YA Fantasy Book Reviews

Heart of Mist

The plot at its base has some familiar fantasy elements: a main character with unknown powers, a medieval high fantasy setting with kings and knights, political rivalries, forbidden magic, class tension, corrupt royalty, and of course rampant abuse towards women. As the story unfolds Heart of Mist adds some refreshing twists to the classic hero’s journey.

The thing that made this book really stand out to me was how the plot tackles various social issues. Bleak copes with her magical powers by drowning herself in alcohol and her struggle with drinking opens up conversation about alcoholism in young adults, a topic not often brought up in YA novels. Bleak is a flawed heroine and her character had more depth than what I’m used to seeing.

Then there are the Valia kindred, a race of proud female warriors with their own strict way of life. I liked that even the Valians, which on the surface seems like an ideal feminist society, in a world where women are second class, have their own issues with social hierarchies. There was a good mix of characters and there were very few that I disliked. Most of the characters were pretty well developed with distinct personalities, often falling into a sort of grey area between good and evil.

“She followed his gaze up to the millions of glittering stars. They winked at her, as though laughing at all her predicaments and the triviality of mortal life.”

The Bleak and Bren romance was the one piece of the story that I didn’t care for all that much, mostly because it was the one plot point that felt weak and underdeveloped. His role in the story felt so small, his appearances were brief, and the conflict between them can be predicted immediately. If their relationship was better formed I might not have minded, but as it was it was just drama I could have done without. I’m hoping that the prequel novellas and the rest of the books can convince me of their relationship because as it is I just don’t feel all that strongly about the pair.

Besides my issues with the romance I found Heart of Mist to be a compelling read that I took my time to savor. I got drawn in more and more as the story developed and some of the sinister forces started coming to light. The revelations in the story blew me away and honestly have me excited to read the next book in the series. I want to know so much more about the other continents, particularly Battalon, and I’m dying to see more of the world expanded in the coming books. The Oremere Chronicles is definitely a series worth checking out and is one I’ll be continuing in the future.

Title: Heart of Mist
Series: The Oremere Chronicles #1
Publisher: Talem Press
Publication Date: August 31, 2017
Pages: 460
Format: Ebook
Source: Review Request

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.


  1. I’ve been hearing such great things about this book lately. I haven’t even heard of it till a few weeks ago so I was surprised at the hype. I wasn’t aware of the diverse cast of characters and social issues tackled in this book. Now that I do, I’m definitely adding to my TBR! Thanks

    1. You definitely should, it’s a fun fantasy series by a hard working indie author. 🙂 It’s gone under the radar since the author chose to go with indie publishing versus one of the major publishing houses so that she could have more creative freedom, and indie books rely heavily on bloggers and word of mouth. 🙂

  2. Haven’t heard of this one yet. Fab cover! Sounds good, especially with all that diversity.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Evelina! I agree, the cover is what drew me initially it’s so pretty! I really enjoyed the world building in this book, I’m excited for the rest of the series. 🙂

  3. What a wonderfully written review! I am extremely happy to know that you really enjoyed Heart of Mist. It’s definitely one of my favorites, too. ❤️

    I am actually currently working with the author and organizing a blog tour for the upcoming sequel, Reign of Mist, which will be released on September 13. If you’re interested in being among its earliest readers and in joining in all the blogging fun (+ meeting other bloggers who loved Heart of Mist!!!), you can learn more about the blog tour and access the sign-up form here: https://thatbookshelfbitch.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/sign-up-reign-of-mist-blog-tour/

    Hope to have you on board with us!

    1. Thank you Shealea! I actually have been waiting to hear about early review copies from Helen and worked with her to promote HoM! I just signed up for your blog tour, thank you!!

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