I first saw this book cover approximately a year ago and wanted it. It is dark blue and gives off some serious fantasy mystery vibes that had me falling in love with this book before I even knew what it was about. The synopsis only sold me on the book. I just needed to get my hands on a copy (which proved somewhat difficult). A little while ago, I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of Heart of Mist by Helen Scheuerer when I won her giveaway! I have finally gotten around to reading it (seriously, why is my life so busy at the moment?) and here for you now is my review!
Title: Heart of Mist
Author: Helen Scheuerer
Genre: Fantasy – Mystery
Age Classification: Young Adult
Publisher: Talem Press
Release: August 31, 2017
Bleak wants nothing more than a cure for her power because being an Ashai can get you killed. Instead of a cure, she gets taken by the Commander of the King Arden’s Army, saved (sort of) by the Valia Kindred and summoned to the capital where things can only go from bad to worse.
Bleak is a strong character in many ways but she is also flawed. She knows the harshness and cruelty of life and people better than anyone and yet she keeps going, keeps fighting, keeps searching for a better way to block out the voices than alcohol. She is sarcastic and keeps people at arm’s length, but she cares more than others realise and cannot stand witnessing situations that she deems cruel or unfair. While her attitude can be annoying, I think her character was realistic for her situation.
Commander Dimitri Swinton, the one who lead the mission to collect Bleak for the King, is a hypocrite and not the most honourable person. He has many secrets, cannot even be nice to someone he calls his friend and is following the King’s commands that go against his nature without asking “why?” There is not much more I can say about him without major spoilers, but I hope Reign of Mist sees him redeem himself.
Henrietta Valia is the Queen of the Valia Kindred, a fearsome warrior and seems to be a very closed off individual. Henri is the one who decides to save Bleak from the King’s Army but spends most of the book regretting her decision. While it eventually makes sense and her positive attributes do start to become known, it does take quite some time to warm up to her character.
Dash is a child, only ten-years-old, the son of the stable master and a friend of Princess Olena, the blind daughter of King Arden. Dash is a sweet boy that does not quite understand why his friendship with Olena is viewed poorly, why the maze is off limits to everyone or why he can hear or why there are strange things happening.
Bleak, Swinton, Henri and Dash are the four characters that the story follows through the multiple POV method. I would not have had a problem with the POV changed had they been marked (for example, the characters name at the start of the chapter). Instead, I became very confused after the novel had begun in Bleak’s POV for the first four chapters then suddenly changed to Henri, then back to Bleak, then to Dash (who we had not met before this chapter), then Swinton got a POV chapter, then back to Henri… it sometimes took a few lines before I worked out who I was reading through and where they were. However, that is my only real complaint about the book.
The story jumped right in – no boring world building for 70% of the book before the story gets started like there is in some fantasy books – which I was grateful for. It was also rather fast paced for most of the novel, though that did make the slower parts feel like they were dragging on forever. Overall, the writing was captivating, the plot and characters interesting and intriguing and I felt disappointment when life commitments took me away from reading the book.
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆
It was an amazing book and I cannot wait to read Reign of Mist!
Here are some of my favourite quotes from Heart of Mist:
The vast drop on either side of the walkway embodied nature’s danger and its unpredictability, while the soft emerald moss beneath Henri’s books, which sank in and sprang back with each stem, spoke of nurture.
It looked like rich, black velvet, with thousands upon thousands of gleaming specks of light.
“It’s not every day you bring a mist dweller into our keep”
“You don’t see it yet, but you’ll need her.”
Markings had been carved into the stone – letters spelling out a word she’d never heard or read. Oremere.
She’d rather die with salt water in her lungs and mist in her heart. She was free. She had to try.
Also, keep an eye out for my review of Reign of Mist which will be posted September 8 as part of the BookshelfBitch’s Reign of Mist blog tour! There will be plenty of amazing content posted by all of us involved in the tour, including a Twitter chat and a giveaway, so be sure to check it out when the time comes!
Have you read Heart of Mist yet?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments!
Until next time bibliophiles!
A physical copy of this book was supplied to me by Helen Scheuerer