TITLE : The Buried World (The Grave Kingdom #2)
AUTHOR : Jeff Wheeler
GENRE : YA, Fantasy
FR RATING : ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐ 4.5 Stars
RELEASE DATE : 23 June 2020
DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley and 47 North for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
The Buried World is the second book in The Grave Kingdom series. The series is Chinese inspired with a fantastical world and a great cast of characters carrying the story forward. I read The Killing Fog, the first book in this series last year, and thoroughly enjoyed it. This series picks up from where the story left off in the first book. We follow Bingmei as she and her ensign is fleeing from Echion and his army of mercenaries.
Kingdoms have fallen; Echion is raging war against anyone who dares to defy him. He is forcing Iron Rules on his subjects. Things are rapidly changing in the entire world. Echion wants to raise his Queen Xisi and requires Bingmei to raise her from the dead. Rowen promises to bring Bingmei to Echion to escape cruelty at the hands of Echion.
Bingmei has a lot of responsibility on her shoulders, and she fears failure and letting down her ensign in the end. Bingmei fears death more than anything. But at the same time, she cannot avoid sudden deaths during her sleep-like state. Her life has irrevocably changed, but she tries her hardest to keep on moving and protecting her ensign from the clutches of The Dragon King. I loved how she was a good leader by looking out for her group and still takes solutions from her group. She closed herself off from people and love. She thinks it has no place in her life. We get to see her grow from a young warrior into a team leader showing maturity, and responsibility of a great leader.
I loved the cast of characters the book offered. All were unique and wonderful. I found a lot of them entertaining and engaging. The dynamics within the group were great to see. I liked how they gave Bingmei her respect despite her being the youngest leader to lead an ensign. The high stakes situations and tension-filled escape sequences were amazing.
We get to explore the world as it expands and see more of it. The characters are also developing and it was great to see that as well. The writing is good and the pacing was just right to keep me interested and engaged with the book. I also loved the limits the magic has in this book while being endless with possibilities at times.
Echion and Xisi were the stereotypical villains who were power-hungry, cruel, and dictatorial in nature. I loved their fight sequences with Bingmei. The way they interact with one another made me roll my eyes at their childish behavior. I do hope we get to see some backstory to how they came to be and how they are connected to Bingmei.
The love interests happening between characters happened way to fast for my liking. While it is a common aspect that is seen in YA, the story doesn’t necessarily spend too much time exploring those aspects. The villain and love-interests are the only parts I did not enjoy much. Other than that the story was easy to read through and get caught up in.
I loved this book, though not as much as the first book. I gave it 4.5 stars, but I still think it’s an enjoyable read. I highly recommend checking this book out if you love YA fantasy set in a different world and interesting magic system that involves killing fog and ancient relics. I believe this book will be perfect for a younger audience who enjoys reading about ancient mythology, kingdoms, and immortal tyrant rulers.
The young warrior Bingmei pits her courage, combat skills, and very life against a brutal tyrant’s dark magic in the follow-up to Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jeff Wheeler’s The Killing Fog.
The orphaned Bingmei didn’t choose to be a hero. She has no wish to cross the Death Wall to save the world. But she has awakened Echion, emperor of the Grave Kingdom and Dragon of Night, and it is her destiny to defy him. From his imperial city of ancient sorcery and immortal darkness, Echion conspires to fulfill his own destiny: vanquish Bingmei, revive his queen, and rule together for another eon unchallenged.
Traversing a labyrinth of caves and mountains, Bingmei and her band of allies prepare their defense against a fateful war they cannot win. But when they are overcome by Echion’s terrible power, Bingmei is left vulnerable to a ruthless assassin…one with orders to capture, not kill.
Before he destroys her, Echion craves something more than Bingmei’s soul. Only she has the power to resurrect Echion’s ancient queen, Xisi, whose evil is matched only by his own. Once reunited, their dark shadow will fall like a shroud over the realms. To be a savior, Bingmei must first survive what she has unleashed, and to survive she must begin to understand the seeds of power she’s never learned to control.
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