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Great Fantasy Sequel | Book Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

A slow start that ramped up to be something great, The Perilous Sea is a great follow-up to the first Elemental Trilogy book.

Book Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

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the perilous sea sherry thomas book review

Title & Author: The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy) by Sherry Thomas

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – High Fantasy, Magic

Release Date: September 16, 2014

Series: The Elemental Trilogy #2

Publisher: HarperCollins

How I Got the Book: ARC via 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.”

More Fantasy, More Romance, More Everything

One of my all-time favorite books of last year was The Burning Sky, the first book in the Elemental Trilogy series.

It had it all – fantasy, romance, mages and tons of breathtaking action. I’m so happy to report that The Perilous Sea also had all of those same elements and THEN SOME.

The book opens with Titus and Iolanthe (affectionately known as Fairfax) in the desert with no memory of how they got there…or who they are. Then the story switches back to weeks earlier when they’re both just returning to Eton from their summer holiday.

The story switches back and forth in time from Eton to the desert, and I really enjoyed the fresh perspective of storytelling, which differed from the first book.

Also, Thomas does some pretty ingenious things to keep the romance strong. Because you know how things can go in book 2. DOWNHILL QUICKLY. She manages to make everything feel new all over again.

I think The Perilous Sea also does something I haven’t seen in a lot of other fantasy books – it plays with the idea of there being “the one.” The One who’s been prophesied to end a reign or terror, the One who’s destined for greatness, etc. I liked how she sort of turns the concept on its head and offers a new idea that isn’t cliched to heck.

Plus, the story is driven by missing pieces, so while Titus and Iolanthe are dodging baddies, they (and you, the reader) are trying to sort out a huge puzzle. It really made me fly through the pages, after…well..let me talk about that next…

Trouble in Paradise

So, confession time. I struggled with The Perilous Sea at first. I was inundated with military and magical terms I don’t remember seeing in the first book, although it HAS been awhile (about a year to be exact).

So, I was thrown off by an information overload. And I was kind of bummed by this because I wanted to love this book just as much as The Burning Sky. While I definitely think it’s a very, very strong sequel and I am totally seeing this series to the finish, it wasn’t quite on par with the first book.

I think The Perilous Sea would have done well with a teeny bit of recap or breakdown of terms at the beginning of the story.


Despite some initial trouble with remembering the where the first book left off and sorting through some complicated magical and military jargon, I very much enjoyed the sequel to The Burning Sky – one of my top books of 2013. The Perilous Sea offers just as much romance, magic and mystery as the first book while presenting a strong storyline that is setting up the third and final book perfectly.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.