Book Review: DAWN OF MIST by Helen Scheuerer

I won a ebook from the author with no obligation to review. It had not affected my opinions.

Title in white on dark gold with light gold starburst
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: novella collection

Blurb:

Book cover for DAWN OF MIST: title in white on gold mountains with sunburst and circles around

Before their fight to save the realm from mad tyrants and toxic mist, Bleak, Henri and Swinton led separate lives.

Teenage Bleak sails across the seas, seeking adventure with her best friend, Bren, and guardian, Senior – only to discover that trouble often finds her first.

Fiercely loyal Henri and her sister, Sahara, train relentlessly to become elite warriors, but soon learn that the Valian Way can be crueller than they ever thought.

A young and ambitious Commander Swinton struggles to prove himself worthy of knighthood, but an encounter with a beautiful stranger shows him that there are things in life more important than titles.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

DAWN OF MIST is a series of prequels (short stories? Intercut novellas?) about three of the main characters in the series, showing major moment in their life that affect their trajectories in the series.

I liked seeing the backstory hinted at in the book come to life. I particularly enjoyed spending time with a character we only ever hear about but never see on page (despite the enormous impact they have in many ways on one character.)

This set of prequel novellas has an interesting structure depending on how you look at it. Either it’s three sets of connected short stories for Bleak, Henri, and Swinton, charting their lives over years, or it’s three novellas split up so that a bit of another novella is interspersed. The stories follow on from one another, with the arc following across them rather than each story feeling like a contained unit with a beginning, middle, and end. I definitely felt it was the latter, and it was nice to read something with a less standard structure.

You can read this before or after the main series. There is a grand total of one spoiler in it all (for the first book) but I read this after the main series and that is the way the author recommends. You know the characters by then and so there’s a lot more “oh” of seeing events play out (not to mention the fact that there’s more pay off that way as none of the stories/novellas really have a big finale, so that might leave you disappointed if you start there.)


Read my reviews of other books by Helen Scheuerer:

The Oremere Chronicles (this series):

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

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