Dark mist rising by Anna Kendall

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(Soulvine Moore Chronicles: Book Two). Gollanz, 2011. ISBN: 9780575094314.
(Age: 16+) Roger Kilbourne is a hisaf; one of few people who have the ability to cross over into the Country of the Dead. This gift, or curse as Roger thinks it to be, has always been exploited; by his uncle, his queen and the dark arts of the feared Soulviners. But those days are behind him and Roger intends to live a normal life. But all is not well in the Country of the Dead. The Queendom is on the edge of war with invading savages and forces in both realms want Roger dead.
The reader can easily be forgiven for feeling unconvinced upon opening this book. The first few chapters are hastily written in an attempt to provide newcomers to the series an idea of all that happened in the previous book. The scenes are either too short or too long, the interactions between characters brief and dull, and the dialogue fails to engage the reader.
However once the tedious opening chapters pass, the reader stumbles upon a truly gripping story. The dialogue becomes vivid, colourful and evocative. The scenes become a blend of fast-paced conflict and poignant drama. New diverse characters are introduced throughout while characters from the first novel are recalled. Kendall throws in just enough twists to keep the reader guessing whilst still keeping them interested.
The ending is one that the reader does not foresee but fans of the series as well as newcomers will be left more than satisfied. The story still leaves enough doubt in the reader's mind to encourage the idea that the third installment of the series will soon follow.
A clever, unique plot is coupled with colorful characters, descriptive writing and engaging storytelling to create an all-round enjoyable read. The reader may become impatient at the start, but continuing to persist with this book greatly rewards the reader in the end.
I highly recommend this book.
Michael Adams