Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Early Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

The Perilous Sea
by Sherry Thomas
Read: August 10 - 20, 2014
Published: September 16, 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Source: Edelweiss (Thank you Harper Collins)
Category: Historical Fantasy, Victorian, Magic, Elemental, YA

Series: The Elemental Trilogy book 2
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository 

Book description: 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.


NOTE: The Perilous Sea is the sequel to The Burning Sky. See my review of the first book HERE. But this review is safe for all readers. 

The Perilous Sea is one of those rare delights where the second book in a series far outshines the first. While I liked The Burning Sky, I have now fallen in love with these characters and world. The Perilous Sea was not at all a quick read for me - mostly because of the way the story was set up, which I can't discuss without spoiling it - but I enjoyed it so much. Below is my six point break down about why I loved this sequel. 

1) I was impressed with how this book was set up and came together at the end. Sherry Thomas made a very specific choice of structure for her second installment, and it paid off, becoming one of my favorite elements. As one of my reviewer friends said, this choice kept the story from falling into any sort of middle book syndrome. It enabled the story to feel new and more engaging, while forcing Titus and Ioanthe to have to trust and rely on each other. The series also continues to play with the idea of identity, which is a theme we've seen from the first book (with Ioanthe 
hiding as a boarding school boy).

2) I never fully connected to the romance in the first book, but I fell in love with Titus and Ioanthe this time around. My new-found swoons partially tie into the way the book was structured, which gave me the opportunity to get a fresh look at their connection. Plus NO LOVE TRIANGLES. At all. You don't know how relieving that is for me. Usually, I read second books with barely contained dread, worrying the entire time if a second love interest will suddenly pop up. Not this one!

3) I was surprised so much while reading this story. Many revelations I did not see coming. I had no idea what to expect when I started, and Thomas did a great job at pacing out her reveals. I'm impressed with her ability to give hints that I only saw in hindsight. 

4) Fellow Eton student, Kashkari, plays a bigger role in this book. I love that boy! I want all the good things for him. We find out more about him, and his quiet wisdom is so needed to counter Ioanthe and Titus who tend towards a bit more of the dramatic. I enjoyed all the other boarding school boys in this story as well, and it's still so fun to see Ioanthe fooling them all into thinking she's a boy. 

5) I am loving the destiny/free will themes at play in this series. When I reviewed The Burning Sky, I made the statement: "I also liked the questions raised about fate and free will. Does a seer witness the future or help to create it? Is it possible to contradict a vision? I hope both of these themes come more into play in the next books." I was thrilled to see these ideas explored further in the sequel, and I can't wait for more answers to come. 

6) I've enjoyed watching the growth of Titus and Ioanthe, individually and as a team, since the start of the first book. The first half of the book contained some unnecessary drama and miscommunication that could have been cleared up pretty easily if Titus and Ioathe decided to talk to each other. I also thought there were some conclusions reached after a revelation that didn't fully make sense to me. However, It never dragged too far into angst territory, and in the end, I saw a lot of growth from both of them. 

In sum, this series just keeps getting better, and I cannot wait for the final installment!

Love Triangle Factor: NONE
Cliffhanger Scale: Medium/High - Ends in the middle of action, but the moment was not overly stressful for me. 


  1. I think I've been officially sold to this series. I keep on hearing good things but when TBS came out, I didn't pay much attention to it in spite of the good things I had heard but when I saw TPS on EW I became a lot more curious, especially since a lot of my friends had been anticipating the sequel!

    I am glad you enjoyed this one, Lauren and felt like it outshone the first book (which is a rare occurrence!). I really like the sound of the themes the book explores too!

    Lovely review, Lauren! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  2. Oh, how I am happy that you loved this book. <3 As I did too, hih :D The Perilous Sea was just perfect, wasn't it? So so good. Such an amazing sequel :) And ack. I just.. I NEED book three. <3 I need more of the romance. And I need that Villa, hiiiih :) And I agree with everything you say. This book was just stunning and I loved every parts of it. Okay, I'm a bit heartbroken about the romance drama, but I'm okay with it :D Because yesss. So love triangle. AT ALL. It made me so so happy as well :) And HAH. Yeah. It is kind of a huge cliffhanger. But as I was so so so happy with the characters I didn't see it as a bad ending at all. <3 Thank you for sharing Lauren. <3 Love your review :)

  3. I'm so very excited to read another positively glowing review for The Perilous Sea! It's coming up on my TBR very soon, so I'm looking forward to diving into this story and world and characters that Sherry Thomas has created all over again. Fingers crossed I love it as much as everyone I've seen a review from has so far!

  4. Yissssssssssssss. Gosh. It's so weird, because I didn't connect with the first book at all, but my insides feel all warm and fuzzy any time I see anything about Perilous Sea. *cuddles Iolanthe and Titus*

  5. You are so right, this book surpasses TBS in every way, and I loved the first one. I am so looking forward to #3, but I don't see how she can top this one.

  6. I haven't started this series yet, but I ordered the first one from Amazon a few days ago, so it's on its way to me! These books sound great and I can't stop drooling over the covers!

  7. I really need to give this series a try, if only for the awesome covers that would love AMAZING on my bookshelf! (no serouisly, they would!) I've read so many reviews for this book on the blogosphere today and I keep hearing people say that they think this one was a definite imporment over the Burning Sky which makes me want to really strat this one than (if it's better than the last one, it most be good, right?) LOL

  8. I knew you'd enjoy this one, Lauren, and I'm so glad that you did. It's such a perfect sequel precisely because it builds off of its predecessor all while creating new relationship tensions, plot twists, and dimensions to the story line. Plus, I feel for the romance SO HARD in this book. Wonderful review, Lauren--I can't wait for the next book now. ALSO: e-mail me if you want to discuss this! I have zero time to write one myself but I'll definitely make time to read and reply to yours! :)

  9. Dammit, Lauren! I have TOO MANY books to read and this is near/at the top of the TBR! How can I possibly get through all these books? But I MUST. Especially this one (truly? It outshines the first? YAY!)

  10. Great review, L! I can't wait to read this. Stoked that there's no love triangle, and Titus and Iolanthe's relationship makes good progress. It's going to be a long wait for the third book, unfortunately.

  11. I actually loved The Burning Sky, but I agree with your review about this book. What a great way for the author to keep the relationship between Titus and Iolanthe fresh and new, I absolutely loved the way all of that played out. And yes, no love triangle. I loved getting to know the guys at the school better. Not too happy about the cliffhanger, though. Definitely ends in the middle of the action. The first book ends in such a good place even though there's more story to tell so I wish the author had done something similar, but really, that's my only complaint. Great review, glad you enjoyed this one! ~Pam

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  13. YAY! I periodically check for the first book to be available for me at the library and will grab it when it is because I know you and some others loved it so much. Love the covers in this series and hope they don't change them. And I'm excited and curious about this structure set-up! This review makes me excited about starting these books - thanks for making it spoiler-free, friend!


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