Magic, romance, and intrigue combine in this extraordinary novel—the first in the Elemental Trilogy—for fans of Cinda Williams Chima and Kristin Cashore. Publishers Weekly called it "a wonderfully satisfying magical saga" in a starred review, and Kirkus Reviews said it "bids fair to be the next big epic fantasy success."
Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's been told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of the Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the most powerful tyrant and mage the world has ever known. This would be a suicide task for anyone, let alone a reluctant sixteen-year-old girl with no training.
Guided by his mother's visions and committed to avenging his family, Prince Titus has sworn to protect Iolanthe even as he prepares her for their battle with the Bane. But he makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the tyrant closing in, Titus must choose between his mission—and her life.
Thomas, who's built a strong reputation in historical romance, turns to YA fantasy with aplomb in the first installment of the Elemental Trilogy. Sixteen-year-old Iolanthe Seabourne is an elemental mage with a gift for fire; she has trained in obscurity with her drug-addicted mentor for as long as she can recall. When their quiet life suddenly turns to chaos, he's coherent enough to help fling her out of danger but into a world she does not know late 19th century London, a "nonmage" society that coexists with the rival mage realms of Atlantis and the Domain. Rescued by the Domain's young master, Titus Elberon, and disguised as a boy attending Eton College, Iolanthe has to learn who and what to believe. Titus will do anything to overthrow Atlantis; Iolanthe dreams of becoming a mage scholar. Only one of them knows that death is imminent. As expected, Thomas's romantic touch is sure, but she is just as adept with fantasy world-building, carrying the banners of Anne McCaffrey and Caroline Stevermer, among others, in a wonderfully satisfying magical saga. Ages 14 up.