Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fortress of Mist by Sigmund Brouwer

Fortress of Mist is the second book in the Merlin's Immortals Series. Since I had not read the first book, I knew I'd be coming into the series blind. But I have enjoyed other books by Sigmund Brouwer and was fairly confident this would also be a good read.

The reader jumps right in the action carried over from the previous book.  Bits and pieces of the first book are shared so that you have an idea of what came before.  My ignorance did not hinder my enjoyment of the book (just made me want to go back and fill in the missing pieces before I wait to read the third in the series).

Within Fortress of Mist, the main character Thomas is wrestling with the responsibility of keeping his hands on Magnus (the leadership of which was acquired in first book). With the threat of Druids  attempting to overthrow Thomas as well as the threat of mutiny from his people and the uncertainty of his relationship to a neighboring Earl, Thomas has quite a bit to worry about.  Having been betrayed by a woman he trusted, he is cautious about whom he trusts.

There is a very real sense of the battle of good and evil but it isn't always clear who is on which side.  As a reader, I was feeling the same sort of caution that Thomas did in not really knowing who in the story is trustworthy.  There were some interesting twists in the story, some exhilerating victories and a suspenseful climax at the end of the book. A small conflict is resolved as the book concludes but a larger, overarching mystery still remains to be solved.

I felt the book gave enough detail without becoming tedious. The chapters were short and not drawn out. Scene changes were handled well and the characters were developed slowly, with not everything laid out clearly.  Readers will definitely want to read the next installment in this series.  I highly recommend starting with the first to better understand how Thomas came to power.

The book is classified as Young Adult which I would agree for some of the references to violence.  The reading level itself is probably borderline Juvenile and Young Adult which means this is a great book for older struggling readers. While younger audiences may be able to handle the reading level, I would caution parents to preview and perhaps read aloud so you can discuss (or edit) the troubling areas. Even if you don't have kids, this is a book that adults will also find entertaining. 

You can listen to a podcast of Brouwer talking about Fortress of Mist:

Visit the author's website, Rock and Roll Literacy to learn more about upcoming books and the projects that motivate Brouwer.

You can purchase Fortress of Mist directly from the publisher for only $7.99 for either print or Kindle versions.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. No other compensation was received.

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