Fog Season

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

An extremely worthy followup to The Sisters Mederos. I had already pre-ordered the paperback when I was approved for a review copy, but unfortunately missed the window to download due to illness. I have only just finished reading the book now, and I am upset with myself for not getting to read it sooner. The book continues the tensions that were first introduced in book 1. The novel was engrossing and kept me up much later than I wanted to be on some nights, but I couldn't stop reading. This, to me, is the mark of a great read! I hope that the series continues!
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Card sharps and Gentleman bandits!

What's not too love!
The adventures of the two sisters of the House Mederos, recently fallen from grace and the regard of the very fickle high society of Port Saint Fey continues with an unexpected turn of events, or two! 
We have  a host of biting new characters and those who have become more three dimensional. Sisters Tesara and Yvienne are continuing with their brilliantly bad habits. They are both in danger of being questioned by Abel Fresnel who has powers unlooked for. Their secrets are in grave danger. The emergence of Vivi being in charge of the house is a master stroke. Tesara is being pursued by the former nemesis--The Guildmaster, and a new more frightening entity, the Doc emerges.
BTW, I made sure to read the first in the series before reading this sequel and feel that that was crucial for my understandings.
I was captivated from beginning to end can't wait for the next in this very robust historical fantasy series with strong female leads.

An Angry Robot ARC via NetGalley
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I love how the two sisters used gambling, thievery, and magic to reclaim everything they lost. Their sibling relationship was fantastic. They both had different qualities and skills that complimented each other. Their character development wasnt very noticeable, but we get to see Yvienne work on letting go of her old ways while Tesera struggles to control her growing power. I liked their close relationship with their household staff and how they all watch out for each other. Theres a bit more romance than the first book, but its still pretty minimal. The new point of view from detective Abels character is where we get the most romance. I didnt care all that much for him, but I feel like his perspective did add some interesting insight to the story.

The historical setting felt pretty generic. Its set in a port city without any distinct features that I could tell. We do get to see a bit of how merchant houses work. Im also happy we got a bit more information about the magic that is passed down through family lines and seems unique to each individual, but I would have liked more. Since we dont get much fantastical elements I would have liked a more immersive historical setting. On the other hand, the basic world was super easy to understand. The writing was also effortless to get into. It was straightforward with minimal details. I never thought Id say this, but I think I would have enjoyed a bit more descriptions.

The plot was similar in some ways to the first book, but less exciting. It had a good pace with action and tension sprinkled throughout. Nothing really shocked me, but the plot wasnt super obvious either. I did like the strong female vibes, especially when we see Tesara save herself and Yvienne running the household with her parents gone to reclaim a lost ship. I didnt think Id want to pick up the next book but the way things ended with Tesera Im inclined to give it a try. I have a feeling we will get more magic and the plot will be more exciting. This sequel had a bit of the second book syndrome where its mostly just connecting the first book to the third one.
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3.5 of 5 stars
https://lynns-books.com/2019/02/04/fog-season-a-tale-of-port-saint-frey-tales-of-port-saint-frey-2-by-patrice-sarath/
Fog Season is the second in the Tales of Port Saint Frey series.  The first book was a fun fantasy of manners that didn’t take itself too seriously and brought to readers two sisters who have a bit of mettle about them not to mention brains and magic.

Please be aware that if you haven’t read the first book then there may be spoilers below.

In book one we were introduced to the Mederos family.  Formerly a family of merchants of good standing within Port Saint Frey their fortune and good name were brought low after a shipping disaster that they were deemed responsible for.  In book two we pick up fairly soon after the sisters uncovered the culprits who were responsible for their families misfortune and although their fortunes have since been restored there are still troubles aplenty and danger for the sisters.

As the story begins we’re introduced to a happy family scene, the girls are waving farewell to their parents who are setting forth on a voyage to discover what happened to their ships.  Of course, this leaves the girls happily in charge of the household and their own actions.  The staff are still very much diminished consisting of a formidable cook, a reliable butler (dare I say handsome and sometimes slightly dishevelled) and a sneaky housemaid, plus the rambunctious uncle.  We’re also introduced to a detective, hired by the other merchant houses to try and uncover what took place during the Great Fraud.  This man himself seems to have hidden talents and also a hidden agenda.  On top of this the regular constabulary are still investigating the actions and whereabouts of the Gentleman Bandit and it seems that there are at least two other interested parties in discovering more about Tesara’s magical abilities.

As with book one the story here revolves around the two sisters, Tesara and Yvienne.  Tesara is the younger sister and the one who is capable of magic.  Unfortunately her magical abilities garner the attention of some very unsavoury types who would use her for their own nefarious schemes (all whilst twirling their waxed moustaches of course).  Yvienne is renowned for her intellect and intelligence and is the sister who was primarily responsible for uncovering the schemes against her family.  I was really impressed in this instalment by the way in which the two seemed to share a much greater bond.  In the first book I didn’t really feel any strong family ties but I felt that came across a lot better in this instalment and there was no shortage of risk and danger for both of them to worry about as their previous actions came home to dwell.

I enjoyed Fog Season.  There was plenty of derring-do and ne’er do wells, a suggestion of romance and a lot of scheming.  If anything, it felt like there was almost too much action and too’ing and fro’ing but that’s not really a criticism.  More that I did, at points, feel like things were going round in circles.  I like the setting and the period feel but at the same time enjoy the sense of freedom that the author has managed to give the girls and I don’t mean just by their parents being absent.  Neither of them seem to be too encumbered by the rigid formalities of the period that seem to restrict others so much and I think that’s as a result not only of their families misfortunes but also the fact that they spent many years in a harsh boarding school where they were expected to clean as well as learn and this has almost given them a foot in both camps if you will.

In terms of criticisms the only thing I found lacking was any more information about Tesara’s magical abilities.  She seemed, as the book started, to have gained a bit better hold over her own powers, although they start to become out of control as the book proceeds, but there seems to be very little knowledge about why she is gifted or what the extent of her ability is.  I also think that Tesara is her own worst enemy sometimes – although I had to keep in mind that she is the younger sister.  Both sisters have, by their actions in the first book, caused suspicion but whereas Yvienne seems to think on her feet to try and lessen the impact it feels like Tesara is just too impetuous and it feels like her actions usually end up causing a lot of bother.  Still, in fairness, there would have been a good deal less action without Tesara charging about the place recklessly.

This is a fun series with a light feel and a period setting that fits well in between chunky reads to give a welcome change of pace.  I look forward to seeing what the author comes up with next.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the author, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.
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"A web of secrets and hidden identities ensnare two sisters and their family, in this delightful historical fantasy sequel to The Sisters Mederos.

After the shocking events of last summer, the high society of Port Saint Frey has plenty to gossip about. Who was the Gentleman Bandit? Why hasn't he been captured? And what really happened that night when the Guildmaster disappeared? When the Guild hires Abel Fresnel, a detective with special powers of his own, to find the answers, Tesara and Yvienne Mederos have to avoid his probing questions and keep mum about their role in the events of that dark night. Everything's more or less under control until a dead man turns up in the dumbwaiter..."

Intrigue and dumbwaiters, you know you want to read this book!
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If you love books about sisters with thieves, gambling, and magic, then you have to read Fog Season and The Sisters Mederos. For me Fog Season gave me the added edge over the first because I love how we are able to dive more into Tesara's magic. What always brings me back to these books is not only the sister relationship they have, which is fabulous and supportive, but the resourcefullness of our heroines. Faced with scrutiny, shame, and having to build up their family again, Tesara and Yvienne are up against it all. And Tesara's new magic brings a whole new set of enemies to contend with.

What kept me in love with this series in book one, the sister relationship, was only further developed in Fog Season. Taking on new hues as they come to face new challenges and obstacles (including love?) But what really sets Fog Season apart from book one is the mastery of plot. Sarath weaves us this story that includes tendrils of book one and a whole new set of adversaries and complications. If you thought book one was complex, book two takes it to an entirely new level.
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I couldn’t get into Fog Season as much as I would have liked to. The writing and characters were compelling, but I made the mistake of not reading the first book and felt like I was missing out on too much. This is definitely a series that should be read from the beginning.
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Fog Season is the continuing adventures of Tesara and Yvienne, two sisters from a merchant family who were first introduced to readers in The Sisters Mederos of the Port Saint Frey historical fantasy series. The story picks up where the events of the first book left off. Tesara and Yvienne are left in charge of the family merchant house when their parents leave town. The town is still buzzing from the events of the first book with the Gentleman Bandit and Guildmaster. The sisters new role as keepers of the merchant house provides an opportunity to get more insight into the merchant families and the ways they conduct business. There is also a new player in town in the form of Abel Fresnel who has some surprises of his own. The magical elements from the first book are a bit more developed in the second book. In addition to the heists of the first book, we have a murder mystery thrown in and a little bit more romance as well. Overall, I found this to be a bit of an improvement over the first one.
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I suggest reading the first book before you read Fog Season. I didn't, and I think my understanding would have been better with that background. Still  it's an engaging story with drama and some mystery and magic. The sisters are likeable and entertaining characters. I enjoyed the story for the most part. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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actual rating: 3.5 

I did not find this quite as engaging as the first book, but it was still a pretty good read overall. I like the sisters and I like how they both have their own strengths and weaknesses and kind of their own plans on how to get things done, although they do of course often have to help / rescue each other as well. I think overall this book kind of just felt like a stepping stone between book 1 and what I assume will happen in book 3. There was a bit more romance in this one than the first one, but the main focus is still on the sisters and the family so I didn't find it too distracting. It was still interesting and I do still plan on continuing with the series, but it also had a little bit of the dreaded middle book syndrome.
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This review will go up on my blog, Foxes an Fairy Tales on 24 Jan 2019, (https://foxesfairytale.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/arc-review-fog-season).

When I read The Sisters Mederos last year, I loved the characterisation of the sisters and the fast-pace of the story but felt that a few things were too underdeveloped. The book had a satisfying conclusion and I wasn't sure if I'd pick up a sequel. But, when I saw Fog Season I found myself so excited to revisit Vivi, Tes and Port Saint Frey I just had to pick it up.

The greatest strength of Fog Season is still the sisters. Tesara and Yvienne are individually complex, well-written and full-rounded characters. Together they have different but complementary strengths and I loved how they balanced each other and supported one another.

There are a good number of supporting characters -- some old, some new -- and I liked the choices Sarath made with them.  Samwell and Albero were fleshed out nicely to give the

m a larger role and the most prominent new character -- a Pinkerton-style detective -- is interesting in himself but also hints at a wider world to be explored. I thought the author made some pretty brave choices in not bringing back certain characters but that the gamble paid off.

Without their parents to supervise or butt heads with, Vivi takes control of the family business and household. This was my favourite thing to read about. I love the way merchant cunning is so highly valued in this society, and seeing Vivi navigate and rebuild their interests was fascinating. I really hope we see more of Vivi showing off her businesswoman skills in future novels. After all, she is "the smartest girl in Port Saint Frey".

I also thought it was brave but clever for Tesara's previous love interest to be shipped off early, and for her to realise her feelings there weren't all she thought they might have been. How often do first-crushes pan out? There was still a bit of romance in this book, but I liked that the girls kept their options open and that the story really focused on them as siblings (although I think it would be really interesting if either of the characters Vivi showed feeling for were to develop romantically in future).

Overall this was an exciting adventure, with two fantastic leading ladies. I felt this was stronger than the first book (although I'd be tempted to go back and reread that someday) and I'm looking forward to continuing this series as it comes out.
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I loved the first book in the series, and was so happy when I saw there was going to be more!  Sisters doing it for themselves!  Literally.  

With their parents searching for their ships after uncovering the great fraud, Vivinne and Thersa Medros find themselves navigating delitcate waters.  Running the business, entering society, trying to leave the past behind when it keeps cropping back up.  Through in a detective styled in the Pinkerton ways, there is a heady mess of drama and intrigue in this installment.  The ending is wide open for more adventures, and we find Thersa wondering more about her powers and how to control/use them.
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It was good to rejoin Yvienne and Tesara back in Port Saint Frey. They had been very busy in the first book and it was great to see how that played out in Fog Season.
 
I have a lot of time for these sisters, especially now that they have even more independence and autonomy, and it was fun to see them truly grow once free of the shadow of their parents.
 
I always love heists and deftness of hand and when there is an added sprinkle in hints of magic, it’s exactly right for me. Lots of fun and action and drama with a very satisfying ending.  I’m looking forward to what happens next.
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I did not realise that this was book two so I’ll have to track down book one. However I really enjoyed this tale of sisterly love and derring do. This was satisfyingly complicated enough without being inscrutable. The characters were engaging and there was plenty of action. Very much enjoyed.
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I surprised myself slightly by enjoying the first of these (as I noted in my review, "wealthy merchant house has a great fall, daughters seek revenge" isn't, to me, the most instantly promising premise). I was happy to seek out the sequel, though, and wasn't disappointed in the least. 

The characters have a bit of depth and heft; they're not just cardboard cutouts. The various intrigues and struggles at several different social levels and on several different playing fields are well handled. There's plenty of tension, conflict, alliance, dramatic irony, and action. The protagonists often have to rely on the unreliable while attempting to achieve the unachievable. 

The sisters' parents are moved offstage, which was a good move in that we were able to see the elder sister running the household with only her uncle (ineffectually) opposing her, and this gave a much clearer indication of her potential than if she'd had to continually contend with the parents. 

Overall, at a good level of complexity, and enjoyable. I will watch for the next in the series. 

I received a copy via Netgalley for review.
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