Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Blog Tour: Arrow of the Mist by Christina Mercer




Arrow of the Mist by Christina Mercer
Publication date: March 21st 2013
Genre: YA Fantasy

Synopsis:
Terror strikes the Celtic inspired kingdom of Nemetona when barbed roots breach the veil of a forbidden land and poison woodsmen, including 15-year-old Lia’s beloved father. Lia and three others embark on a quest to the forbidden land of Brume to gather ingredients for the cure. But after her elder kinsman is attacked and poisoned, she and her cousin, Wynn, are forced to finish the quest on their own.

Lia relies on her powerful herbal wisdom and the memorized pages of her late grandmother’s Grimoire for guidance through a land of soul-hungry shades, trickster creatures, and uncovered truths about the origin of Brume and her family’s unexpected ties to it. The deeper they trek into the land, the stronger Lia’s untapped gift as a tree mage unfolds. When she discovers the enchanted root’s maker, it forces her to question everything about who she is and what is her destiny. Ultimately she must make a terrible choice: keep fighting to save her father and the people of the lands or join with the power behind the deadly roots to help nature start anew.

Add it on Goodreads and purchase on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

MY REVIEW

I loved Arrow of the Mist, and I wish I could go back in time and give it to my preteen self, because I would have loved it then even more!  I was immediately attracted to this novel by the synopsis, since I’ve always been fascinated by herbal medicine and magic, and by Celtic lore.  Many of my all-time favorite childhood reads had to do with these subjects, and Arrows of the Mist brought me back to the magic of books like Wise Child and Juniper by Monica Furlong, The Forestwife by Theresa Tomlinson, and, with its epic quest structure, the Prydain books by Lloyd Alexander.

I was sucked into Arrow of the Mist right away by the vivid, detailed world the author created, with the mystery of Brume and its ominous mists.  I liked the heroine, Lia, immediately because of her knowledge of plants used for healing and her deep appreciation for the natural world around her.  The author obviously did a lot of research into the uses and symbolism of plants, and she incorporated it throughout the story in a really interesting way.  I especially loved the growing bond between Lia and the various trees, all identified by their Celtic names and symbolic meanings.  (I actually would have liked a glossary for these, too—although they were all defined in the book, it would have been nice to have this.)  And the idea of a villainous plant, as it’s described in the book, is truly terrifying!

I also loved the various magical creatures that inhabited Brume, particularly the fae and unicorns…and I knew there was something unusual about Lia’s dog from the very beginning!  The plot was fast-paced and exciting, with Lia and her companions constantly facing new dangers.  Some reviews of this book have noted that it’s more plot rather than character-driven, and I guess I’d agree with that, but it didn’t really bother me.   I definitely saw character growth in Lia throughout the novel, and I also felt like the various landscapes of Brume were, in their own way, characters that added depth to the novel.  This would certainly have been a different book if Lia’s romantic interest had been given a larger role, and I might have liked that book too…but I really just enjoyed this story for what it was.  Also, the ending leaves us with plenty of possibilities for a sequel, and I can see how the author might develop the romance in a second book.

My one nitpicky issue with the book was that, while most of the dialogue was written in a deliberately old-fashioned way, the occasional “yeah” and “gonna” appeared and threw me out of the story.  This is a small issue, though, and I hope the author does write a sequel to this book, because I will definitely read it!

About the Author

Christina Mercer writes fiction in addition to mothering two young adults, a pack of large dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees. Her varied interests prompted her to study creative writing, earn her official degree in Accounting, become a CPA, acquire a certificate in Herbal Studies, and keep honeybees. She took Writer’s Best in Show at the 2012 SCBWI CA North/Central Regional Conference and was a semi-finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakout Novel Award Contest. You can find her at www.christinamercer.comor working as the Reviews Director at www.indie-visible.com

Author Links:


Giveaway

Christina is offering one ebook copy of Arrow of the Mist along with a bookmark.  The ebook is international, and the bookmark is US/Canada only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Arrow of the Mist tour here!


2 comments:

  1. Yay glad you liked it, Stephanie! It sounds like a really fun fantasy book! I love the sounds of all the creatures included in it, too! Great review! :)

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  2. Thank you, and thanks for letting me take part in the tour! :D

    ReplyDelete