Hey guys! So I thought now would be a decent time for an anime reprieve and so I have another book review for you all. It’s actually of a book I’ve never heard about until recently and I am just thinking, where have you been?! Because I’ve heard little to no talk about this book when I think it clearly deserves a bit more excitement
Heart of Mist by Helen Scheuerer ● Publication Date: August 31, 2017 ● Publisher: Talem Press
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.
So the reason I decided to pick this book up was mainly the cover. The cover for Heart of Mist is really simple but there was just something about it that called out to me and I’m so glad I read this
At the beginning we meet Bleak, an alcoholic who is pretty much hated by her village. Her origins are unknown and Senior Bleak, the man who took her in as a child has already passed away. The only friend and family she has is Bren, a local fisherman who always worries for her. But what Bren doesn’t know is that bleak isn’t exactly an alcoholic by choice. She hears people’s thoughts and curses her supposed “gift”. She’s tried to find a cure numerous times only to get the same answer: there is no cure. And so she drowns herself in the only thing that’s helped a little, alcohol
As a main character I instantly gravitated to Bleak. There was something really refreshing about her narrative that just made me want to know more about her. She isn’t your normal “goody two shoes” protagonist but she’s not exactly an anti-hero. She’s just an alcoholic with a bad past and a penchant for stealing people’s money
But she’s not the only character we’re introduced to in the book. We also get to meet and read from the POVs of Dash, a stable boy who is best friends with the Princess; Swinton, the Commander of the King’s Army; and Henri, the Queen of Valia. I’m not a huge fan of multiple POVs but I felt this book pulled off so many POVs really well! At first I found myself wondering if maybe taking out a few people would change the story and yes, it does. Without reading all from all of these people the story feels incomplete and by the end of the book I just liked and felt sympathetic to all the characters because they felt like real people with real motivations and real reacts to the horrors in their lives
While the summary for this book mentions the coming of a war, a lot of what we get in this book is all groundwork. We do get a few fight scenes here and there but most of it is just character and world building. We’re introduced to each character, get to see what drives them, and we also learn a little bit of the world. How the mist sort of works, what people like Bleak are called (Ashai), and who our antagonist is (aside from the mist. Oh, did I mention the mist kills people?)
I’m actually really excited about what might come next, especially with some of the revelations that are made at the end!
So this goes into SPOILER territory so tread carefully! I just need to say all this though because the feels!
One of the things I think this book pulls of really well is the romance. I know I’m always complaining about the main character falling in love so quickly or there being love triangles but here I am just screaming. Bren is such a cute and dedicated friend to Bleak that I just want the ship the heck out of them! But there was a scene that implied Bren slept with one of the Valian warriors (Tilly I believe her name was) and I was just devastated!! I was hoping that him and Tilly were just being friendly in a friend kind of way but when Bleak walked into Tilly’s bedroom I just wanted to tear Brent apart
You see, he went to try and save Bleak when she was taken by the King’s Army and then wandered into the forest to get her from the Valian warriors. Like, you don’t just do this for a normal friend, right? Or are we in the family zone? And then he went to the capital to try and save her there too!! I am getting mixed signals but it’s so good?
Then there’s Fiore, one of the King’s Army men, who has always been respectful and kind to Bleak. When she got taken and he showed her all this kindness I was like, what if they got together? I mean, he’s technically committed treason to help her!!! You guys have no idea how much I just want to know who might be the love interest in this story but I also love how that is never the focus
Lol! It’s like, whenever I want romance it isn’t there and when it is, I don’t want it
And Henri! I just love that she’s in a relationship with Athene and I’m so angry that she won’t just get with her. Like they are passionate in those memories Bleak glimpsed at while rummaging inside Luka’s head, but in the present all they do (or all Henri does) is fight. It makes me wonder what’s going on there. Is she trying to protect her from something or is she punishing herself?
Overall I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I never really felt like there was a dull moment and every action felt like it counted. We get a lot of emotions from every character, like Bleak who just wants to be normal like everyone but finds herself always wanting a drink, Henri who is suffering the loss of loved ones and who always feels like she needs to be the strong one, Dash who wishes to be a knight for Princess Olena but finds that his position in society doesn’t even allow him that chance, and even our kind of anti-hero Commander Swinton who will do everything in his power to protect his secrets
I ended up giving this book 5/5 on Goodreads!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen Scheuerer is a YA fantasy author from Sydney, Australia. ‘Heart of Mist’ is the first book in her high fantasy trilogy, ‘The Oremere Chronicles’. It explores themes of identity, belonging, loyalty, addiction, loss, and responsibility.
After writing literary fiction for a number of years, novels like ‘Throne of Glass’, ‘Elantris’, ‘The Queen’s Poisoner’ and ‘The Queen of the Tearling’ inspired Helen to return to her childhood love of fantasy.
Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit, an online literary magazine and learning platform for emerging writers. In its first year, Writer’s Edit reached thousands of new authors, and soon became its own small press. It’s now one of the largest writers’ platforms in the world.
Helen’s love of writing and books led her to pursue a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong, as well as a Masters of Publishing at the University of Sydney.
Helen now works as a freelance writer and editor, while she works on the second book in ‘The Oremere Chronicles’.
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE & MORE
And don’t forget to check out everyone else’s posts about the book. Most of them are reviews but Shealea also wrote this really fun posts called 10 reasons to pick up Heart of Mist by Helen Scheuerer (and a giveaway!), which I seriously recommend since she’s much more eloquent than I am, lol.
- #MistPH Twitter chat (9:00 AM Philippines / 9:00 PM EST)
- Announcement of Twitter chat giveaway winner
- Heart of Mist blog tour recap (via bookshelfbitch.wordpress.com)
- Announcement of Rafflecopter giveaway winner
The rafflecopter giveaway is here and the prize includes a finished copy of the book, 3 bonus prequels, and a high-res Heart of Mist map
Thanks for stopping by! And like always, if you’ve read the book, what did you think? Let me know in the comments section, on twitter, goodreads, and/or other places! And if you haven’t checked it out yet, do you plan to? Has my rambling convinced you to?