Published: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Copy: Publisher through Edelweiss
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.
Last October I reviewed 'The Burning Sky', the first book in this trilogy and I absolutely loved it. I had high hopes for this second book and I am thrilled and delighted to say that those hopes were surpassed. The Perilous Sea is written in two parts - present and past - with alternating chapters set in Windsor and the Sahara desert. Confusing - not in the least. The actions occurring in these two timelines are so different as to make very easy reading.
I still completely adore Iolanthe (Fairfax) and Titus. Their witty banter brought a smile to my face many, many times and I never once got tired of them or their romance. We continue to find out more about them and about many of the secondary characters. Kashkari has many secrets that come to light, as does Wintervale and some of those secrets will knock your socks off. Cooper is also hilarious, a bit like the stooge in a stage comedy. I also enjoyed the pivotal roles played by parents in the story, Lady Wintervale and Lady Callista to name two.
We also find out a lot more about the Bane, and what a nasty character he is. He is only concerned about one person - himself - and how to maintain his prolonged life. There are some wonderful surprises that come to light about him, most of them coming out of left field for me.
I also noted again the underlying Harry Potterish feel to the story, but it is never contrived. With its Victorian setting, nasty bad guy out to rule the world and a mage society hidden from the general populace, it would be hard not to draw parallels, but the feeling is more like cousins, if you understand my meaning The Perilous Sea (and Burning Sky) stand firmly on their own and are equally as enjoyable. Any Harry Potter fan should just devour this series, but then really, so should any lover of great adventure fantasy. Well done Ms Thomas, I am completely taken by your fabulous story world and it is with bated breath that I wait for the final book in the trilogy. I just can't wait to start recommending this series to my patrons at work.