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. Quoted from Goodreads
Okay, clearly I'll write more, but really, we could just leave it at that. The best part about this series is I wasn't even afraid going into the second book that it would be bad (and, really, that's almost always my fear after an amazing first book). Plus, you literally can't stop turning pages.
So, what did I love? Split timelines. Did you ever watch Alias, where we start the show at some horrible moment, then go back three days to find out how our hero gets into the situation. This book is sort of like that, but instead of going completely back to the beginning and putting aside that horrible situation, the author goes back and forth from past to present (or present to future), every chapter. It sounds confusing, but it worked amazingly well. Each setting is so different, the adventure and danger so unique and setting specific, that you never get confused where or when you are (at least, not unless the author wants you to be as part of the mystery). On top of that, it really ups the tension as you watch what happens to our main characters in two timelines and two settings.
Then there's Iolanthe and Titus. I love them. They're fun, well fleshed out characters that are good at what they do. I love the banter back and forth between them, half as "boys" at Eaton Collage and half as two people who love each other and still have problems they have to work out. There's just he right amount of romance between all the adventure to keep it fresh but not overwhelm the very busy, page-turn inducing plot.
We get more of the secondary characters this book, and I love them. Even tertiary characters have distinct personalities, and they're fun without being too quirky. Don't get me wrong, I love certain quirky characters, but sometimes authors put in too many to keep things from being cardboard and it comes off as an episode of Gilmore Girls instead of real life. These characters are distinct and different while still being the sort of people you meet every day and could adopt as your friends (well, the good guys, anyway).
Basically this book is amazing. It's full of action, twists, prophecies, mistaken identities, cliff-hangers, mysterious pasts, missing memories, survival, war, complex characters, romance, magic . . . the list is endless. So if you're looking for an amazing fantasy series, you absolutely have to read this. I'm giving it a strong 5 stars. It's everything I could possibly want in a book. Now I just have to suffer until the third one comes out.