{Review/Giveaway} ARROW OF THE MIST by Christina Mercer

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B O O K   T R A I L E R:

O P E N I N G   L I N E:
NETTLES STUNG LIA'S FLESH. She pressed her fingers against her mouth for relief. This is what I get for letting my thoughts wander. Grandma wouldn't have been so careless while harvesting sting-leaf. She wouldn't have let the villagers' opinions prick at her mind, no matter how many called her mad for crafting remedies in the old ways..
(pg. 7, US ebook edition)

Fantasy fans looking for a good adventure will embark on a dangerous journey in ARROW OF THE MIST, Christina Mercer's debut novel. The novel is full herbal lore and mythical creatures as one girl sets out to find an antidote for a noxious root poison before it destroys her entire village and everyone she loves.

After her grandmother passed away, Lia continued studying herbs and her grandma's Grimoire. It combines lore and reality, and Lia has memorized much of it. This helps her after her father is stung by poisonous roots and falls deathly ill. She heads into the Fog with her grandfather, cousin Wynn, and family friend Kelven. Her grandfather reveals the truth behind the creatures lurking beyond the village before falling ill himself. Kelven returns to the village to guard over Lia's father and grandfather despite their growing attraction to one another, while Wynn and Lia journey on for the cure. They discover seemingly mythical creatures such as the fae, an undine, unicorns, dwarves, and giants, some friendlier than others. Lia discovers that there's more than what meets in the eye when it comes to both her family's history and her own destiny. Together with Wynn, she must traverse dangerous terrain in order to find the thirteen ingredients needed for the poison's antidote, but evil will stop at nothing to halt her progress and take over.

ARROW OF THE MIST is fraught with peril and abundant in detailed lore. Mercer knows her herbs, and it shows. She lovingly shares her research in ways that never feel preachy, only fantastic in nature. My only complaint with the writing was the way Lia was constantly referring to passages from Grandma's Grimoire and reciting them. Wynn commented that it got old fast, and I agree. I would have rather seen the passages at the beginning of each chapter to refer back to than in the middle of the text, because it seemed to pull me out of the story. The writing has more of a fairy tale-esque quality to it, where we see the journey but don't necessarily feel the immediacy of everything, perhaps due to the book's third-person narrative. I've grown too used to first person! For all the beauty in Lia and Wynn's journey, I would have also liked more danger and action throughout, rather than clumped into the later part of the story, but the world was lovely to explore. There's so much depth and history to both family history and the land, which will be explored even further when ARMS OF ANU releases in late 2013. There's no cliffhanger and the book comes full-circle, though a new element is introduced at the novel's end that leads into the sequel. It would be nice to see Lia interact more with the people she grew up with in the sequel, since she's alone with Wynn through much of the book's journey. She has newfound feelings for Kelven, a friend she grew up with, and we know that the villagers always thought poorly of her before the journey. We come to know Lia throughout her journey, but would love a more in-depth look at other characters. How have things changed for Lia? How does she interact with the people around her now? She's transformed so much and gone through a lot; it will be interesting to see what happens next. I'm a fan of the fact that Mercer features a strong female protagonist. For once, the male is the sidekick, which is a refreshing change in the genre, and one I wouldn't mind seeing more authors incorporate into their own works.

If you're looking for a classic fantasy quest with a lot of imagination, check out ARROW OF THE MIST!

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I like this cover a lot. The illustration is great.I like how it's all shades of black, white, and gray. It makes the red accents pop.

The main character, Lia, has red hair, so it's appropriate for her hair to be highlighted this way. And herbs are very important in the book, so the red foliage is important as well. And of course, the book's title and author should stand out!

I'm also a huge fan of the title design  I LOVE the way that "M" in MIST is swirling. I also like the way an arrow is running through the title. It looks great! 

And you all know how I'm a fan of matching interior design, right?
Check out each Chapter Header's fab design:

It fits with the cover so well, and is really intriguing. I love how it mirrors what I love so much about the title! 

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Christina Mercer
Release Date: March 13, 2013
Publisher: Christina Mercer
Received: For Review

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.


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