Having really enjoyed Heart of Mist when I read it last month, I was super excited to get onto the sequel, Reign of Mist. I’m taking part in the blog tour for this book, which was organised by Shealea of That Bookshelf Bitch. Read on for my review, more info on the tour, and a giveaway!
Book: Reign of Mist by Helen Scheurer
Read before: No
Ownership: E-book provided by author for fair review as part of a blog tour.
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.
Intriguing and action-packed, Reign of Mist is the second instalment in Helen Scheuerer’s epic YA fantasy series, The Oremere Chronicles.
Second books are often difficult to review, because they can feel awkward. However, with Reign of Mist you are thrown straight back into the world and the pace really never lets up – there isn’t time for things to get awkward and info-dumpy! You probably want to binge-read these, because there’s a lot going on right from the get-go. While Heart of Mist focused on Bleak’s personal journey to come to terms with her powers, and hinted at politics, Reign of Mist plays on a much larger scale, and involves multi-continental political and martial conflict. I can’t give away anything about the plot without spoiling the first book, but the stakes are higher and the action is way more intense.
One of the lovely things about this series is that there are SO many women in it, and so much variety within those female characters. There are queens, princesses, warrior women, lower class women, orphans, healers, tacticians, mothers, daughters, sisters, mentors… You name a fantasy stereotype, and there’s a woman here breaking it up. There are men in the series, but they definitely take a back seat, especially to the majority of the political manoeuvring, and it’s really refreshing to see. It never feels forced, either – each individual character is nuanced and complex, and feels utterly natural in the way they act and react.
I loved the introduction of the teerah panthers in this! Early on in the book, Bleak rescues one of these enormous (waaaay bigger than a regular panther) cats from dying of starvation, and she bonds with him. That is a cool familiar, I have to say. For the dog-lovers among you, don’t worry – there are also some brilliant, clever dogs allied to one of the queens!
I would have liked to see more of Princess Olena. She’s been separated from her only friend, sent to a desert kingdom, forced into an arranged marriage… I wanted to spend some time seeing how she navigated her new life, especially since she no longer has Dash to act as her eyes (remember, she’s blind). However, since she isn’t one of our viewpoint characters, we only see her in Swinton’s sections, and only when she’s relevant to the major political plot. I’d love to see her become a viewpoint character in the next book!
If you liked the first book, then you should love this one. It’s an excellent sequel and a really fun read, with lots of twists and turns, an interesting plot, and a well-built world. For me, this is a very solid four out of five cats, and I can’t wait for the next book!
If you like the sound of this and want to begin at the beginning, Heart of Mist is available in the UK through Kindle Unlimited, and is also only £3.73 to buy! I’ll come back with a link when Reign of Mist is officially out, but in the meantime, you can add it on Goodreads.
As part of the blog tour, there is also a giveaway! You can enter HERE to win an Amazon gift voucher worth $20, all the Heart of Mist bonus prequels, and a high-resolution printable map. It’s open internationally, too!
We’ll be chatting all things mist-y on Twitter on the 10th September – do come and join us!
Helen Scheuerer is a YA fantasy author from Sydney, Australia. Reign of Mist is the second book in her high fantasy trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles. After writing literary fiction for a number of years, Helen was inspired to return to her childhood love of fantasy thanks to novels like Throne of Glass, The Queen’s Poisoner and The Queen of the Tearling.
Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit (www.writersedit.com), an online learning platform for emerging writers. In its first year, Writer’s Edit reached thousands of new authors, and soon became its own small press, with Helen overseeing the production and publication of three creative writing anthologies, Kindling Volume I, Volume II and Volume III. It’s now one of the largest writing websites in the world.
Helen’s love of writing and books led her to pursue a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong. While the Kindling books were being published, Helen also completed a Masters of Publishing at the University of Sydney.
Helen now lives by the beach and writes full time. She has many more books planned for the future.
And finally, check out the other stops on the tour!