The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas
Book Three of The Elemental series
Publisher: Bazler + Bray
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
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?
What I Liked:
Oh. My. Goodness! I MUST reread this series as soon as possible. The Burning Sky is one of my favorite books ever, and The Perilous Sea was an amazing sequel. I absolutely loved The Immortal Heights! This series is perfect! Or as close as it gets. Definitely an all-time favorite series!
In this thrilling conclusion novel, Iolanthe and Titus must survive horrible tragedies and terrifying prophecies in order to save the realm and rid Atlantis (and the world) of the Bane. Titus will never let the Bane get to Iolanthe, but something must give. Sacrifices must be made. Prophecies must be upheld. Secrets must remain covered - until it's too late.
This book was a whirlwind. It didn't start as a whirlwind (see my notes on that below), but it ended with crashes, bangs, and lots of lightning. Sherry Thomas defies expectation - whatever I thought I was in for, I got it, and then some. I have no idea how she crafted such an intricate, exhilarating, creative series! I am quite sure I will not read anything like this, not for a long time.
I don't want to get into the specifics of the plot, as this is a conclusion novel. The first half is slow, but necessary. Titus and Iolanthe cross continents, climb mountains, scale towers, to fight to defeat the Bane, and for their love. The second half of the book was INTENSE. I think the switch flipped for me when we learn something irreversible about Iolanthe. At that point, I could not turn the pages fast enough.
Oh, Iolanthe. I love her! This book is told in third person, sometimes Iolanthe, sometimes Titus (but nothing rigid, like alternating). Iolanthe is clever and capable, determined and stubborn. She never backs down, backs away, and always fights for those she loves.
TITUS. Titus holds my heart (sorry, Iolanthe). He is so incredibly intelligent, authoritative, polished, talented, fierce, protective. He is the perfect Master of the Domain, prince, friend. He is the one who rules, but he also serves. It's not wonder everyone loves him (except maybe the Bane). Titus is clever and intelligent, always with a plan, backup plan, emergency plan. He has a knack for thinking ahead, and a master strategist. He is also quite the swoony hero. He never tries to control Iolanthe, but he is fiercely protective of her, and does everything he can to keep her - and the world - safe. Titus is easily one of my favorite royals in YA lit, one of my favorite heroes, one of my favorite swoony boys. He is so much more than a love interest - he's a prince first.
I love seeing so much of the secondary characters we all love, like Kashkari, his soon-to-be sister-in-law, Amaram even some unexpected faces. I absolutely adore Kashkari, and I felt bad for him throughout the novel. You have to read the series to know why - I feel for him, and wish he finds happiness! If only...
The romance in this book (and series) is so satisfying! No love triangle, no breakups/makeups/drama, just a sweet relationship between Titus and Iolanthe. The two of them are so in love, so devoted to each other, it's sweet and tender and sizzly all at once. Props to Sherry Thomas for keeping the romance so simple yet so wonderful. And swoony!
As with the first two books, the world-building of this novel is flawless and intriguing. I love the Crucible idea, in which the characters enter a storybook as a means of travel and uncovering secrets. I am totally not explaining this concept well - it is unique and inventive! I could get lost in the world of this series. There are wyverns!
The ending of this book is surprising and, like the romance, very satisfying. You'll be worried about certain THINGS throughout this book, but it all comes together in the end. There is plenty of tragedy, but the ending, overall, is very beautiful. I love it! I love this book. Such a fantastic conclusion novel, a great package of series-ending awesomeness.
What I Did Not Like:
Like I've said before in this review, the beginning, let's say the first half, was very slow. I was just reading to keep going, see what would happen next. There was absolutely no chance of me DNF-ing this book, that wasn't an issue. It's just that things didn't really pick up until the second half ish, about when we find out something about Iolanthe's future.
Something that affected me - I could barely remember what happening in The Perilous Sea! I have The Burning Sky practically memorized, but details for The Perilous Sea elude me. This could have been why I struggled with the beginning of this book? Could be just an Alyssa thing.
I recommend this conclusion novel, as well as this series! Definitely an all-time favorite series. If you haven't read The Burning Sky, or The Perilous Sea, be sure to fix that as soon as you can. Meanwhile, I am going to be rereading this series. The Burning Sky is still my favorite, but this book and The Perilous Sea are not far behind! Fantasy fans - you NEED this series in your life!
4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars (see my notes above). A stunning conclusion to an epic series! With gorgeous covers, too. And a beautiful romance. And a crazy plot. There are so many reasons why you could fall in love with series as much as I did!
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