The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Kingfountain series conjures an epic, adventurous world of ancient myth and magic as a young woman’s battle with infinite evil begins.
Survivor of a combat school, the orphaned Bingmei belongs to a band of mercenaries employed by a local ruler. Now the nobleman, and collector of rare artifacts, has entrusted Bingmei and the skilled team with a treacherous assignment: brave the wilderness’s dangers to retrieve the treasures of a lost palace buried in a glacier valley. But upsetting its tombs has a price.
Echion, emperor of the Grave Kingdom, ruler of darkness, Dragon of Night, has long been entombed. Now Bingmei has unwittingly awakened him and is answerable to a legendary prophecy. Destroying the dark lord before he reclaims the kingdoms of the living is her inherited mission. Killing Bingmei before she fulfills it is Echion’s.
Thrust unprepared into the role of savior, urged on by a renegade prince, and possessing a magic that is her destiny, Bingmei knows what she must do. But what must she risk to honor her ancestors? Bingmei’s fateful choice is one that neither her friends nor her enemies can foretell, as Echion’s dark war for control unfolds.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️| When I first saw this book, I wasn’t so sure about it. The title sounded like a Stephen King horror story, and the main character has a name that I wasn’t sure how to pronounce. But Amazon First Reads doesn’t offer fantasy novels very often, and Jeff Wheeler is a good fantasy writer – so I took the chance and made it my first reads selection. I am happy I did because…
WOW! What an incredible epic fantasy story – rich and vibrant with characters who jump off of the page and into your heart. I’m just marveling at how extraordinarily lucky I am to be able to get it for free. I can’t correctly pronounce any character or place names, but that does not matter in the least. I figured out my own pronunciations, and no one will ever be the wiser.
Favorite character: Quion
A fisherman’s young son, he is neither magical nor a trained fighter. But what he lacks in heroic skills, he makes up for with practical skills and a heart that is loyal and true. He adores Bingmei, the main character, and will stick by her side through good and bad. He grabbed my heart instantly, with his innocence and devotion.
What I Loved about The Killing Fog
The beauty of Asian-inspired mythology so vibrantly and majestically described is a wonderfully mystical backdrop for the epic hero-journey of the story. Palaces, runes, statues that come to life, crickets carved out of a particular wood that allows the person holding it to jump like a cricket – The Killing Fog has it all.
The characters are so well developed that they instantly draw you into the story. I chose Quion as my favorite character, but it was a tough decision because all the characters in the main character’s ensign, including Bingmei, have something about them that is relatable and sympathetic. I wonder if it is because of Bingmei’s magical ability to smell emotions – that enables you to experience characters on a whole different level and know them not just based on their actions but by their scents.
I loved the potential romances set up between various characters. They were all innocent and may or may not develop as the series continues. That is just one more thing to look forward to. Among others, will Bingmei ends up with Quion, who she doesn’t even realize has feelings for her and who is wholly devoted to her or Rowen, who is as conflicted as he is heroic. When the world is at its darkest, it’s love that provides that spark of hope that everything can be made right.
The world-building is so lush and vibrant that it is natural to be drawn in. I found a rival to Rivendale for my favorite fictional vacation spot. From the network of palaces encased in ice to those outside of the ice, once the evil is conquered, I can’t imagine a more opulent place to stay.
Even the combat scenes have a beauty to them with everyone trained in the martial arts. Fighting becomes more about form rather than savage butchery.
To Read or Not to Read
This novel is the start of the best new epic fantasy series that I have come across in a long while. If you love fantasy, as I do, you will want this on your virtual or actual bookshelf.
The Killing Fog is my February Prime First Reads choice that you can still get by February 29th. Afterward, I believe it will be available for purchase and on Kindle Unlimited.