Last time I promised you my favorite Emblazon title from over the winter. This one takes top honors!
This book is a textbook example of what I love most about the children’s genres: a strong lead, incredible fantasy world, an imaginative plot, absolutely gorgeous prose, and a lingering depth to the story that I can take away with me and mull over later. I can’t think of a single negative. I was completely captivated by this one.
Lia has a botanical gift. She knows the ancient names, ancient uses, and ancient lore for every plant. Unfortunately, the king has outlawed such practices as well as entry into the mystical lands of Brume that lie hidden behind the curtain of mist. But when Lia’s father and several others contract an unknown sickness, she and her cousin must journey into the unknown land to find the cure. There Lia learns secrets of her family’s past, abilities she never would have imagined, and dangers beyond her worst nightmare.
I loved that Lia’s ability to wield magic stems from ancient herb lore. She’s a fantastic lead, strong, brave, and heedless of the disapproval others might have for her. Instead, her focus lies on the job she must do. Her cousin, Wynn, isn’t quite as developed, but he’s loyal and brave and makes a necessary accompaniment to Lia on her travels. And their path takes some wildly unforeseen turns. Brume is an incredible, well thought out world with mysterious characters at every turn.
And now to share some examples of Christina’s beautiful writing style:
“Lia turned her head from their scorn and swallowed down the retort growing bitter on her tongue.”
“When he stopped and answered her, his words were slow and deliberate, like a steady drizzle of rain seeping deep into the soil.”
“The day dragged against the sky, and the dimly lit sun melted into the horizon.”
Breathtaking, isn’t it? The ending implies another episode to follow. I’ll be standing in line.
Breaking news! I’m pleased to announce that Arms of Anu, the sequel to Arrow in the Mist, just released in March! I’ve already gotten my patties on it. I’ll give you the low-down very soon. :)
Christina Mercer, writes fiction for children and young adults and is a member of Emblazon. She’s also a CPA, a Certified Herbalist, and a beekeeper. Other random facts: she’s ambidextrous and she doesn’t eat mammals (they simply don’t taste good). Writing credits include placing in the semi-finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and taking Writer’s Best of Show at an SCBWI Regional Conference. She enjoys life in the Sierra foothills with her husband and sons, a pack of large dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees.