Im honestly not sure how to go about writing a review for this book, other than just to come right out and say it: Its appropriately namedI felt like the entire story, every scene, every character, every plot point, was shrouded in mist. I didnt feel like I could see anything or anyone clearly. I didnt understand why the characters did what they did. I didnt understand what was going on, where it was taking place, or what the purpose was. In some parts of the book, with all the deceptions, double agents, and secret identities going on, I couldnt even tell which character was whichlet alone who was good, bad, or indifferent. I really just felt like I was squinting at this story through a thick fog.
I wanted to love this bookreally I did. And who knows, I might have had I actually been able to tell what in the world was supposed to be going on. But as it was, I honestly couldnt see through the mist to the fortress.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review. A favorable review was not required.
Thomas is now the ruler of Magnus, the city won with a bloodless battle. He has everything he could ever dream of, and possess knowledge from his mother, Sarah and her ancient library that greatly surpass the military knowledge of his time. He sits on the wisdom from centuries past, but there is a dark, unknown power that seems to follow his every step. An evil he can't begin to understand haunts his every move and every breath he takes.
As the Orphan King, Thomas is seemingly beginning to loose his grip on the power that holds his impenetrable city together. The Earl of York asks him to join leagues with him and fight the Scots, and Thomas takes the men of Magnus with him to do battle. But along the way, mysterious events serve to confuse Thomas even more concerning his role as the leader of Magnus, and enemies are encamped all around him. Will he unknowingly concede to the side of evil? Will the decision he makes cost him his control over the city that his mother spent a lifetime trying to teach him how to win back as an Immortal?
As always, Brouwer leaves us with a wonderful conclusion to the story, but also leaves a few crumbs to interest us in the next installment to the series. As I've said before, this time period always leaves me with much to be desired. But Brouwer makes everything so real, it as if you were there beside Thomas, Katherine, Hawkwood, the Earl - all of them. My favorite realistic description is the little flea cages, because while it's impossible to conjure up something we will never experience; Brouwer makes it all happen from his pen to our couch. All in all a wonderful novel, and though short, it makes you want to just start it all over again.
This book was provided for free by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Plot: This book had much more to it than the first book in this series. There were several plot twists and unexpected turns throughout the story. It continues perfectly where the first book leaves off, and ends at a place where you want to immediately read the next book.
Characters: The character development wasn't as good as the first book. Since you are already familiar with most of the characters, there was not a lot to be mentioned about the characters themselves, only plot advancement. I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing though, since this is the second book, you already know about the characters what you need to.
Themes: This book really deals with good versus evil and the struggle to sometimes know which side is in fact good and which evil. Thomas is forced to try to understand "those of the strange symbol" while at the same time not really knowing anything about the Immortals.
Emotion: As with the first book, I did not think that there was much depth to the emotion. Towards the end, you read of Katherine's emotion's towards being bandaged and not being able to allow Thomas to see her for who she really is. I don't feel, however, that this is enough to compensate for the entire book.
Overall: I really enjoyed reading this book. It was another quick read that kept me wanting to know what was going to happen to Thomas and to Magnus and what each side of these opposing societies was going to do next. The last words in the book leave you in anticipation for what is to come in the next books.
---I received this book for free from the publisher for this review.---
Title: Fortress of Mist, 2nd book in Merlin's Immortals series
I will be very honest in my review of this book: I really was quite disappointed.
I will allow that I have not read the first book in this series (though I did try; the book wasn't available in any libraries near me), so maybe had I read the first, it would change some of my opinions, but not all.
I felt like this book never truly 'got-going'. I kept waiting to feel engrossed in it and just for something to make sense. Unfortunately that never really happened.
However, there were two thing that I did like.
First was that I was impressed/intrigued by Thomas' battle tactics - the part with the arrows, that is.
And Second, the character, Gervaise has some good qualities and potential. He shows wisdom, but unfortunately, he was not in this book a ton.
I do understand that perhaps the intention of the author is to make it an on-going series, so you need to read all of them, but in my opinion (and keep in mind, all of this really is only *my* opinion) each single book should at least show some sort of clarity for the reader, and encouragement as well. Especially from a Christian author.
Another thing I was not keen on at all was all of the 'secrets' involved. That part made me uncomfortable. It all seemed rather 'dark', even those who I assume are the 'good-guys'. There is a fine-line between Fantasy and Sorcery. Anything that gets on that fine-line makes me very uncomfortable. I know sorcery wasn't necessarily included in this book (I think it is warned against in the book, but not overly clear about that), but there was just a lot of cloaked-darkness I thought, and I didn't like that.
So yes, I was not really impressed with this book. I was expecting something like "The Knights of Arrethtrae" and it obviously wasn't that, but even that aside, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it at this stage.
I received this book throughing the Blogging for Books program.
This book wasn't all that great. As a sequel, it should be at least on level with the first book, which I don't think it was. I'm highly disappointed with the quality of the writing. The plot-line was okay, if a little confusing at times. It was mostly the quality of the writing that was below par.
I got this book free from Multnomah Publishing for the purposes of this review, which is my own, uninfluenced opinion.