Iolanthe, or Archer Fairfax, as she is known as she masquerades as a boy at boarding school, and Prince Titus, the young ruler of their magical land, are separated for the summer but reunite at Eton in Victorian England. They are still working toward the impossible task of bringing down the powerful Bane, who has managed to live decades and somehow can resurrect after being killed. Iolanthe and Titus are convinced because of his late mother’s visions and the events that have confirmed them that she is fated to try to defeat the Bane.
But then a shocking event upends all that Titus has assumed, and he isn’t so sure anymore that Iolanthe is The One to do the job. It doesn’t just throw them into confusion about what to do in their supposed missions, but it throws a wrench into their romance.
As time goes on and more pieces of various puzzles start fitting together, such as who Iolanthe’s real mother is, and who is the one who has been the memory keeper for her guardian, and how the Bane could have become the nearly invincible person he is, the two still work together and forge a slightly different path than the one they had assumed was a given.
The Perilous Sea was even better than the first, The Burning Sky. I love the combination of elements (ha!) here: the magic and all of the details of the magical “system,” the characters and the great relationships between them, the witty and dry banter, the male and female main characters balancing each other and helping each other equally, the romance, the impossible fight against the villain … so much to enjoy. It was particularly satisfying as more things started coming together, little bits and clues that were introduced along the way. It all just works so well. I devoured this book and I’m going to do the same with the last book but will be so sad once I’m done.
Rated: Mild. There is hardly any language. Sexual content is pretty much limited to kissing and the characters’ hopes/plans to go “farther,” but nothing occurs in this book. There is a short interaction of double entendre that may very well go over the heads of younger readers. There is a revelation of an adulterous affair in the past. Violence is present but is not intense.