Monday, March 25, 2013

A Little Foggy on Fortress of Mist

Note:  If you intend to read The Orphan King by Sigmund Brouwer, read no further!

Fortress of Mist, the sequel to Sigmund Brouwer's The Orphan King, begins in the fortress of Magnus. Thomas has taken back the kingdom and has devoted himself to making Magnus a kingdom of justice and peace.  Not all is well in England, however.  At the brink of war with the Scots, the Earl of York comes to Magnus to ask Thomas for support.  He brings with him a Druid symbol that Thomas has grown to fear (those who wore the same symbol betrayed Thomas in Book One).  Thomas agrees to join the Earl in war against the Scots.  Not long after, some intrigues ensue.

There is a conspiracy by the Druids to take back Magnus.  Isabella, who was believed to be dead, returns and begs Thomas to pledge his allegiance to the Druid symbol.  Thomas refuses.  Throughout the rest of the novel, the Druids and their symbol are seen as a sign of evil things.

Katherine, one of Thomas's true friends and allies, returns, but as part of some kind of covert operation. I was not entirely sure who she was working for or what her purpose was.  Perhaps she was assigned to make sure Thomas did not join the Druids?

I had high hopes for the Fortress of Mist.  I thoroughly enjoyed The Orphan King, and waited patiently for the sequel, hoping that the trend would continue.  Book Two, however, came as a slight disappointment.  Expecting high action and adventure, the lack of battle scenes was a let down.  I also felt extremely in the dark, especially in the last half of the book.  Too many questions clouded my mind:  Who was Katherine working for and what do they want with Thomas?  Why do the Druids want Magnus so badly and why are they willing to do anything to get it?  How did Isabelle come back to life?  Just who are those doggone Druids anyways?

In addition to these questions, I felt no sense of finality, no resolution at the end of the book.  Perhaps this comes from attempting to contain too much story in less than 220 pages.

Perhaps my lack of insight comes as a result of the author's design.  Maybe he set it up to confuse the reader and prepare a reader for the next book.  Or, perhaps it comes from a failing on my part.  Was I not paying enough attention?  I honestly do not think that I was not paying enough attention, but I'll give Mr. Brouwer the benefit of the doubt.

All in all, Fortress of Mist is not a bad book.  It is a well-written teen read containing plenty of mystery and intrigue alongside elements of Christianity.  Again, I look forward to the next book in the series.  Maybe then, I'll get some answers.

Learn more about this book or purchase here.

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided me with a copy of this book for an honest review.

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