Genre: Fantasy Age Range: YA Star Rating: Series: yes - book 2
*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for HEART OF MIST*
The realm’s darkest secret is out. The cruelty of the capital and the power-hungry King Arden have scattered Bleak and her companions across the continents.
On the run in a foreign land, Bleak finds herself tied to some unexpected strangers. When the answers she yearns for are finally within reach, she must face the hard truths of her past, and take her fate into her own hands before it’s too late.
Meanwhile, secrets and magic unravel as a dark power corrupts the realm. Bleak’s friends are forced to decide where their loyalties lie, and who, if anyone, they can trust.
But one thing is certain: war is coming, and they must all be ready when it does.
Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
It is interesting coming back to a series after quite a few years away, and having only previously read the first book. I have definitely enjoyed the first book more this time around – I think I am old enough now to appreciate it better because this is not really a YA fantasy in the way its promoted, which I think affects how I read it.
This is technically a YA fantasy, and in many ways is one, but it also feels like an adult one. For a start, only one of the four POVs is a teenager (the main POV, but in this book the page time spread is much wider.) Henri and Swinton are both adults and Dash is a child. That means that the narration has a much broader range of emotional maturity than in YA, which is keyed in to a teen’s mindset. And having two major POVs be adult does feel like it ages the entire book up as they’re thinking about very different cares.
Swinton was probably my favourite character to follow around as he has the biggest emotional (and character arc) decision to make of the lot. The others know their paths or at least are impulsive enough to just blunder into things and hope their gut makes the right choice. But Swinton is considered, taking time to think over his decisions, which makes it harder for him because that means he can fixate on the negatives, his fear holding him back.
The world is suddenly expanded by a lot in this book (which is also very chunky!) The POVs more or less spend fair chunks of the book on separate continents, meeting new cultures and characters. We also see new relationships and strains on old ones.
There’s so much being set up in this book – reveals that feel like there’s even more to come from that piece of information once all the jigsaw pieces are assembled – so I’m excited to see where the series ends up in the finale.
Read my reviews of other books by Helen Scheuerer:
The Oremere Chronicles (this series):
- DAWN OF MIST (#0)
- HEART OF MIST (#1)
- WAR OF MIST (#3)
Curse of the Cyren Queen (set in this world):
- THE CYREN QUEEN ORIGIN NOVELLAS (#0)
- A LAIR OF BONES (#1)
- WITH DAGGER AND SONG (#2)
- THE FABRIC OF CHAOS (#3)
- TO WIELD A CROWN (#4)
The Legends of Thezmarr:
- BLOOD AND STEEL (#1)