The Perilous Sea: The Elemental Trilogy, Book 2

Book review by
Karen Wirsing, Common Sense Media
The Perilous Sea: The Elemental Trilogy, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Entertaining fantasy plagued by scattered subplots.

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Kids say

age 13+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids are introduced to classic literature and the Latin language.

Positive Messages

The Perilous Sea encourages young people to question what they read, rather than assuming everything in print is true. A great deal of how history is perceived depends greatly on how it's been written. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Friends Iolanthe and Titus are devoted to each other as well as to the boys they attend high school with. Each of the students at Eton College proves to be honest and loyal, placing others' needs ahead of his own. 

Violence

It's believed that the evil Bane uses sacrificial magic to prolong his life. This means that he kills teens and uses their bodies as his own. One character loses his life to bee stings. 

Sex

There's passionate kissing and a sexual innuendo about "the size" of the object that's hidden in the prince's pocket. 

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teen boys go to the beach and drink cognac. It's also mentioned that opium is used in an elixir as a form of medication. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Perilous Sea is the sequel to The Burning Sky and contains mild violence that exists in a fantasy realm. Elemental mages have the ability to manipulate natural elements and use their powers against one another during battles. Lightning bolts and hurricane storms are called upon to attack opposing kingdoms. One character is attacked by bees and loses his life, and an evil ruler dabbles with sacramental magic and uses his power to take over teen lives.  

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What's the story?

THE PERILOUS SEA follows Iolanthe and Titus' return to Eton College after spending the summer apart. The two are eager to continue their plans of overthrowing the oppressive government, Atlantis. The journey begins with two characters stranded in the middle of the Sahara Desert suffering from memory loss. While the two unidentified individuals work through discovering who they are and what their purpose for being is, viewers jump back to visit 19th-century London. Prince Titus has lived his life following the written word of the crucible, an ancient book filled with prophetic oracles. But an unexpected event arises that teaches him to question the logic and theory of what was written thousands of years ago. Will Titus learn to follow his own path in life, create his own destiny, and finally control his own future? 

Is it any good?

Iolanthe and Prince Titus reunite in this entertaining yet overzealous sequel to The Burning Sky. While the adventurous, wyvern-taming duo takes the reader through the Sahara Desert, Morocco, and 17-century London on a magic carpet ride, the grand scheme of things gets mowed over by scattered subplots that are quickly and questionably resolved.

The Perilous Sea explores themes of identity and memory, and some readers may be enthused about the romantic progression between the two main characters, but the anticlimactic finish leaves readers disappointed.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss the importance of historical accuracy. How can you tell if a written source is reliable?

  • Families also can talk about fantasy as a genre. Why do you think it's so popular with kids, teens, and adults?

  • Is violence easier to handle when it happens in a fantasy setting? Why, or why not? 

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