Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Arrow of the Mist Blog Tour: Review

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Christina Mercer's Arrow of the Mist, organized by Xpresso Book Tours! I have a review of this YA fantasy novel for you today, and you can follow the rest of the tour by checking out the schedule.

Arrow of the Mist by Christina Mercer
Arrow of the Mist
By Christina Mercer
Publication Date:
March 21, 2013
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

* A copy was provided for review for the blog tour.


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.


Arrow of the Mist is a fast-paced adventure that wastes no time cutting straight to the action. After Lia’s father is attacked by some venomous roots and becomes critically ill, she sets out with her grandfather, her cousin, Wynn, and Wynn’s friend, Kelven, in search of a cure. The group must venture into the dangerous fog of Brume, where the unknown awaits them.

World-building is such a critical element of fantasy, and Christina Mercer brings to life a magical, fully realized world that is teeming with vivid imagery. It drew me in instantly, and the sensory details that were utilized here were stellar. Seriously, reading this book was like being right by Lia’s side as she meets faeries, dwarfs, and even a unicorn (one of my favorite mythical creatures!). The world also boasts a rich lore, in which every tree tells a story, and it’s a lore that Lia knows by heart thanks to her beloved grandmother’s Grimoire. I really liked this use of a book-within-a-book to further enhance the feeling that this realm that Lia called home was a real place, complete with its own legends.

Lia quickly establishes herself as a smart, courageous, and tenacious heroine who’s prepared to do anything for her family. They’re a close-knit group, and Lia’s bond with her grandfather, Luis, was particularly touching. I just wish that I’d felt more of a connection with Lia, or even with any of the characters. It’s not that they lack dimension; it’s more that, in a way, they seemed a bit overshadowed by the amount of depth that was devoted to the world. Now, I loved the world and was immersed in it, but I couldn’t find quite the same investment in the characters. I liked both Lia and Wynn, who’s Lia’s traveling companion for a good stretch of the novel, but this was one of those instances where I couldn’t say much more about them than that.

There’s a lyrical quality to the prose in Arrow of the Mist, and it suits the story and the novel’s genre very well. It’s also an engaging writing style that keeps the book moving at a sprightly pace. What was missing for me here was an emotional attachment to the characters, but overall, this was an enchanting, enjoyable read.

All in All:

This is a solid fantasy with a highly imaginative world that should appeal to fantasy fans and anyone who enjoys quest-centered stories.

About Christina Mercer

Author Christina Mercer

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.com or working as the Reviews Director at www.indie-visible.com.

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  1. Glad you liked it, Lee! It sounds like a magical and unique fantasy! :)

    1. The fantasy element is so well done! I really enjoyed reading about this world.

  2. I've been anxious to read your thoughts on this one Lee, because it really does look & sound like a book that I'd enjoy! I'm glad you enjoyed it overall -the would-building sounds especially impressive but I'm sorry you weren't able to connect with the characters more. It's a really tricky thing to find a high-fantasy read with solid world building AND character development...one can easily take a backseat to the other. I'll definitely be checking this one out eventually because if nothing else, I'm even more curious about this world now :) Loved reading your review, insightful & helpful as always.

    1. I think you'd enjoy this, Micheline. The world-building is top-notch and really gives you the feeling of being in the book, which is one of the things I most like to see in a high fantasy read.

  3. So glad you like it. I got to spend some time with Christina in Nashville a couple of weeks ago and she is an absolute dollface! Love her and can't wait to get my grubbies on this book. Especially since I now know it has a unicorn! Great review Lee.

    1. So cool that you got to meet Christina! I hope you enjoy the book, and hooray for unicorns! I love them!


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