you haven't read the first book, you might find it strange that Iola is called Fairfax. I would encourage you to go back to the beginning so that I don't spoil that reasoning for others. Titus is a character who believes that he should be the one to face the Bane, while keeping Iola as far away as possible. I often split hairs over this kind of relationship because I find it a bit condescending that Iola is supposed to be this all powerful mage capable of taking care of herself, but Titus feels that she needs to be kept out of harms way instead. 

I give the author credit that she didn't stumble into the trap of gathering yet another twisted love triangle. No. Titus and Iola are supposed to be together. They are together because there is a bit of honesty, and trust between the two of them. There are no other suitors. There are a group of characters who are friends, and friends look out for each other. They respect each other and don't try to interrupt things be getting in-between Titus and Iola. 

I had fun with this world, and the characters. It was interesting to see Atlantis for the first time. It was fun watching Iola and Titus learn to trust each other. Add in the flying chariots, wyverns, floating fortresses, the Crucible, and powerful magic users, and wow, what a ride. I loved the prologue. Such a twisted, heart warming ending to the trilogy. I am glad that the author wrapped up things in a way that leaves no room for suggestions of what will happen next. We know that they've lived through a major war, and it is now time to get on with their lives.

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