This second book was much more fabulous than the first! And yet I felt like the first book had more story. I'm hard to please, apparently. HOWEVER, what's important are the 'FEELS' and The Perilous Sea was up to the brim with FEELS .
I wish I had read this book much earlier!
This review will be short and sweet. I can't think of anything to say about it if only because, even after a bit of time to think, I'm still reeling in FEELS for the story, for the romance, for Titus, for Iolanthe, and for Titus and Iolanthe together.
My review of The Burning Sky was a list of thoughts, so maybe I'll do so this time as well. I like lists after all.
So... randomly, with no formal format in mind:
- There are FEELS. If I loved Titus and Iolanthe before, I love them even more now. Having developed a more romantic, intimate relationship with each other, the two definitely represent a very powerful couple (as seen throughout the future scenes of our couple in the desert where they've lost their memories). And having developed a romantic relationship, the FEELS were abundant when certain factors lead to a whole slew of frustrating yet feel good bitter sweet angst to play off of.
Oh, it all felt good.
- I would say that Iolanthe has grown immensely as both an individual and as a mage. She's stronger now and even more idealistic and opinionated than she was in the first book. In contrast, Titus needs to follow up on that development angle because it irks me that he continues to live his life following a series of predictions written by his mother in a mysterious, magical journal.
- The world building of The Elemental Trilogy was fairly hard to grasp in The Burning Sky. While I overlooked it in favor of the story progression and the character developments, it would still be nice to see more world building to help grasp what kind of a setting we're in. And unfortunately, The Perilous Sea doesn't pick up that slack.
No matter, considering there was quite a bit of progression going on to keep me busy... while at the same time there seemed to be very little story going on to merit such progression.
- The conflict between Titus's choice of either working with Wintervale or Iolanthe was moot, honestly. He could use a lesson or two from Kashkari about the workings of prophecy, fate, and those actions we take to maneuver fate into being. I've never really liked the idea that fate is written to the last word for everyone's life and for Titus to cling to his mother's visions so zealously makes you wonder if he's even really interpreting them properly... and if he really needs to do so.
The minor conflict of believing that Wintervale is the great elemental mage that he's supposed to work with the save the world instead of Iolanthe was a frustrating one. Titus's conviction coupled with Iolanthe's heartbreak turned out a nice bittersweet angst of story, though, so I don't condemn it. It was actually a nice little twist.
- The alternating back and forth of future scenes in the deserts of Africa and the present day happpenings at the school in London were interestingly set up. From the moment our couple appears as two individuals without their memories, I had a feeling this tangential adventure would be an amazing one. Watching a memory-less Titus and Iolanthe start off wary of one another, then begin to partner for survival, then ultimately falling in love with each other all over again despite knowing nothing of themselves or the other person... it speaks volumes of their characters and personalities.
I think my bullet list of thoughts stops there. So much for short and sweet, but I honestly did kind of grasp for things to write about. Once I got going, I guess I just kept going.
Final Thoughts: I really can't wait for the conclusion of The Elemental Trilogy to come around. The more you follow Titus and Iolanthe, the more you find you've fallen for them, both as individuals and as a love story. If I wasn't invested in them before, I certainly am now: I'm invested in their struggles, their plight to save the world, their growth as children to adults, and of course, their ultimate outcome as a romantic couple.
While the story depicted in The Perilous Sea seemed a bit lacking, there was still a lot of forward movement. There was a lot of action that didn't even point me into wondering about the world building, and there were enough revelations and secrets unveiled to keep me on my feet.
This is definitely one of my more favorite books read and published in 2014.
Also, if there are more thoughts that come to mind soon, I may or may not add it to my bullet list of thoughts.