Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!, what a relief this book was to the one I completed before it. I have seen this plot so many times that I can practically recite the end game without actually reading the book but that did not stop Sherry Thomas from taking my breath away and let me tell you there are so many things in the book you would be very surprised at so it gives you a lot to admire too.
The story is as classic as can be, stubborn girl did not believe her guardian about her powers or those that hunt for them and does something stupid which brought the might of Atlantis on them but before they could capture her, her guardian found a way for her to escape while sacrificing his freedom for her sake. Iolanthe/Arthur Fairfax is a very fascinating girl and her character was well written with as much precision as you can expect from a first book in a series and I expect more transformations in the other books too. Titus on the other hand is the usually arrogant princeling except when he is by himself when he has to drop all pretenses and lies and act like himself and I love his character all the same. He has the genuine personality of a person that much is expected from and would not allow anything to divert him from his chosen part even if he had to result to manipulation and lies.
The world building was magnificent and very well detailed so you don’t miss a step and practically live in the book like they do when they need to train in the Crucible. The book was written from both Iolanthe and Titus‘s point of view so get the full account of how the events of the night she was discovered has changed them both and how they have to adjust to the feelings they had for each other. The evolution of their subtle romance was sweet and well paced with no sudden ambush or inadequacies and when they both finally sort of admitted that they liked each other, it was as subtle as well so it gives me hope for the next book too.
P.S: The bad guys were not exactly very well planned but I guess that is because they were not really needed in this book but in the next book, I want to see more.