Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Killing Fog (The Grave Kingdom, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Killing Fog (The Grave Kingdom, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Killing Fog

(The Grave Kingdom #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  5,051 ratings  ·  414 reviews

The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Kingfountain series conjures an epic, adventurous world of ancient myth and magic as a young woman’s battle with infinite evil begins.

Survivor of a combat school, the orphaned Bingmei belongs to a band of mercenaries employed by a local ruler. Now the nobleman, and collector of rare artifacts, has entrusted Bingmei and

Kindle Edition, 404 pages
Published March 1st 2020 by 47North
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Killing Fog, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Stephanie No - Amazon is showing this as a 3 book cycle. 2nd book out in June & 3rd book in September. I thought it was worth reading even as a stand-alone thou…moreNo - Amazon is showing this as a 3 book cycle. 2nd book out in June & 3rd book in September. I thought it was worth reading even as a stand-alone though.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,051 ratings  ·  414 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Killing Fog (The Grave Kingdom, #1)
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Destiny, faith and choice

A great book and story with plenty to come. This book is a perfect blend of Chinese culture, fantasy and Martial Arts.

The book starts as a revenge story, with martial arts and a bit of magic. I like the martial arts fight in the book are great. I really wise Martial Arts masters. That is what I think is missing from martial art teaching today. I have trained with very good practitioners of hard arts who were great coaches but not the best people to get life advice from.

Feb 18, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a trashcan fire.

I refuse to give much more time to this review cuz I want to move on, but here are a few things that made me not a fan:

- Something about a white man writing in the voice of an Asian-inspired woman made me a little uncomfortable. Not saying it shouldn't be done, but it made me feel meh. I'd rather see more own voices in this genre, rather than someone writing it because he spent a month in China.
(And, yes, I know fantasy has different acceptable rules)
- Very one-dime
Jim C
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book thru a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for a honest review. I would like to thank the author and the publisher for their generosity.

Actual rating is 3.5 stars.

This is the first book of a series. In this one Bingmei and her companions are tasked to find a lost city. When they discover this lost city they discover more than they bargained for.

This book is a fantasy book with an Asian setting. I would categorize this book as a kung fu movie mashed up with a fantasy genre book. R
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this is set for adult readers I wanted to let you know that I think some young adults might enjoy this as well. Its a very clean story. I mean I have some young adult titles that have more gore and sex in it than this one did. Because it didn't have any. You would have thought that with a title like The Killing Fog that we would have gotten something. But there just isn't. And I am not saying thats a bad thing, but it was kind of weird if you ask me. Anyway the characters were great the ...more
Christi M
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, fantasy
The Killing Fog is the first in a new Asian-inspired fantasy series by Jeff Wheeler. I’m ashamed to say I have seen his other works, but never got around to reading them even though they have been on my list for a while. So, I am very happy to be able to read this first one in his new series.

One of the main features fantasy readers always look to when attempting to decide if a book is right for them is in the world-building. In The Killing Fog, the world has associations called ensigns’, which a
Hannah Osborn
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Revenge settles nothing. It only poisons those who carry it in their hearts.”

-The Killing Fog by Jeff Wheeler

My thoughts:

Two nights ago, I was outside with my elderly beagle. While he sniffed his way around my yard, I watched the sky. The moon was full and it cast a silvery glow on the grass and trees, only interrupted by clouds that seemed to be growing as I watched. It had been an unseasonably warm day and only now did a cold wind start stirring around me. The air was moist and seemed to ru
Feb 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Strong yet conflicted Heroine

I'd previously read another book from this Author, so when I saw this one was available as a First Reads selection, I selected it. I was intrigued by the main character, but found the World and the plot premise difficult to absorb. The Asian names and locale were not easy to mentally pronounce or remember, making the flow of reading a little tiresome. The writing style was typical epic fantasy--flowery and overly descriptive. Although a good length for a first book i
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Omg the end omg Rowan omg

Francisca Pinto
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalleyarcs
I recieved this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a book who fascinated me. I did´t expect anything that I read and then WOOW!!! What an awesome book.

We have a lot of girl power and that is amazing. In a oriental place where the man is most important of all the things, here we have so many warrior women who are kickass, powerful beautiful and human (they have defects too like all the human being).

Bingmei is a girl with the winter sickness (she has white air) who is an
Jan 30, 2021 rated it did not like it
On the one hand, we have an ancient evil ruler who wants to subjugate all humans or else he would unleash a deadly fog yada yada, but on the other, the characters (with the exception of Quion) are not deserving of my sympathies and I truly wished the fog would sweep them all into the grave beyond.

So tedious.
Shelby M. (Read and Find Out)
I received a finished copy of this book from Wunderkind PR and 47North in exchange for a free and honest review.

Overall rating: 2 stars

- Style/writing: 1.5 stars. Unfortunately I did not find the writing to be very compelling; it was a bit simplistic for my own personal taste.
- Themes: 2 stars. The only theme of note was whether the world is indeed worth saving, and I did not find the protagonist's thoughts and reasoning on the matter to be fully formed.
- Characters: 1 star. I did not enjoy read
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 stars

You can read all of my reviews at

This is a very good first book in a new fantasy series about a young girl's mission to fulfill her destiny in a legendary prophecy.

Orphan Bingmei is part of a band of mercenaries working for the ruler of a small kingdom. The ruler gives her band a dangerous mission to track down treasures from a long lost palace buried beneath a glacier. Once there, the band finds two tombs. Bingmei is unwittingly compelled to open the

The Killing Fog is the first book in the Grave Kingdom series by Jeff Wheeler. The Killing Fog is the first book I have read by Jeff, but I know it will not be my last. I really enjoyed this fantasy novel and I can't wait to continue on in the series. The writing is richly atmospheric, and I think the age of the main character lends itself to reader crossover appeal for fans of both young adult fantasy and adult fantasy novels.

In the Killing Fog, we meet our main character Bingmei. Bingmei is a
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
And this is why Amazon First Reads is a Thing, and should be cherished by all book lovers.

This BOOK. Good grief, I am SO happy that I’ve found this series. I’m not great with book series’... there’s not many that I actually finish. But from page 50 of The Killing Fog, I knew this to be a series I would continue. This is my first read of a book by Jeff Wheeler, and I am impressed!

(Just to note here: I believe this book is marketed as an adult fantasy series, however it is very accessible, in my
Mar 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, netgalley
What I liked about The Killing Fog:
- I liked that this was a fast paced fantasy story with strong familial bonds between a group of mercenaries for hire.
-I enjoyed that there was a glossary and a character list included. (It looks like there is a map included in the final published version.

What I disliked about The Killing Fog:
-In the beginning, I was very confused as lots of new words were being introduced with little no defining or context clues as to their meaning. However, I did find the gl
Madeleine Myers
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Grim atmosphere; could use a lighter touch

I have been an avid fan of Jeff Wheeler from the very first Muirwood novels, my introduction to the delightful worlds of this masterful storyteller. The two Muirwood trilogies, along with the Kingfountain series, will remain among my very favorite fantasy novels of all time. That said, I found this first book in his new series somewhat disappointing.

What I love best about his other fantasies is his ability to draw appealing and believable characters, an
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a fantastic work of fantasy! I was reading two other books when I started this one and literally had to put them down while I finished this. I think fans of Priory of the Orange Tree would love this as much as I did. Endearing characters, descriptive scenery and a compelling story line made this a WINNER in my book. It's going on my favorites list. I cannot wait for The Buried World
(The Grave Kingdom #2) to come out.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020, did-not-finish
DNF at 20%. I forgot I was reading this, so I'm not going to finish it. The writing was fine, the story just didn't grab me. ...more
June Calvin
Feb 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Good world building but . . .

The world building in this book is fantastic. The main character is well-drawn, and the plot is exciting. But far too much of the book is taken up with fight scene after fight scene. Bones crunch, blood flows and spatters, foes fall, only to be replaced by ever more mindless, faceless enemies. I got heartily tired of prolonged fight scenes. Even though I am curious about how the story proceeds, I simply can't wade through more of the same, and there is no reason to e
Peter Baran
Cultural appropriation is - as most things are when you get into it - an accusation of nuance. I was initially wary with this bit of high fantasy because it seemed to be leaning wholly on what felt like a Western take of aspects of Chinese myth and legend. Or even worse merely lightly skinned a pretty standard mittel-European fantasy world with a some names, a few Chinese characters and combat techniques which were more fitting to a wuxia novel than a another iron grieve punching someone in the ...more
Stephen A. Madva
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it
If you’re looking for fast paced stylish writing and creative plot lines and interesting intricate characters as created by George R. R. Martin, Tolkien, or even the Hunger Games trilogy, don’t bother with with this. Wheeler tells a linear tale of average interest and not particularly well. The characters are of limited dimension. None is particularly compelling, although the female protagonist has a unique ability to smell the emotions of other characters, but even that gets a bit old. All in a ...more
Nov 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
Unlike most of Mr. Wheeler’s books, this story is a complete dud. I made it to the 5th chapter, searching for some reason to keep reading, but found none. The main character’s magical sense of *smell*, of all things, quickly became tiresome. It’s just not one of those cool traits. Might have been more interesting if she could fart a killing fog. Her fighting skills sound very much like those I’ve seen in cheap Chinese kung fu flicks—the ones with the really bad overdubs.
Apr 29, 2020 rated it did not like it
Nope. Some fantasy authors are guilty of dragging a story out so they can turn it into a hefty trilogy. This book is unacceptably slow; it might make a decent single volume story. Try it if you're young enough to invest some significant time. ...more
Jeannie Brousseau
Sep 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
I quit about 35% of the way through because I just didn't care enough about the characters or plot to keep going-when it starts to feel like an assignment or obligation I give myself permission to quit. ...more
Feb 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
Very YA, not recommended for anyone over age 12. Boring. Simplistic writing. Glad it was free. Not for adults. DNF.
3.5 Stars

* An thrilling Asian-inspired Fantasy that could have used deeper character development*

ARC provided by 47North via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first book I've read by Jeff Wheeler, so I'm not familiar with his style. But this Asian-inspired Fantasy story caught my eye on Netgalley, so I gave it a try.

Sadly, the ARC only had a TBD page for the map. It would have been helpful to have access to the map. I will say thank you, though, that this was clearly called
Ian Strawbridge
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, fantasy
I read this because I loved the Kingfountain series (five stars for the early books in that series, it tails off). I wanted to see where Jeff went next because I decided not to go to Muirwood!

He went to China, it doesn't matter what authors call that wall, it's obvious! There seems to be more and more eastern based fantasy at the moment, is that a trend, a fashion? I hope so… It's what I'm writing!

There plot here is very engaging throughout. It builds to a climax nicely but the climax itself was
Zoe L.
I’ve been seeing (and reading) a lot of Asian inspired fantasy lately, and I’m loving it! The Killing Fog hooked me right from the prologue. Well, actually maybe from the glossary. I am a sucker for a well researched book. But anyways, this is a world where magic and martial arts are plenty. World building is also plentiful in this book, and if you know me, you know I want to be transported into my reads. It’s why I love fantasy so much! You get to visit a new place with every book you pick up, ...more
Samantha  Hehr
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Killing Fog is a fantasy unlike any other that I have read. First of all, it takes place in ancient China when various kings rule different regions. There is myth and folklore and imagery that invoke the ancient setting and carries the reader right into the midst of the era.
I felt as thought I was reading a mix between Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Kingdom, the Korean series on Netflix, with the conflicts and magical tones of the story.

The hero of the story is Bingmei, an albino who lik
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads, fantasy
A complete and brand new turn for this very talented author! Unlike Mr. Wheeler's previous series, this one is set in a completely new and uncharted world. It has an Asian feel and most of the names attest to that origin, as well. It was quite slow going throughout much of the story, however, with spurts of action here and there. This is most likely due to the need to set up the characters, world etc. in anticipation of subsequent books and the overall arc. Still it made it a bit hard to
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Hadley Academy for the Improbably Gifted
  • The Starless Sea
  • Frankly in Love
  • A World of Secrets (The Firewall Trilogy, #2)
  • Salvation (Salvation Sequence #1)
  • Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1)
  • Tortilla Flat
  • Nine Elms (Kate Marshall, #1)
  • A Girl From Nowhere (The Firewall Trilogy, #1)
  • Trailing the Hunter
  • Cybele's Secret (Wildwood, #2)
  • Havana Storm (Dirk Pitt, #23)
  • Odessa Sea (Dirk Pitt, #24)
  • Empty Horizon (Benjamin Ashwood #4)
  • The Forgotten Child
  • The Emperor's Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #1)
  • The Winter Sisters
  • A Sanctuary of Spirits (Spectral City, #2)
See similar books…
Jeff 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 Sc ...more

Other books in the series

The Grave Kingdom (3 books)
  • The Buried World (The Grave Kingdom, #2)
  • The Immortal Words (The Grave Kingdom, #3)

News & Interviews

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
14 likes · 1 comments
“Words are powerful. We need always be wary how we speak to others and even more so how we speak of ourselves. —Dawanjir proverb” 3 likes
“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still. —Dawanjir proverb” 3 likes
More quotes…