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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Overview

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
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)
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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385742900
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
04/09/2013
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
1,311,504
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)
Lexile:
730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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