Book Review: HEART OF MIST by Helen Scheuerer

Title in white on dark teal on heart made of leaves and dots
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 3/5 stars
Series: Yes - first book of trilogy


heart of mist.jpg

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.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


This book was a fun read, moving at a gentle pace with lush descriptions and steady character development.

The big central mysteries (who is Bleak, what is Oremere, what is the King up to) were gradually introduced. The small incidents slowly built up (with a few da-da-dah! points to highlight this thing is important) until the answers were (at least partially) revealed by the King. All the pieces were given to the reader, there was no information dumped on you in a villain’s monologue – which would have been lazy.

The Oremere mystery relied a little too heavily on the reader knowing the series is called the Oremere Chronicles to make it intriguing when the word appears in thoughts or written on trees. I would have skipped over it otherwise.

The world has two main societies explored: the Ellest society and the Valian. Ellest is patriarchal, with women either subservient wives/daughters, or prostitutes. In Valia, women are fierce warriors, or weaker workers, with men banished to the outskirts to do menial tasks and fathering children. There was no middle ground with women and men on equal footing. It was nice that the flaws of both were shown clearly, but I’d love to see a fantasy that doesn’t fit into these society ‘norms’.

The book starts off solidly from Bleak’s POV, but then introduces others (Henri, Swinton and Dash). Dash’s POV doesn’t seem to add anything to the story other than one exposition dump about what exactly Oremere is. It was a little confusing, as these POVs only came in after about ten chapters. There is also a section where the main character’s POV (Bleak) disappears for five chapters.

I think I’ll be reading the next one. 

Read my reviews of other books by Helen Scheuerer:

Young Adult:

The Oremere Chronicles (this series):

Curse of the Cyren Queen (set in this world):


The Legends of Thezmarr:

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