Review 308. Sherry Thomas – The perilous sea.

20359719Title: The perilous sea.
Author: Sherry Thomas.
Pages: 414.
Published: September 16th 2014 by Balzer + Bray.
Sort: The elemental trilogy #2.
Part 1. The burning sky.
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher.
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.
Rating:

I was a big fan of The burning sky and while this book was good, it didn’t live up to the first one. The plot was a bit too slow and that made me look at the missing world-building. Still, it gave me all the Iolanthe/Titus feelings. For some strange reason I never wrote a review for The burning sky, so I'm going to include some of my thoughts about that book as well (spoiler free)

The burning sky introduces us to Iolanthe and Titus. She is a gifted magician and Titus believes she is the one from the prophecy. She will be their savior and he is ready to train her. She goes undercover as Archer to a boy's school and the two become close friends. I was confused by the world-building (a map would have been great), but I loved the whole girl-dressed-as-boy concept. Plus, Titus/Iolanthe have crazy chemistry during their banter.

The perilous sea throws you right into the middle of a new situation. We get to see Iolanthe and Titus, but they deal with memory loss and have no idea who they are and where they are. The next chapter talks about the events before this happening and the chapters switch back and forth. I like that we unravel the story this way, but at the same time I sometimes wanted to read more from one time line.

Iolanthe/Titus are delightful again. Titus found out that ‘The One’ might be someone else, but Iolanthe is not ready to be pushed aside. This gives some tension between the two and a lot of banter. Sherry luckily stays away from the sappy love-moments we often have in the sequel. It made me ship them even harder.

We get to spend more time in the Crucible and I loved that part. It’s such a fascinating idea that you can use a book as portal to travel to other places – and the stories can help you out, like the part where they meet the Oracle to ask important questions. It would be amazing to have a book like that in real life. I would use it to conquer some of my fears, like talking in front of a crowd.

This brings me to the part that lacks. While the Crucile is nicely explained, I still don’t get the world-building. Is their magical world integrated in our world or is it someplace else? I was more aware of these missing details, because the plot is a bit slower. It could have used some extra excitement, but the ending made up for it by a twist I never expected. I highly anticipate the next and last book.

22 comments

  1. Oh wow, I have been dying to read The Burning Sky for a while now, because I was pulled in by the synopsis, but maybe I'll just pass it for now. The romance sounds especially intriguing and true, but if the world building isn't upto the mark in a fantasy...well. We shall see.

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  2. Great review! I need to pick this series up, it sounds really intriguing and I'm digging the covers a lot :)

    Happy Reading
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

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  3. This sounds absolutely intriguing, but it's a shame the worldbuilding lacked a little. I've heard so many wonderful things about this series, and I can't wait to read it for myself. Thanks for sharing and, as always, great review! <3

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  4. I haven't read this series yet,but I really want to.I've always loved Sherry Thomas as a historical romance writer,but it kinda feels weird to look at her as a YA fantasy author.
    This book sounds intriguing and captivating.And I really like the name of the MC.Maybe I should try this one out soon.

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  5. I skimmed your review because I didn't wanna spoil myself for The Burning Sky--WHICH I swear I'll promise to try and read this year. I've been recommended it several times now and I'm itching to read it for myself. It's great that book 2 was just as satisfying.

    Fab review, lovely <33

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  6. The world-building is the most integral part of ANY fantasy. If you're creating a world that's not our own it's SO KEY to get it right and explain it properly and make it seem fascinating. Books that fail to do that make me want to eat lots of cake

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  7. I love the Crucible! But I admit, I don't really know what is going on their either. AND THAT CLIFFHANGER UGHH. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE Titus and Iolanthe and am completely smitten with this series! I can't wait for the last book!!!

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  8. OH YAY! I was worried about this one. I've heard so-so things on the first book, but I'm glad to see you love the second in the series! I have an ARC on my shelf that I'll hold on to now! :)

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  9. The Crucible has always confused me on the finer details as well... Maybe a reread of The Burning Sky would help me. But I did love The Infinite Sea, because as I said in my review - Titus and Io flirt like idiots, and it makes me so happy. I'm really excited for book three to come out; I'm hoping it all turns out okay!

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  10. Aw man. Too bad the world building is spotty because for me, that's one of the most important aspects of a fantasy novel. Still, the whole concept of the book, and especially the Crucible, sounds amazing. I need a book that I can use as a portal! Also, I don't think anyone can resist an unpredictable ending, so I think that would probably be enough to make up for the poor world building.

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    1. Well, it's their, but a map would clear up where this world is based!

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  11. You don't think this lived up to the first one? I actually thought the plot of this went faster than the plot of TBS just because TBS has that middle where she's learning her powers, but this one had the plot of them after memory loss. It definitely the feels for the couple, though, glad we agree on that ;). A MAP IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA IN A HIGH FANTASY. This is what I don't understand: why don't pubs always include maps with hf??? If we're meant to believe in another world, we ought to be able to SEE it too. Ha, the crossdressing concept and the chemistry during the witty banter -- oh, yes, I remember that well. Sherry Thomas does exceedingly well at creating romantic couple's chemistry (I've read almost every one of her hist. romance novels).

    "I like that we unravel the story this way, but at the same time I sometimes wanted to read more from one time line." -- True true. I feel like this happens a lot with alternating timelines or alternating PoVs. There's always at least at one point when you want more from a person or timeline...

    "Sherry luckily stays away from the sappy love-moments we often have in the sequel. It made me ship them even harder." -- the One bit was a really good surprise for this book, no? I think it really helped stay away from the sappy or cliche moments you might expect of a sequel.

    "We get to spend more time in the Crucible and I loved that part. It’s such a fascinating idea that you can use a book as portal to travel to other places – and the stories can help you out, like the part where they meet the Oracle to ask important questions. " -- The Crucible was my favorite part of the world building in these novels! It's the most original of them all, and I wish we got to see more of those elements from Ms. Thomas.

    "Is their magical world integrated in our world or is it someplace else?" -- Good question. I just realized I don't know that. But I think that it's integrated in our world because you have all those boys at the boarding school who don't know Titus's real identity, which hints to me that it's like Harry Potter: magical/fantastical beside the real.

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    1. Interesting, I thought this book took some more time to really get started and it felt a bit slower to me. But he, the romance and banter was enough to keep me occupied :D Fantasy books should always come with maps, they just beg for it!

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  12. I agree that The Burning Sky was better, I felt The Perilous Sea was a bit slow and it took me a while to get into it but once I did, I quite liked it. I really like the banter between Iolanthe and Titus too, Sherry Thomas knows how to handle romance scenes without the physical moments and I really like that. I really like how everything was paced too, it was quite evident Thomas did some careful planning. Great review Mel! :)

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  13. Amazing review Mel. <3 I'm so glad you enjoyed this one :D But aw, I'm sorry you had some issues with it :\ I loved it to pieces, but I do get why you thought some things weren't perfect. I'm hoping there will be lots more worldbuilding in the next one, though :) So so excited for book three. <3 I hope you'll love that one :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3

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    1. I hope so too! A bit more details would make it much better :)

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  14. Gah, I find the memory loss trope so annoying! I love the sound of the portal though, it would be so neat travelling to other places and asking the Oracle where you can go. Love the sound of the couple too. Great review Mel!

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    1. I'd love to have such a book, minus the dangerous situations where you could die.

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  15. I love this series so much! I agree, the world building is a little confusing, but everything else is just so good. I think I liked Perilous Sea slightly better, just for the dual timeline set up, which I thought was really fun. Titus and Iolante are such a cute couple, too! Glad for no triangle. :)

    Lovely review, Mel! Glad you are enjoying this series as well.

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    1. Definitely! Banter and no love-triangle, I'm all in :D

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  16. I love the crucible too! I think it's one of the coolest parts of the story. I'm actually not sure that I preferred The Burning Sky to The Perilous Sea, but I did REALLY enjoy that we switched back and forth from the present and past. I also wanted to read more from each time line, but personally I thought it really amped up the suspense so it was one of my favorite parts of the novel.

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