Author: Sherry Thomas
Page Count: 464
Release Date: September 17th, 2013
My Rating: 4 TURTLES: A great read, I definitely recommend.
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.
Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.
But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.
Fun Fact: Gilbert and Sullivan’s Operetta, Iolanthe, premiered one year before this book takes place. Coincidence?
I picked this one up at ALA this summer, and I am sure glad I did! As soon as I knew there would be a good chunk of the book set in Victorian England I knew I would be set. Add in a lonely prince and a girl who has to pretend to be a boy, and those pages just kept a-turnin’.
I really liked both of the MC’s. Both Iolanthe and Titus were strong and I loved the banter that went on between them. Titus has a book called the Crucible that is more or less a virtual world for learning and practicing magic. I really liked how it played into the story, and how the Crucible contained both familiar fairy tales and made up one’s from Titus’ world.
As you can see from the synopsis, the plot is similar to ones we’ve all seen before, but I thought that Sherry Thomas added her own twist to it, so the fact that it wasn’t the most original story in the world didn’t bother me all that much. One thing I would have liked to see more was the development of Titus’ and Iolanthe’s relationship. Not to spoil anything, but it did follow some formulaic patterns, and I wasn’t really sure how things stood between them at the end of the book. I guess that’s what sequel’s are for, right?
Taking all that into consideration, it was one of the better fantasy books that I have read in a while and I am super excited for the sequel! It may be 450+ pages, but it is a fast read. It is a perfect escapist read for a sick day (I should know), or any other type of day. I highly recommend it!