Fogbound (Echoes of Oniro #1), by N.J. Alexander

3 Jun 2024

The Book

Series: Echoes of Oniro
Pages: 473
Age Group: Adult
Published on 10 Oct 2023
Publisher: Self-published
Epic Fantasy
Available on:


Brave the Fog. Embrace Another Self.

When war descends upon the nation of Entervia, history teacher Zercien Volnaire is thrust into a battle for both his homeland and his own mind.

Ankarth, the neighboring country to the north, has invaded Entervia to remove King Durnan from the throne. As the Entervian army scours the capital for soldiers, Zercien discovers a long-dead legendary hero can control his mind at will. While he fights to keep his curse a secret and maintain his autonomy, the meddlesome hero has other plans.

Under possession, Zercien is consumed within an omnipresent fog and takes on the hero’s persona at the cost of his own. But his power often summons a nightmarish faceless figure only he can see that stalks his waking world.

Zercien’s newfound abilities earn him renown in Entervia’s army, but when he faces an ancient magic long thought destroyed, he and a small band are tasked with one last desperate mission for reinforcements. However, Zercien fears the key to Entervia’s victory lies in embracing his loathsome alter ego, and before this war’s end, he may have none of his identity left to sacrifice.  

My Review

Fogbound is the first book in the epic fantasy series Echoes of Oniro, written by N.J. Alexander, and which we have read as part of our SPFBOX readalong. A light-hearted adventure with an unexpected main character, a history teacher who gets possessed by an ancient warrior, and whose abilities will take him on a journey he would never have imagined.

War has descended over the nation of Entervia, and the advancement of it has forced the nation to recruit more soldiers; our main character, Zercien Voltaire, had other plans for his life than joining the army, but the legendary hero that takes control of his mind when the fog appears is decided to make his own contribution to the war. With the abilities that are granted by this hero, Zercien soon gains renown in the army, but the discovery of the enemy using an ancient magic that was forgotten puts him into a new, desperate mission with a particular group of characters: a journey to ask for reinforcements to other nations.

Without being a too serious proposal, we can see how the chemistry between the members of this group is part of the conducting thread of this adventure; but also showing how Zercien's spouse is doing by herself, going far from the damsel in distress stereotype that is so common in epic fantasy. Zercien itself shows an interesting conflict, as his powers might be the key to save the nation, but it might represent losing his own identity; a sort of parallel with the dichotomy of the individual versus the collective responsibility.

Alexander's writing is really approachable, making reading this a great experience; it introduces certain original elements to the classic epic fantasy, going far from the seriousness and gravity of it, putting in front of us relatable characters that you can empathize with. Pacing is a bit off at some points, medium paced in general, but it is true that at some points it drags a bit.

Fogbound is a great choice if you are looking to read epic fantasy but prefer something that puts the focus on characters and their own experiences over the big battles; a solid debut, and a reason to continue reading the Echoes of Oniro series!

The Author/s

N.J. Alexander

N.J. Alexander

N.J. Alexander is a writer with a business degree. When not writing, he enjoys reading, playing video games, recording podcasts, watching sports, and adventuring for new food. He's from Massachusetts, USA. Fogbound is his debut novel.