The Flame in the Mist

The Flame in the Mist

4.3 15
by Kit Grindstaff

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Set in an imagined past, this dark fantasy-adventure is for fans of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. Features  Jemma, a fiery-headed heroine held captive in Agromond Castle, yet destined to save mist-shrouded Anglavia.

Fiery-headed Jemma Agromond is not who she thinks she is, and when the secrets and lies behind her life at

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Set in an imagined past, this dark fantasy-adventure is for fans of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. Features  Jemma, a fiery-headed heroine held captive in Agromond Castle, yet destined to save mist-shrouded Anglavia.

Fiery-headed Jemma Agromond is not who she thinks she is, and when the secrets and lies behind her life at mist-shrouded Agromond Castle begin to unravel, she finds herself in a chilling race for her life. Ghosts and misfits, a stone and crystals, a mysterious book, an ancient prophecy—all these reveal the truth about Jemma's past and a destiny far greater and more dangerous than she could have imagined in her wildest fantasies. With her telepathic golden rats, Noodle and Pie, and her trusted friend, Digby, Jemma navigates increasingly dark forces, as helpers both seen and unseen, gather. But in the end, it is her own powers that she must bring to light, for only she has the key to defeating the evil ones and fulfilling the prophecy that will bring back the sun and restore peace in Anglavia. 

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Elizabeth Norton
The sun has not shone on the kingdom of Anglavia for the thousand years that the Agromonds have been in power. Instead, a powerful Mist envelops the land, draining the people of positive emotions and making it next to impossible for crops to grow. Jemma has always known that she is not like the Agromonds, although they raised her as one of their own. As her thirteenth birthday approaches, Jemma discovers that she may be the Fire One, a descendant of a powerful line of healers destined to overthrow the Agromond rule. The Agromonds, however, plan to steal her powers for their own nefarious purposes. With the help of her trusted friend, Digby, and her two telepathic rats, Jemma escapes Agromond Castle and sets out to find her real family and fulfill her destiny. Grindstaff's debut novel is a classic good-versus-evil fantasy with excellent world building and a creepy atmosphere. The setting is well drawn and vividly described. Jemma starts off as a self-deprecating heroine but quickly develops into a strong character as she discovers her untapped powers. The climactic battle scene is satisfying, but the story suffers at times from awkward pacing and the ending is predictable. The Flame In The Mist is a good choice for middle school fantasy lovers. Reviewer: Elizabeth Norton
School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—Jemma lives in moldering old Agromond Castle with her nasty brother and sister, her evil parents, and her two pet rats. She doesn't share her family's inclination for wickedness and runs away from home when she learns that the Agromonds stole her from her real parents long ago in order to commandeer her innate magical power on her 13th birthday. The remainder of this turgid fantasy follows Jemma as she tries to get away from the murderous Agromonds to her real parents before she loses her magic forever. On her journey, she is thwarted by hostile mist, vile beasts, and brutal villagers. All ends well eventually and the villains get their just deserts, but not before readers must trudge through long, boring episodes interspersed with scenes full of blood and gore. The cuteness of Jemma crooning to her adorable pet rats clashes bizarrely with the revelation that the Agromonds have been murdering children to sustain their dominance. The slow-moving plot feels cobbled together and the setting is as hazy as the magical mist. For recent atmospheric fantasy with sinister characters, introduce patrons to William Alexander's Goblin Secrets or Stacy DeKeyser's Brixen Witch (both S & S, 2012).—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Jemma's always been out of step with her family. She dreads Mord-days, when the Agromonds make Offerings to demonic entities, and she resents the sentient Mist that keeps the sun from Anglavia. On the eve of her 13th birthday, she learns those feelings are well-founded. With her two mind-reading rats and a mysterious book from her old nurse, Jemma flees Agromond Castle--hotly pursued--into the Mist-shrouded forest. There she encounters the usual assortment of helpers and hinderers, including her friend Digby. While her book provides clues to her past and future, her adventures teach her courage and fortitude. Sturdy, down-to-earth Jemma's an endearing heroine, but the evildoers (here Grindstaff's in good literary company) are more vivid and individuated than the good folk, who share a bland, interchangeable identity. Pacing is slow--getting Jemma out of the castle takes 90 pages, and she retraces her steps so often her hero's journey feels more like a commute. The tone ranges from whimsical humor (Jemma misses the castle fare: stale bread and sour milk; comfort food is what you're used to) to solemn high fantasy, but when the evil expands to widespread infanticide, the lighter tone jars. Debut missteps shouldn't bother young readers though, and the frequent flashes of charm and originality scattered throughout bode well for future ventures. (Fantasy. 9-12)

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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The Flame in the Mist 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
DonnaGalanti More than 1 year ago
This mystical book is a beautifully written tale of fellowship, family, and finding your own power against all odds - and led by the courageous and likable Jemma, along with her telepathic golden rat friends, Noodle and Pie. Dark forces abound, and I do mean dark so it's a great read for the older middle grade set, but there is light to be found in this misty land that seems a character itself in this chilling tale - and Jemma is the one to bring it. You will be sucked into Grindstaff's magical, visual language that burbles and flows as the mist does. Highly recommended!
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
I loved the setting in this book – a world with no sun ruled by magical tyrants. That is my kind of book. The characters in the story are good. Jemma is a good – approaching great – main character. She is smart and spunky. Her character develops through the story and I found myself being drawn into her story. Her telepathic rat side-kicks (Noodle and Pie) are characters that readers will immediately love. The evil Agromond Family is VERY evil and they are the perfect bad guys. The book is written so that is totally appropriate for MG readers, but the length and reading level is something an older reader will like also. I recommend this book to lovers of fantasy! *NOTE* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sh picked up the dragonets abd flew back to plato love
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading "The Flame in the Mist" and was sad to see it end. Ms. Grindstaff's first novel is solid and well written. The pacing is spot on. It is a page turner from start to finish. Each character is clearly defined. I loved the rats, Noodle and Pie, who were Jemma's constant companions. They were unexpected and added another dimension to the story. Even though this is a middle grade novel, it didn't feel childish as I read it. I often read YA books and on occasion a middle grade novel such as this one because there are a lot of good books out there in the fantasy category. If you enjoy a good fantasy novel then I would highly recommend "The Flame in the Mist." Grindstaff paints a wonderful portrait of Jemma's world and the reader is pulled into this world as the story unfolds. The story is well crafted and the reader finds everything mentioned within the pages believable and plausible. Ms. Grinstaff's gives a unique twist on Good vs Evil as the sinister mist swirls through the pages. I thoroughly enjoyed each delicious page! Jemma is a strong female character and it was enjoyable to watch her come into her own as the story unfolds. Girls will be excited to read about such a strong role model. I certainly look forward to Grindstaff's next novel with interest. I would love to see more about Jemma and the wonderful characters who graced the pages of The Flame in the Mist. I highly recommend this book!!
nikki0390 More than 1 year ago
The Flame in the Mist is a really cute middle grade book that younger readers (and even older readers) are going to enjoy! While YA and adult fantasy novels can be a bit more intense, this one is geared toward kids and is more light. It's full of interesting characters, a unique plot, humor, and a-freakin-dorable sidekicks, a.k.a the rats (you can see them on the girls shoulders in the picture.) I'm a big fan of middle grade paranormal and fantasy books, and I'm so excited to introduce you all to this one! Jemma Agromond is the main character in The Flame in the Mist. Younger readers are really going to relate to her and sympathize with her situation. Jemma was just a really solid character who was just....good. The Flame in the Mist has its evil aspects to it, but Jemma is kind of like the white light of the story. Readers are going to be rooting for her throughout this whole story. I know I was!. What I loved about this book is that it's full of action scenes. I was constantly on my toes, waiting to see what was going to happen next. Magic also plays a key role in this book. Let's be honest...who doesn't like some cool magic? I thought that it really worked in this book, and I was always excited to see what was going to happen next. There were also some very cool myths and unique characters that made appearances in this book. Like most books, The Flame in the Mist did have its share of problems. The book started off very strong. When I first started reading it, I had a hard time putting it down. It was just addictive, and I loved it. When I got toward the middle of the book, though, things started to slow down a bit. When Jemma was in the forest, the scenes started to feel very repetitive. It did eventually pick back up, though, and the action and magical elements were as good as ever. The Flame in the Mist may be geared toward children, but I would also recommend it to adults and young adults who enjoy MG books and fantasy/paranormal themes. Kit Grindstaff is an amazing writer, and I would love for my own child to read this book! Go pick this up today!   Pages: 464 Publisher: Delacorte Press Publication Date: April 9th 2013 Source: EARC provided by publisher Rating: [rating: 3]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter and I just finished reading The Flame in the Mist and had to write a review! This is the perfect summer read as it takes you deep into the imaginary world of Anglavia where the book's heroine, Jemma must over come the evil that is lurking within the castle where she lives. This book would make a fantastic movie!!! We couldn't put the book down!!! Please write a sequel Ms Grindstaff!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kit Grindstaff's book "The Flame in the Mist" is an absolute must read!  I could not put the book down!  I was so curious as to what was going to happen next in the story that I was unable to stop reading the book.  Kit Grindstaff's novel is memorable and magical, and is the remarkable coming of age story of the book's heroine, Jemma.  I was completely captivated by the world of Anglavia that Grindstaff so beautifully captures in her writing, and became ensnared by her memorable cast of characters.  "The Flame in the Mist" is an absolute delight to read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grindstaff's debut is a solid entry into the lists of middle-grade fantasy. Jemma is the youngest Agromond daughter, but she doesn't feel as if she belongs. Imagine if Harry Potter had been brought up by the Malfoy family, and you'll understand. Much like Harry, when Jemma gets the chance to escape her unloving family and reach for friendship and love, she does so. In the process she just happens to discover that she may be the "Fire One," and the hope of her world. A wonderful read - and one that will have readers hoping for a sequel.
BeeKindHI More than 1 year ago
Kit Grindstaff's writing is fluid and captivating. Even if fantasy fiction is not your forte you will be spell bound by young heroine, Jemma's, amazing journey. Grindstaff's use and communication with animals, some of which humans consider quite vile, is refreshingly beautiful. Every page is a page turner. Do your self a favor and read The Flame in the Mist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was blown away by Kit Grindstaff's THE FLAME IN THE MIST. It is wonderfully dark and creepy and tension-filled. Add to that a bit of gore, a touch of romance, and the vilest of villains, and you have a winner sure to keep even slightly older readers (just shy of YA-ready) turning the pages.  The dialect used here strongly reminded me of Karen Cushman's use of dialect in THE MIDWIFE'S APPRENTICE, and the darkness and foreboding called to mind THE CHRONICLES OF PRYDAIN by Lloyd Alexander. Wonderful! Ghosts, adventure, mystery, magic, murder, battles between good and evil/darkness and light, telepathic pet rats with ruby-colored eyes (eep!), THE FLAME IN THE MIST has it all. A grand debut!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kit Grindstaff has created a spellbinding world of mist and mystery in “The Flame and the Mist.” The cruel Agrimond family rules from the impenetrable castle upon Mordwin’s Crag.  Jemma must find a way to stop their evil preying upon the children of Anglavia. In a race against time, Jemma escapes to seek a way to awaken her own powers.  Flame-haired Jemma is a brave, intelligent heroine and readers will be cheering for her from the first page to the last. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the genre of book that combines a bit of "Harry Potter" magic, with the young girl heroine on the brink of coming into her power, and after having read several series of this type that were good, but so HORRIBLY edited it took me out of the story, Jemma is such a site for sore eyes! I cannot rave enough about the editing, but that aside, what an AMAZING story! In fact, I don't know how the author managed to keep me in suspense in EVERY chapter. Talk about trials and tribulations, wow, Jemma endures a lot of challenges. I love the heroine, the foes are the perfect adversaries that make you hate them, and route for Jemma all the way, and you will also be amazed at how many twists and turns there are in the story which make it hard to put down! I HIGHLY recommend this book, and only hope there will be a sequel!