The Perilous Sea
by Sherry Thomas
Published on September 16th, 2014
by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
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Also by this author: The Burning Sky, A Study in Scarlet Women, A Conspiracy in Belgravia (Lady Sherlock, #2)
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.
I started The Perilous Sea with this basic question: How can Sherry Thomas ever top the awesomeness of The Burning Sky? (See my review here) Well, she managed to amaze me for sure. I bow to you Ms. Thomas, you have a fan for life!
Oh my goodness! Have you ever read a book SO full of pure awesome that you can’t find words to describe it? If you have, that’s exactly how I fell about The Perilous Sea (if you haven’t, then keep reading my friends.)
The story is told in the third person, following Titus and Iolanthe. There are two parallel stories being told, in alternating chapters. Let me explain, both stories are about Titus and Iolanthe, but one is told from the Sahara Desert in the “present” and in the span of a few days and the other starts seven weeks earlier in England. It’s such a unique way to keep the reader engaged and to Thomas’ credit, both stories are equally fascinating.
“Fairfax laughed, the sound deep and rich. “Your humility, prince, shines like a beacon in the darkest night,” she said as she ascended the stairs. “We can all only aspire to be so great yet so humble.”
These characters are just amazing! I know I said the same thing in my review of the first book, but Titus is one of my favorite male characters ever!!! He’s sweet, smart, mature beyond his years, talented… I can keep going on and on. He is also, by necessity, so lonely that it sometimes breaks my heart. The only respite from the life he was born to lead comes in the shape of Iolanthe.
I found Iolanthe to be a lot more likeable in this book. She’s a powerful elemental mage that hides in plain sight, by impersonating a boy at Eaton. She’s so good, both as a “boy” and as a girl, and she’s liked by all that meet her. Iolanthe is trying to find her place in the world and a way to help Titus from a destiny he thinks is unavoidable.
“Wonder came into his eyes – wonder and gratitude. He touched his forehead to hers again, his hands warm on her cheeks. “I am so glad it is you. I cannot possibly face this tasks with anyone else.”
The relationship between Iolanthe and Titus grows a lot and it’s so exciting to see. It is clear that he plans for her, thinks of her, tries to protect her and anticipates her every need. *sigh* Thomas is a romance writer and it’s even more obvious in this book. I’m so happy that they were able to put their differences in opinion aside and be there for each other. The banter between them is
The plot is outstanding. It’s full of twists and turns and I never saw them coming; it’s unexpectedly wonderful. The writing is sublime. The setting and world building is just as expertly executed as it was in the first book and it just builds upon it. In case you haven’t read it, this book is part fantasy since there are mages and mage kingdoms and also takes places partly in the late 1800s England.
“The night you were born, stars fell. The day we met, lighting struck. You are my past, my present, my future. My hope, my prayer, my destiny.”
Overall, The Perilous Sea is an amazing continuation of an amazing series. It just cemented my everlasting love for Titus and now Iolanthe as well. A true magical fantasy gem for romance lovers. A must read.
About the cover: I though nothing could top the cover of The Burning Sky, but I was wrong. Isn’t it gorgeous? The water dragon, the contrast of dark and light, the city in the background and the feeling of pure power all work so well together.