My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won’t find me talking about style
or craft, why I think this could’ve been better or what worked or didn’t work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it’s here I probably think it won’t injure your brain if you read it.
Iolanthe is the greatest elemental mage of her generation, and she doesn’t even know it. The Realm needs a savior, but her guardian has kept her safely tucked away in a remote area where she happily practices non-elemental magic, just like everyone else. With the Bane searching for the mage prophesied to destroy him, Iolanthe’s guardian had his own memories of her past and keys to her nature removed from his mind, so that the Inquisitor would never be able to use him as a tool against Iolanthe, not matter how horrible her methods.
But the memory spell has taken its toll over the years, and her once sharp guardian has slipped into insanity, needing her constant care and unable to warn her of her own potential. When she accidentally calls down lightning, alerting the Bane and the Inquisitor of her existence, her guardian throws her into a trunk during a moment of clarity — the only problem being that the trunk on the other end of the portal exist is locked… and there’s no way back for Iolanthe.
Luckily, Prince Titus arrives at the lightning strike as well. The puppet ruler of Elberon, Titus wears a facade of pomp and bravado at odds with his inner-self. Titus knows what the lightning indicates, and he’s spent his entire life preparing himself to die in the service of the Elemental Mage, as his dead mother had prophesied he must. As Iolanthe slowly suffocates inside the trunk located real-world Victorian London, Titus tracks her down.
Once she is released, the two team up to defeat the Bane. But the only place to hide Iolanthe is in plain sight. The Realm knows that Titus is enrolled in a all-boys prep school in London, and if he were to suddenly show up missing they would know he’d found the mage. Instead, Iolanthe’s hair comes off and she is enrolled as his roommate — a boy. As he teaches her to command all her powers and prepares himself to die in her defense, the two fight off a mutual attraction that can only end badly.