I received this book for free from Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas
Series: The Elemental Trilogy #3
Published by Balzer + Bray on October 13th, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good.
However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible—finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort....
Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough?
With The Immortal Heights, Sherry Thomas brings the acclaimed Elemental Trilogy to its breathtaking conclusion.
Ever since I first cracked open The Burning Sky, I’ve been completely infatuated with The Elemental Trilogy. Sherry Thomas created such awesome characters and such an amazing ship, that I got swept up in their adventures instantly and any complaints I had were largely ignored. So, my expectations might have been a bit high for The Immortal Heights, but nonetheless, Thomas met them and delivered an awesome ending consistent with the quality of the rest of the series.
I did actually reread The Burning Sky and The Perilous Sea before diving into the conclusion, because I wanted to be sure that all of the previous events were really at the top of my mind. (I also remembered that The Perilous Sea didn’t do the best job of recapping The Burning Sky.) However, that was not essential to starting the final book, because Thomas actually does a great job of recapping the previous events in this novel. Ample details are given about the twists in The Perilous Sea and the nature of the world that it’s not hard to dive in right away. I will say, however, that upon rereading these books, I finally felt like I understood the world building. It’s still not the best, but it makes so much more sense.
Anyway, we pick up right where we left off: after the shocking twist about the Bane and Wintervale, Iolanthe and Titus narrowly eluded Atlantis until they are finally cornered with the other rebels (including Kashkari, who is ♥) for an epic siege and battle. This last book is seriously action- (and magic-)packed. From the battle in the desert, our newly formed group of heroes travels yet again, narrowly evading Atlantis many, many times, and tries to find a safe spot to breathe, unravel the last mysteries about the Bane, and launch their assault to save everyone. This requires no small bit of bravery though – knowing that Titus’s mother foresaw his own death in this mission.
One of the things I love so much about this series is that it really delves into the theories behind these prophecies. In this last book it even clearly defines two belief systems: the first believing that a vision should always be fulfilled once you know about it, and the second assuming it’s more flexible and open to changes. This tests our characters. What will they believe? And is it not just wishful thinking? How do you prepare for your own death?
Obviously this puts a bit of strain on the romance between Iolanthe and Titus. Neither one of them wants the other to be harmed – ever – but both of them are now fully dedicated to their quest. The mage world must be saved. But still, now, after love was absolutely proclaimed at the end of the second book, and even under all the pressure of the end of their mission approaching, these two do not get too sappy. The banter never ever ends. They are amazing. And yes. There are some hot scenes. (Albeit a bit too quick to fade to black, in my opinion.) This ship will forever be one of my favorites. Make no mistake.
Anyway, this book has the all the ingredients of a truly epic fantasy. There are battles, plenty of magic, high stakes, side characters that steal your heart, reveals that will shock you (and creep you out a little), twists, and character deaths that leave you feeling more than a little weepy. And at the center of it all, there are two characters that get you cheering. Iolanthe is an amazing, fierce woman, who may seem like a softy when it comes to the romantic parts but takes no shit from her enemies. And Titus is the ultimate gentleman. He is the noble prince his kingdom deserves, ready to sacrifice anything (except Iolanthe) to protect his people, and his bravery serves to inspire so many. This is one heck of an adventure that I wouldn’t mind repeating.