"Heart of Mist" by Helen Scheuerer: The Perfect Build-Up for the "Oremere Chronicles"

§ I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel. § 

All Bleak ever wanted was to find a cure for her powers; to not hear people's thoughts anymore. At the moment only a bottle of drink can give her relief. However, Bleak is not the only person interested in her abilities: one day the King's Army is sent out to fetch her, and Bleak has no choice but to go with them. This might seal her fate because Ashai are hunted without remorse and often disappear without a trace ...

Left with no choice, Bleak comes along but on the way to the king, the party is surprised by the Vaila Kindred. They save Bleak from a vicious attack and take her with them into their land. There she starts to learn to control her powers - she is a mind-whisperer, she can read thoughts, dwell into long-past memories and even plant thoughts the minds of people.

However, the King is less than pleased about these developments and wants Bleak and the Queen of Vaila brought to him!

The first thing I always do when I open an eBook is to check the time it is going to take me to read. For "Heart of Mist" it had been calculated for almost 11 hours. Thus, I prepared for a lengthier read, lounged on my towel at the lake side, with snacks and coffee within reach while the sun hit my face.

However, this type of preparation hadn't been needed. While, yes, it is a lengthier read, it does not feel that way. In an hour I managed 10%, and I found it hard to put it down every single time. There are books that are rather thin but feel like it takes ages to read them, then there are books that are quite big and feel slow and boring to read, luckily, "Heart of Mist" does not fall into the latter category.

The writing was easy and yet well written, you could follow the characters' thoughts while the plot moved along. For me, Scheuerer picked the right pace. When a moment was action packed the pace picked up. Meanwhile, in quiet moments Scheuerer used the opportunity to tell you more about the realm in which "Heart of Mist" takes place.

Which is just as well, because world building is one of the mayor factors at this point of the story. If you don't understand how the realm works, the plot twists and motivations behind several actions are going to be incomprehensible. Scheuerer manages to explain the workings of the realm in such a way that the reader is not info-dumped but always knows what is needed. Thus, giving the kingdom a vibe not unlike one I got from the early "A Song of Ice and Fire" books but without dragons.

While other fantasy stories are plot and world driven, "Heart of Mist" is character driven. This leads to well-rounded characters. Bleak is not a heartless drunk who stumbles through the world not giving a shit. In fact it turns out that she feels very deeply and even ponders on the consequences of having killed someone.

On top of this, Scheuerer created strong female characters in the way they are meant to be. Often (male) writers think that a strong female character means that they are able to kick arse and that's it. Scheuerer explores the dynamics between Bleak and Henri. She is not shy of explaining the moral struggles and weak moments they have.

The only downside to this book is that while reading it, you can tell that it serves as the build-up for a bigger story. The main plot barely moves forward, instead you are mostly introduced to the realm, the magic, the different cultures and political situation. However, it is very good at being a kind of prologue.

"Heart of Mist" provides the perfect set up for the "Oremere Chronicles" and wets your appetite for more!



Heart of Mist by Helen Scheuerer
Published2017by Talem Press
Series:The Oremere Chronicles#1
Pages: 487
Goodreads:Add to shelf
Buy on ... amazon.comamazon.de


... what do I wish for for the second book of the Oremere Chronicles? 

"Reign of Mist" is going to be released in September this year, so I pondered on what I would want from it:

The first thing I wish for - or rather not wish for - is for "Reign of Mist" to not become awkwardly romantic. This is what killed the Divergent series for me. I did not mind the tiny love triangle in "The Hunger Games" because it was well done, the love story in Divergent just became too much and unbearable. It is obvious that Bleak does have feelings for Bren and that those are not unrequited, I do not want this to overshadow the overall plot.

Furthermore, I am hoping for a little more LGBT+ loving. It was lovely that "Heart of Mist" acknowledged that in a town full of women, of course, there will be lesbians and that it's not just to make due - cue: "Harold, they're lesbians." I really want a gay happy ending instead of a dramatic death for the sake of drama - cue: Bury Your Gays.

Plot wise, I am really hyped for the Oremere mystery. I want all the beans that there are to be spilled, are they evil? Are they good? What does the mist have to do with it?! Just give me all the information and give it to me now!

Then ... maybe, dragons ...

22 comments :

  1. Great review. I am glad that you enjoyed this book. I hope that the next lives up to your hopes.

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    1. Thank you! I am reading it atm, and it's not too shabby :)

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  2. I love this review, I think I prefer character driven novels, if they're done well, thanks!

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  3. I love the photos you took of the book - I want those shades!

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    1. Ha ha, thanks. They're new and were quite cheap.

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  4. I love your review, and the book sounds interesting.

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  5. Excellent review. This one sounds like the start to a great series .

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  6. I enjoy reading your posts - you have style!

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  7. I love your book photos! They definitely add an extra element to the review :) Great post!

    Megan - Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest

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    1. Thank you! I am quite fond of book photography :)

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  8. I had not heard of Heart of Mist before. Sounds like an interesting fantasy story. Happy #BookLoversDay!

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  9. Oooh, I haven't heard of this author or the books before, they sound right up my street. And the cover is beautiful. I loved your review, it's really detailed without giving away any spoilers - and YESSSSSS to dragons! xx

    Lisa | www.lisasotebook.com

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    1. Thank you so much, I really try my best to write my review without spoilers.

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  10. What a great review! This book sounds so interesting, I love it when you get so into a book and you don't want to put it down. That's when you know the book is good! I'll definitely have to check this out :)

    Amy,
    https://creativenails.uk

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    1. Yeah! It's the best feeling, and let me know what you thought after you read Heart of Mist

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  11. I haven't heard of this author but the book sounds great! It's the best feeling when you just can't put a book down. I tend to prefer character driven novels too x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. It really is an underappreciated book, do check it out!

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