The Killing Fog
Published March 1, 2020
About The Killing Fog
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.
One of the things that drew me into this story is Bingmei’s ability to smell someone’s intentions. It’s sort of like synesthesia, but with smells and emotions instead of taste and color. I liked that it gave her an edge but that it didn’t always function like a superpower– in fact it made it difficult for her to have relationships and she was still fooled or outwitted a few times, too.
On the other hand, one of the things I found interesting was that she spent so much time parsing other people’s emotions but didn’t often clue the reader in to hers. Lots of times I knew what she was thinking, but not so much what she was feeling, and sometimes that made it harder for me to connect with her as a character. Overall I enjoyed the book, though.
The plot seemed well-constructed and moved at a steady pace, constantly increasing the stakes. I really wanted to know what would happen.
Though the ending set some serious hooks for the next book, it also made so many things make sense and had its own sort of satisfying moments, too. (Sorry… trying not to give anything away!)
I’ve only read one other of Wheeler’s books – THE QUEEN’S POISONER – and I thought the writing was pretty similar in this book to that one. So I think if you’re a fan of his other books, you’ll want to check out this series, too.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Characters are Chinese (actually, I don’t know that that’s true… the story is inspired by Chinese history and mythology, but I don’t think it’s actually set in China.). Bingmei and a couple other characters have pale skin and white hair, which others refer to as the Winter Sickness.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Bingmei and others use magic artifacts and weapons. The weapons can cause a killing fog to form, which kills anyone it touches.
A ritual raises a powerful king from death. He has incredible magical power.
Lots of descriptions of battle and some graphic descriptions of injuries and fighting.
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