After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.
Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother’s prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.
I was apprehensive about the way this started, amnesia, flashbacks, a ‘redo’ of the beginning of Iolnthe and Titus’ relationship . . . Well, this was actually better than the first book, which is always my hope and expectation for a sequel.
I enjoyed seeing Iolanthe and Titus unbound by the pressures of their ‘mission.’ They were relaxed and snarky and honest and it was great. It was also a nice moment of levity in contrast to the darker and complex activities of the present storyline. I enjoyed seeing the secondary characters enter in a more active way, especially Kashkari. The desert storyline, beyond being a more candid version of our main characters, was also much appreciated with the dose of action in comparison to the internal conflicts our characters are facing in the present.
The world building in this expands as well, we get a new setting beyond England and the Domain, an introduction of new characters from Africa/Southern Asia. As well as some LGBT characters. I also really enjoyed the deeper look into Atlantis, The Bane, and Princess Arianna.
There was a ton of character growth in this one for Titus. I feel like Iolanthe did most of hers in the first book, and she remains true to the person she became then. Titus on the other hand is faced with questioning the way he has learned to view his life and his life’s mission since a boy, and it’s not an easy conflict for him to resolve. When it gets down to it this book asks the question, do we make our own fate?
A great sequel, and fun read with complex characters and an expanding challenge for our protagonists.