Heart of Mist is one of those fantasy novels that just sinks its claws into you and doesn’t let go – in a good way. It demands your attention, your time, and it rewards you. Heart of the Mist has detailed world building, wonderfully fierce characters, and a story that leaves you wanting more.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from the author. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I loved everything from this book. I can’t remember the last recent read where I was so utterly and completely pulled into a fantasy book. Scheuerer’s writing is superb. You can practically feel the mist on your skin, the tension in the air, and taste the salt in the sea. From a world building perspective alone, this book is worth reading. So often fantasy books struggle with pulling you into the world, but also keeping you there. No such trouble here folks.
In some ways out main character, Bleak, is an unlikeable heroine, but I adore her. She’s self destructive because she hasn’t figured out how to come to terms with herself. Bleak first reacts defensively and with barbs. But she has a good heart. She pushes people away and compensates her inability to deal with her power with an addiction to alcohol. Above all, I loved seeing her journey progress. Bleak needs to figure that it’s okay to let people in, to trust, and what that might mean for her future and herself.
On another level though, the whole cast of other main characters, are phenomenal. They all tell a different piece of this grand story from new perspectives and angles. My second favorite character was Dash who is this cute bubbly overeager puppy (not a real dog, just a young boy) who stumbles upon a plot that destabilizes the world and a power he doesn’t understand. And Henri is the character I’d fall in love with. Henri is the heir to the throne of the Valia kingdom. Henri herself can be pretty ‘unlikeable’ often, but I adore that she too is struggling. She’s fierce, unused to playing nice, and her journey is just beginning.
Speaking of side characters, there’s a whole cast of side characters that I not only love seeing, but want to find out more. They aren’t just plot devices or pieces of a characters journey, they’re multi layered and complex even if we only see them on the periphery. Overall, the story is unhurried because there are so many pieces to lay out. On top of some truly fantastic, complex characters, AND a fabulous world, the plot is constantly shifting. Things are always moving, keeping you on your toes, and making you have to flip to the next page. It’s truly a joy to read and I can’t really name reasons I didn’t love this. Cause I loved it all. Check out Heart of Mist on Goodreads.
I am starting this new thing where I tell you the characters with whom I’d: fight a dragon, have a sleepover, pine over, and who is the character of my heart.
Fight a dragon with: Fiore
Sleepover with: Dash
Pine over but never have: Henri
Character of my heart: Bleak