Title: Heart of Mist
Author: Helen Scheuerer
Publisher Info / Release: Talem Press / August 31, 2017
Source: E-ARC from the Author
Rating: 4 / 5 *’s
In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.
Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.
But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.
The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.
Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions.
I received this book from the author for free in exchange for an honest review!
I was pleasantly surprised how different this book ended up being from my initial look at the synopsis. Don’t get me wrong, I was pulled in from the beginning but I’ll explain it more as I go along. Anyways, I really enjoyed this book and I’m already anxiously awaiting to have book two in the series…and a physical copy in my hands!
To explain my surprise – a lot of YA fantasy lately (to me and this my opinion) has always had some sort of love interest or a little romance. Not every book but a decent chunk of them. Now, in Heart of Mist, it hinted at bits and pieces of romance but there’s no definite road that I felt was shown. This book was refreshing in it felt like it was more adventurous and stuck to the plot line to get to the overall point of the story. But don’t worry! There’s a few scandalous peeks into the characters pasts to quench that particular thirst and make your jaw drop. And you could totally ship certain characters if you really want to!
Which brings us to our characters! All of them are imperfect and flawed, which is a little different but something that I can really appreciate. You know this from the beginning with the main heroine, Bleak, and there aren’t a whole lot of illusions to make you think otherwise – if that makes sense. So here are the main characters brief breakdowns: (I’m going to do the main four for me. There are some side characters but these are the ones that I think have the most story to tell further into the series).
- Bleak: Our heroine. She’s trying to find a cure for her “curse.” So far she’s had a hard time and the only thing that keeps it at bay and doesn’t affect her as much is alcohol. I don’t want to say too much about said curse because it’s a wee bit into the book before you find out what it is! So she’s having this hard time between figuring out why she’s in this situation between the King’s Army and the Valia Kindred but constantly wanting to quench her thirst. From the beginning, no one thinks she’s special nor does she have the “perfect” look. Her flaws get pointed out by others and she is always seeing what others think of her. But she has a fighting personality so I can’t wait to see how much more she progresses after the developments in this book.
- Swinton: Our resident commander of the King’s Guard. I’m not going to lie, I love a book with a moody soldier in command. (
Definitely not referring to Chaol from Throne of Glass….*cough*) I feel like there is a lot hidden within this character. He’s the son of a knighted former commander and he has a lot to live up to – or so everyone seems to think and tell him, but he has a lot of secrets. I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface on how much he has to keep within himself even though he seems to want to get them out. He progresses in a way that you start to see himself open up in a way (at least to the reader and not the other characters) and start to realize that he may want different things. It’s hard to describe it all without going into detail and revealing spoilers. Just trust me…it’s going to be interesting in book 2!
- Fiore: I feel like he was the comic relief in a way. He is the captain of the King’s Guard and Swinton’s best friend. Any scene that Fiore was in, it felt instantly lighter and not as tense between the others. Where Swinton is broody, Fiore is full of life. The other characters could be obviously miserable and he’s just sitting there, with a smile on his face. I really, really loved it. And as you go through the book, you start to see where his loyalties lie and how his mind works behind the scenes of what is happening in the forefront. I hope we get to see more of his perspective in the second book.
- Henri: Our leader of the Valia Kindred. Like Swinton, she is also moody and strict. Henri is very closed off and she seems a bit aggressive, even to her own kind. Once you read her background, it’s a bit understandable but there were a lot of times that I was over her. Surprisingly enough, as the book continued, the more I ended up not hating her. But that is a big chunk of information that you’d have to read to understand.
The world that’s created is diverse and beautiful. Helen does a wonderful job of describing all of the landscapes as if you’re truly seeing it from Bleak’s eyes. Each continent is different and adds a different flare as they travel through. And the book map is absolutely gorgeous! I think that all the different views we see in the story will come together in the next book and reveal more of what is going to happen. It’s a great first book in setting the characters and the plot up. The writing is amazing and it didn’t feel like it had choppy sentences or that things didn’t flow. There were times when I was confused as to why we switched to a different character but at the end, it came together and you realize why you needed to see that part of the story from their eyes.
If you like Wonder Woman and The Queen of the Tearling series, you’ll really enjoy this book. Those were the vibes that I got off of it and I am so glad that I was able to read this. I hope this will get the recognition it deserves in the US because I can only imagine how many readers would love this story.
I’m so ready for the second book! The ending made my jaw drop. It’s not a terrible cliffhanger but it’s enough to make you anxious to know what happens.
Stay tuned for a Q&A with the author, Helen Scheuerer, soon!