Book Reviews

Iron Garland by Jeff Wheeler


Jeff Wheeler draws readers back into the magical world of Muirwood in the latest installment of the Harbinger series.  Three years have passed, and the war with Kingfountain continues. Sera remains in isolated exile, yearning to be free and able to take her rightful place as Empress. Cettie fills her time as Keeper of Fog Willows, as well as making important (and secret) contributions to the war effort. Meanwhile, long kept secrets are at risk of being revealed, and a new threat lurks in the horizon.

Iron Garland kicks off with a shocking prologue that left me gasping and on the edge of my seat. Pretty impressive for five minutes worth of reading, right? Holy smokes! And you know what? It only got better from there.

I had no idea what to expect in this book, after the way book two ended, but I was surprised to see it begin three years later. Ordinarily, this is something that disappoints me—because I want to know every single thing that happens when I’m reading a series—but my disappointment barely had time to register before I was completely immersed in the book. It didn’t take me long to decide the time skip was the perfect way to continue the story, as it gives readers a sense of urgency where the war is concerned. Great loss had already been suffered, and the need for the war to (finally) come to an end was omnipresent throughout, whether the war was actively being discussed or portrayed in any given scene.

Most of the characters went through changes, to some degree, but it was most gratifying to see how much Sera grew in wisdom during her imprisonment at Pavenham Sky. She knew what would give her the best shot at being released from exile, and made sure to make it seem as if she was humbled by her punishment. Clever girl!

I won’t mention all the things that stood out to me about this book, because there are SO MANY… and it would spoil things for those who haven’t read it. Suffice to say that there more than a few surprising twists (particularly the one in the epilogue!), new locations to discover, interesting romantic developments, and someone’s unexpected (though welcome) change of heart.

This book was simply delightful to read, and I can’t wait to read Prism Cloud (the next book in the series) because Iron Garland ended with some particularly chilling words from a certain lady, making it clear she had plans that didn’t bode well for Cettie.

If you haven’t started reading this series, I do hope you’ll give it a try! I think it’s safe to say that this book firmly cemented Harbinger as my favorite young adult fantasy series. Perhaps it will be yours, as well?

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of 47North via Netgalley.

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Author: Jeff Wheeler
Title: Iron Garland
Series: Harbinger #3
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication Date: November 13, 2018 by 47North
Rating: 4 stars

About the Book

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jeff Wheeler continues his majestic Harbinger series in a world where motivations are as mysterious as magic.

For three years, Sera Fitzempress has been a pawn in a gilded prison—the floating manor of Pavenham Sky. Disgraced and exiled from society, she has been isolated from the downtrodden she’s determined to liberate. But although Sera may seem subservient on the outside, the stubborn princess has only become emboldened.

Now in charge of her family’s estate, Cettie Pratt has grown into an independent young woman, although she continues to be tested by the high society of the clouds. Advancing in the magic of the Mysteries, Cettie is also a useful tool of defense during turbulent times. However, as more of Cettie’s mysterious past comes to light, her greatest challenge may be a reckless stranger with a dark secret.

The fog of war is drawing in, and with it comes a startling new enemy who may unravel secrets that both women would prefer stay hidden. But their secrets may be the only way to stop the coming darkness…

About the Author

JEFF WHEELER took an early retirement from his career at Intel in 2014 to become a full-time author. He is, most importantly, a husband and father, a devout member of his church, and is occasionally spotted roaming hills with oak trees and granite boulders in California or in any number of the state’s majestic redwood groves. He is also one of the founders of Deep Magic: the E-zine of Clean Fantasy and Science Fiction.

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