The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas: Review

The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy, #2)The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

She was also on her knees, clutching her chest. “My heart is going to explode. It is going to burst open from my chest and spray blood over a ten-mile radius.”
“We are fine. We are fine. You were magnificent.”
“Magnificent, my behind. You were not responsible for saving us while in free fall, you frigging idiot. Toward the end we must have been nose-diving at more than two hundred miles an hour. How do you expect someone to just counter that with mere air? What sort of stupidly blithe assumption was that? If I didn’t die of fright, I would have died of shame of failure!”
Her irateness only seemed to build as she inveighed against him. “It was the rashest, dumbest, most arrantly thoughtless, most—”
Words failed her. But her fist did not: it connected with his solar plexus and knocked him flat.
Right. One should never anger an elemental mage, who would have been specifically taught violence as an emotional outlet from an early age.

I don’t know how Sherry Thomas does it but
Iolanthe Fairfax and Titus have become my all-time favorite SHIP.

I loved the plot twist that I didn’t see coming (hehehe) and the converging timelines which were just plain fun to read because both were so interesting. Somehow, having two different events being narrated on interposing chapters did not irk me and it reminds me of other books that also managed it skillfully: Vicious, All Our Yesterdays, Everfound, and Charm & Strange.

Affirmations
Damn, like I knew the writing was good and the interactions between the characters nuanced and filled with integrity but I didn’t know that she could amp up the pace to shed new light on preexisting characters! Yay, go character development! I swear I’m not biased but I love Iolanthe’s personality and she’s one of my top characters slotted under the Bad-Ass Protagonists List. There’s never quite a fixed formula for strong heroine and the core components for one in a high fantasy series are higher and even more difficult to write. There’s no denying that Iolanthe is physically strong and a powerfully blessed elemental mage. Putting that aside, her social disposition and charming qualities are infinitely superior to Titus who needs those things more than anyone else. For such a powerful character, I’m so glad Iol didn’t turn into a perfect Mary Sue; she still can’t vault long distances and she suffers discrepancy in other areas.

Cons:
The book was too short! I want more!!!
I still have many questions about the worldbuilding and the magic but it won’t kill me not to know.

Pros:
There was more action in the sequel than the previous one. See, I would’ve been ecstatic and fine with that in any other book but THIS, this book’s conversations are pure 18karat gold. Every time Iolanthe opens her mouth, I gleefully await for her poisonous snark that stings everyone in the vicinity, i.e., mainly Titus.
And this is the cue where I leave you with quotes of such conversations:

Titus, who had been examining a tin of biscuits from her cupboard, did not look up. “I have killed more dragons than you have kissed girls, Fairfax.”
“And how many dragons have you killed, Your Highness?” asked Cooper eagerly.
“None.”
Wintervale nudged Iolanthe. “Fairfax, I do believe the prince has insulted your manhood.”
“My dear Wintervale,” said Iolanthe, “the prince has just admitted to having never brought down a single firedrake in his entire life. How could he possibly insult my manhood?”

“You might be the scariest girl I have ever met,” he told her.
“Let’s not be dramatic,” she said drily. “I’m the only girl you can remember ever meeting.”…
“If there is a scary girl competition, I would put my last coin on you.”

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