Fortress of Mist by Sigmund Brouwer, a review

Fortress of Mist by Sigmund Brouwer, Book Two of Merlin’s Immortals
Published 2013 by Waterbrook Press, 217 pages
Genre: Middle grade/young adult historical fiction with Arthurian tint and steampunk flavor

In the first book in the series, we watched the orphan Thomas regain his father’s throne from a usurper using his wits and using science from ancient manuals he inherited. Now in the second book, we continue to see Thomas’ pain at not understanding the intrigue swirling around him. Forces for good and forces for evil vie for Thomas’s allegiance. He had enough of an education from his mother, who died when he was ten, to be able to turn from darkness when it presents itself. But he can’t get anyone to explain to him what is actually going on. The good guys fear Thomas is a druid spy.

Thomas longs to trust the Earl of York, whose domain contains Thomas’s kingdom. But the kind earl wears a ring with a druid symbol. Clearly he can’t be trusted. Or can he? And how about the two mysterious beautiful women, Isabelle and Katherine, both of whom are clearly lying?

What do I think? This book contains delicious hints of Merlin, who allegedly built the fortress that Thomas now rules. The scientific explanations of what the common people believe to be magic lend a steampunk flavor, though of course this setting is A.D. 1312, pre-steampunk. What fun!

Our hero Thomas should be a hit with teen boys. The book has a bit of romance, too, enhancing its appeal to girls. Characterization is strong, the plot is highly twisty, and all in all I wish the book was a bit longer with more description. However, I suspect that the intended target audience, reluctant readers, wish otherwise. Good job, Mr. Brouwer!

Here’s my review of the previous book.
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1 thought on “Fortress of Mist by Sigmund Brouwer, a review

  1. Nat

    This book and the preceeding one sound right up my alley. I feel compelled to get it. It shares a lot of similarities to my book, ‘Three Fugitives’. In ‘Three Fugitives’ the hero is also an orphan, and his inheritance has been usurped as well, though in my book, ithe perpetrator is the hero’s evil half brother. The hero also had a mentor who taught him what he needed to know, though his mentor is the aged steward of the family estate. My hero also faces temptation by an evil cult, and he struggles to trust the friends he has found. The difference is that my book is a quest that takes the hero through the wilderness far away from home in search of magical stones, and his evil half brother also goes in search of them.
    ‘Three Fugitives’ is the first book in the ‘Six Stones Trilogy’, the second two books being well on their way. Tate Publishing published it, and it is also geared toward teenagers, but is not limited to them.
    Would be interesting to see how the stories compare and contrast.

    Nat Howler (

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