Publication date: Sept 2013, Sept 2014, Oct 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Category: Young Adult - Fantasy
Source: Purchased & gifted from Alexa
The goodI had the first two books in The Elemental Trilogy for over a year and purposely waited for The Immortal Heights to come out so I could just binge-read the series. This worked out perfectly because once I started, I was in no rush to leave the magical world Sherry Thomas created. All three books follow the long and perilous journey Iolanthe Seabourne and Prince Titus have undertaken to save their world from the Bane, a powerful tyrant who's been oppressing mages for centuries. But while the prince has known this day would come, Iolanthe had no idea she had a destiny to fulfill. Her biggest concern was using her paltry magic skills to take care of herself and her ailing guardian. Little did she know what was in store for her!
The story basically hits the ground running with Iolanthe haphazardly (and accidentally) discovering that she’s supposed to be the greatest elemental mage of her generation. This was purposely kept from her but now people are looking for her and it’s a sea of confusion as she tries to figure everything out. But Prince Titus was waiting for this moment and immediately sweeps in to help her. It’s two of them against the world, although it does take time for them to form a true partnership. (And more, of course!) I was extremely impressed with the unique fantasy world Thomas created and all the elaborate details she sprinkled in. There are mages and non-mages in the world and they live separately for the most part (think Muggles a la Harry Potter). But Iolanthe, Titus and their friends cross between the two as they try to appear normal while secretly training and coming up with a plan to defeat Bane. I thought the definitions of magic and how they trained were very clever! With each new secret revealed, every new friend who joined their cause and all the different obstacles that continually pushed the story forward, it’s impossible not to feel hooked. I had to know how it would all end.
But the trilogy wouldn’t have been what it was without Iolanthe and Titus shining as lead characters and a team. I admit that while Titus brought on the swoons, it’s Iolanthe I adored the most. She follows her heart and her gut and even when her life is turned upside down, she strived to find the truth and to do what’s right. Not to mention, embrace the magic she didn’t know she possessed. Plus she’s totally sassy and cracked me up more than once. The banter, devotion and love that springs up between Iolanthe and Titus provided all the romance I look for in fantasy books but neither ever lose sight of the battle ahead of them. And seriously, what a battle it was.
(Super minor) reservationsThe Burning Sky was a solid introduction but of the series, The Perilous Sky is the strongest book in my eyes. The Immortal Heights was a good conclusion and I was definitely happy with it but I will say the beginning of the book got off to a rocky start (some of the dialogue — internal and external — didn’t match the language and tone of the previous books which threw me off).
Do I recommend?I highly recommend! This is a series I’ve had eye on for a while and I’m glad I made time to read it this year. (Also special thanks to Alexa for pushing me to read it and providing me with the last two books!)