THE IMMORTAL HEIGHTS
The Elemental Trilogy #3
Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (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.
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.
The Immortal Heights tosses us right back into the middle of the fight between the villainous Bane and those who oppose him, giving us barely enough time to catch our breath from one minute to the next as Titus and Iolanthe lead the fight to bring him down. Ms. Thomas does her readers an enormous favor in the beginning chapters, working in reminders whenever a lesser-known character or past event is mentioned on page, ensuring we have our feet firmly in place as she moves everything forward. Even so, however, there are still times when the sprawling nature of this world and the fact that its scope includes three worlds (ours, that of the Domain and Atlantis, and the book world of The Crucible) can be a touch overwhelming–especially when combined with the various prophecies, magical abilities and connections between characters–but the strong bond between Titus and Iolanthe and the fight against the Bane keep us riveted.
One of the highlights in this final installment, as has been the case with both previous books, is the relationship between Titus and Iolanthe. Even as the moment of Titus's prophesied death inches ever closer, the two of them keep a fighting spirit, determined to go down swinging if they can't find a way to thwart what Titus's mother saw happen years ago. Titus does attempt the tried and true–and frustrating–“I'm leaving you behind for your own good” maneuver, but Iolanthe thankfully doesn't stand for it, not only fighting to catch up with him and his group after their significant head start but also giving him a piece of her mind once she finds him. They're partners through and through despite a few well-meaning and desperate attempts to save one another along the way, their romance free of relationship angst and full to bursting with love and support.
Accompanying Titus and Iolanthe on their journey to find and kill the Bane are Kashkari and Amara, two young people who bring the emotional intensity to a new level in this final installment. Kashkari's unrequited love for Amara (who's engaged to his brother) is brutal in the second half of this book, the two of them causing us no shortage of stress and worry as life and death prophecies plague their every step. The only small complaint with this series as a whole is with regard to the Bane himself, the reason he's feared shown largely through the words and actions of others rather than directly from his person, and when he does finally face Titus and Iolanthe in all his monstrous glory we can't help but wish we'd seen more of him throughout.
Overall, the Elemental trilogy proves itself to be enormously entertaining; love, loss, friendship and sacrifice all combining with impressive world building and magical gifts to create a story that won't soon be forgotten.