Reign of Mist (The Oremere Chronicles, #2)by Published 13 Sep 2018
|Reign of Mist (The Oremere Chronicles, #2).pdf|
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.
"Reign of Mist (The Oremere Chronicles, #2)" Reviews
You know a book is good when it has your heart racing, your palms sweating, and you fighting the urge to read ahead because you just need to know what’s going to happen.
Reign of Mist is one of those books. I finished it and just sort of stared at my kindle, trying to digest everything that happened.
(Warning: this review is gonna contain a shit load of gushing.)
We pick up right where Heart of Mist left off, with Bleak arriving in a land that holds the key to her forgotten past. But the land hides more than just Bleak’s secrets; it hides a false queen who resides in a forgotten castle, and an underground rebel movement, determined to save their prince from the queen’s clutches.
While Bleak is trying to figure out her place in the upcoming war, we also follow Henri, Swinton and Dash as they all move into their roles in the war.
Henri journeys to the winter land of Havennesse, where she employs the help of the Queen Eydis, after King Arden’s threat against Henri’s kindred.
Swinton journeys with Princess Olena to Battalon, where she is to marry Prince Nazuri, who is ten years her senior. Swinton has been tasked with gaining the prince’s confidence and getting him on the King’s side.
Dash is still at Heathon, learning to live with Olena’s absence. He still writes letters to the princess, still helps his dad around the stables, but Heathon is thrown into panic when a plague hits the capital.
Characters Old and New
I loved these characters in Heart of Mist, but I love them even more now! The chapter POVs are the same, but we get to find out lots more about Bleak and Swinton’s pasts, as well as being able to see different sides to all of the characters.
I particularly love Bleak’s addiction battle; while in the first book she was doing everything possible get her hands on some alcohol, to quiet the voices in her head, in this book she embraces her magic, and fights her addiction. I love the way that Bleak decides that she wants to stop drinking, but she still struggles a lot with her cravings.
While Bleak is definitely my favourite character, I absolutely adore her relationship with Henri! Their relationship has grown so, so much and it’s absolutely beautiful. There’s a scene where Henri and the kindred stand with Bleak, drinking water instead of wine during a meal, because they say they’re stronger in numbers and it gave me so many chills! I love how Bleak has gradually wormed her way into the kindred’s lives, how they support her - I live for strong female friendships, and Helen’s books have them by the bucketload.
Swinton and Fiore’s friendship is still going strong too, and Swinton finally opens up to Fiore about his past; about his son, about his lost love, and about his magic.
While I do love Dash, I’m not really gonna comment too much on him because his storyline is something that I totally didn’t see coming, so I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. I will say, however, that I’m desperate to see where his character will go to in book three.
And we have new characters! Queen Eydis is one, who is an absolutely fantastic character, and there are a few who I’m not going to name because I don’t want to spoil anything but rest assured; they’re awesome.
Helen’s female characters are incredible; a lot of authors seem to think that in order to be a strong character, they just need to be able to kick somebody in the face, but that’s definitely not the case here. They have so many qualities, they’re so realistic; they argue and they clash and they have their faults, but that just makes them all the more charming.
“Not all wars were fought with blades and shields. Not all courage was found in the heart of a battle.”
So I warned you at the beginning of the review that I was gonna be gushing a hell of a lot through this review, and this section is gonna be no different because I love Helen’s writing. It’s completely enchanting; it’s so vivid and colourful. I usually have a difficult time imagining all these different fantasy lands, and they often all blend together, but that didn’t happen with Reign of Mist at all. The pictures I had of the settings were detailed and vivid, but still easy to conjure.
Often when I’m reading a book on my kindle, I’ll end up checking the time and what percentage of the book I’ve read, which is why I always prefer reading a physical book. But every now and then I’ll find a book that’s so gripping that I don’t care how much I’ve read, because I don’t want it to end, and this is one of those books. Helen’s writing is addictive, and so clever; she weaves little hints (hints that seem insignificant at the time) about the plot and character identities into the story, and allows them to build up before bringing them to the forefront in a way that makes you want to go back and reread passages. It’s marvellous, but we’re still waiting for a few answers; like whether or not there has been a betrayal within the kindred, whether she has manipulated her way to the top.
What I also find refreshing is the lack of romance. Don’t get me wrong, I love romance in books, and I would love it book three did have romance, but I also know that I wouldn’t be disappointed if there wasn’t any in the next book, because the characters are brilliant characters are brilliant by themselves.
Does that make sense? I don’t know anymore.
So it’s pretty obvious that I love this book, and I’m absolutely desperate for book three! There are a few things that I really need answers to, like the betrayal I mentioned earlier and also more about that ending.
But if you haven’t read this series yet, then I highly recommend it; fabulous characters, brilliant world-building and gorgeous writing. What’s not to love?
*thank you to Helen Scheuerer, who was lovely enough to send me an e-arc of this book!*
I received an e-ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
No spoilers in this rapid review of Reign of Mist. I really liked it! I give it 4.5 stars. The first thought I posted about Reign here on Goodreads was: “Guys, this is really good fantasy.” After finishing the novel, I stand by my initial thought. I was excited to be back in this world, and Scheuerer didn’t disappoint. She built on her well-developed and distinct characters; the climate, geography, and culture of her various continents; and the storylines and mysteries from book 1, Heart of Mist.
As Reign opens, Bleak finds herself in a new world after sailing off into mist at the end of Heart. She discovers the inhabitants have as much to offer as she does, but will she want to (or be able to) befriend them? Henri journeys to the winter kingdom of her childhood friend Eydis. Both women are rulers now, but has their friendship held up enough to become allies?
Swinton and Fiore are on yet another continent for their newest assignment: to watch over and protect Princess Olena as she gets acquainted with her future husband, Prince Nazuri. The prince is nothing like the men expected. Is he a good match for the innocent yet perceptive princess? And everyone’s favorite stable boy Dash ends up in dire straits. Only a drastic change can get him what he desperately needs. Is it worth the price he must pay, even if it alters the trajectory of his life?
War looms over the aforementioned characters. As we saw at the end of Heart, King Arden has joined forces with Queen Ines, so the other kingdoms must unite to have any hope of defeating their combined strength and resources. Yet Bleak and the gang soon discover it’s difficult to align with people with different backgrounds, belief systems, and loyalties, especially when everyone seems to harbor a secret.
What a set-up, right? Scheuerer has developed a lush fantasy world that I never want to leave. I was fascinated by the forests of Valia and their warrior-women leaders in Heart, but I was perhaps even more entranced by the deserts of Battalon as well as the bitterly cold, icy world of Wildenhaven, particularly its mysterious, enchanting Valley of Twisted Trees. And the means of communication Scheuerer introduced between these nations was unique and fun.
Also, I love these characters! I was going to record my favorite but realized that was too hard a task. I would need to list nearly every single main character plus a few secondary ones, too. This is a testament to how real the characters feel and how each of their struggles tug on my heartstrings. I often appreciate a desperately conflicted character most of all, though, so that might land Swinton at the top of my list. I was excited to discover I’m not the only one who loves the complex captain; when Scheuerer asked her readers which character they wanted the next novella to be about, Swinton is the one readers chose!
There hasn’t been much romance in the Mist books so far, but I haven’t even missed it. (And that’s saying something! I always enjoy the angst of a good love story whether it’s the primary or secondary part of the plot.) Scheuerer focuses on friendships instead. There are many strong female relationships, and the two new ones struck in Reign are even better than those in Heart. The primary male friendship is conflicted and full of secrets, but in the end it might just be the best of them all.
Scheuerer’s writing talent continues to blossom. Her prose is appealing, and she’s great at sprinkling hints here and there to be developed later in the story. These clues kept me guessing, and I only figured out one of the mysteries on my own. I like that none of them were too obvious, yet they made sense in retrospect. And Scheuerer’s imagination seems infinite. The magical system she created dealt me my favorite surprise of the book: a healing unlike any I’ve ever read.
This indie reads like a blockbuster and a for-sure bestseller. I certainly hope it ends up being one! If you love YA fantasy, pick up Heart of Mist now, and then grab a copy of Reign of Mist when it comes out on September 13th.
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In Reign of Mist, I was able to still experience all the things that had me falling in love with the first book, but with an added punch that just catapulted things into a higher level. I was immersed in the familiar atmospheric writing style, lyrically evocative prose, and masterful storytelling of the author, as well as a fantastical realm I am certainly no stranger to.
In essence, reading this book felt a lot like coming home. Reign of Mist is intimately familiar territory but with exponentially higher stakes, larger and more imminent threats, and grander adventures. Plus, much like the first book, it is intricately seasoned with plot twists, surprises, and shocking reveals that either kept me on my toes or made me feel totally blindsided!
For the most part, the journeying in Heart of Mist was confined to the kingdom of Ellest. In contrast, Reign of Mist is set all over the other regions of the Upper Realm: Battalon, a desert kingdom ridden with destructive firestorms; Havennesse, a deceivingly beautiful, snowed region with an unforgiving icy climate; and, of course, the mysterious land that lies beyond the notoriously dangerous mist.
Just when I thought this series could not get any better, there’s an addition of more fantastic, exceptional women to an already large cast of empowered and remarkable female characters!
In my opinion, reading Reign of Mist felt a lot like reading a female-led, female-driven Game of Thrones. Here, women were at the forefront of war, politics, and strategy, while men took a bit of a backseat (although that’s not to say that they didn’t hold important roles, too).
In essence, Reign of Mist not only largely drew from feminist themes, but also, and perhaps more significantly, actively defied female stereotypes commonly found in the fantasy genre. In simpler words: women being strong without having to lose their femininity (i.e. women still being women, and not women trying to be and to act like men).
🔹 Answers to questions that have long haunted me since the first book!
🔹 Second Book Syndrome? I don’t know her.
🔹 A gripping exploration & a thrillingly paced adventure!
🔹 Flawed characters written with empathy & character relationships that have death grips on my reader heart!
🔹 More fighting & more ass-kicking!
🔹 The groundbreaking YA feminist fantasy we all deserve (and should 110% stan).
🔹 Themes, representations, & messages that are definitely worth commending.
🔹 Much better the second time around!
Yes, I’ve read this book twice, and quite frankly, my reading experience was better the second time around. Basically, what I’m really trying to say is: Reign of Mist, and The Oremere Chronicles as a whole, is a series I cannot get enough of. It’s complex, compelling, and clearly brilliantly written. For me, Helen just successfully set the golden standard of what a phenomenally written feminist fantasy should be, and I am extremely excited for the thrilling conclusion of this trilogy.
War and violence; death; kidnapping; physical and mental torture; sickness and plague; alcohol addiction; allusions to sex (not explicit).
Quick disclosure: I received a paperback copy of Reign of Mist from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Actual rating: 5 stars
* Read the rest of this review in my natural habitat!
* Read 10 reasons why you should pick this book up (and enter the giveaway).
I was lucky enough to be part of the fantastic blog tour celebrating the release of Reign of Mist. To see the full post visit my blog.
Reign of Mist by Helen Scheuerer is another sensational fantasy novel in the Oremere Chronicles. I absolutely devoured this book. It was addictive, fast paced and so full of action I was completely enthralled. You know that feeling when you read a fantastic book, you get hooked right away and all you want to do is keep reading to see what happens? I had this feeling about 3 pages into Reign of Mist. From the very beginning I could not put this book down. Sometimes the second book in a series isn’t as good as the first, but Reign of Mist stepped up and was just as good, if not better than Heart of Mist. Helen’s writing is truly enchanting and that cover is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen! All my favourite characters were back and there was so many twists and unexpected surprises. There is nothing better than a really well written fantasy with fantastic characters. I was amazed at how well written this book was, with many story/character lines coming together in such a smooth fantasy, packed with action.
Many of the characters we met in Book 1 are back and we learn more about them. I loved this, as the characters really came to life and you could feel their motivations and emotions coming right off the page. I loved seeing Bleak’s journey in this book, while still struggling with her addiction she works hard to overcome her weaknesses and help her friends in any way she can. She is so strong, and to read about a character such as her, with her issues and her differences, is really enjoyable. Her relationships with Henri and the others was a treat to read. There are a few characters I want to shake with my hands and slap them for being so silly and many characters that make me laugh out loud. This is what good writing is all about, making the reader feel many different emotions, and Reign of Mist certainly does that. I was happy, sad, shocked and I laughed many times throughout this book.
The book is spread over many different character storylines, and we get more detail about the world and its key players. We are also introduced to a few new characters, who I loved to read about as well. The ending was powerful and engaging and I absolutely cannot wait for book 3!! Overall Reign of Mist was a strong second book in an amazing YA fantasy series. If you haven’t read the first book, Heart of Mist, I strongly recommend you do so! And Reign of Mist is out September 13th.
"Thus is the nature of life, is it not? Love and loss so intricately entwined. You cannot have one without the other, unfortunately."
"We're not all born equal in strength and agility, but a mind can be as sharp as any blade, if you know how to wield it."
"But beneath the shimmering fabrics and cosmetics, death smiled."
"The collision of both forces came in a roaring wave. The clang of steel, the first cries of the wounded and the tang of fresh death exploded as they struck their first blows."
"Not all wars were fought with blades and shields. Not all courage was found in the heart of battle"
Reign of Mist is the second book in the Oremere Chronicles by Helen Scheuerer, following the adventures of our favorite warriors and rebels as they prepare for war. A fight against evil, a fight for freedom, a fight for justice.
Thank you, Helen, for sending me an ARC of this formidable book!
Holy shit. That's all I can think right now after finishing Reign of Mist. From start to finish, this book has you on the edge of your seat. There is no dull moment, no moment where you can calm your nerves for a little while. Chapter after chapter, thrilling action scenes come at you that will leave you shaking and breathless. Helen has a unique way with words, submerging you deep into the magical world she's created. Her books read so fast you feel like you're flying through the story, turning page after page. It's so good that you cannot help yourself from turning the next page because you have to know what's going to happen.
Where Heart of Mist was the opening to the magical world that is The Upper Realm, introducing the characters, the world and the politics, Reign of Mist focuses on character development and action. The world is built, the characters are created, now it's time for action. And boy do we get some. Trust me, you're not ready.
We are introduced to new characters, fierce rebel warriors with a strong mindset to match that of the character we already know. Bonds are forged, risks are taken, blood is spilled.
And if you, for even a second, think you are ready for this book and the ending it has in store for you, I advise you to think again. Because HOLY CRAP THAT ENDING LEFT ME SHAKING!
Below, I will talk a bit about some of the characters in more detail. This may contain spoilers so if you'd rather stay safe then best not read what is between the *** (You can keep reading all the way below after the next ***!)
First of all, I want to talk about Bleak and how she has grown formidably as a character throughout this book! She starts off her journey as a weak girl, broken by grieve, struggling with alcoholism. She has no purpose in life, refuses to acknowledge her past and who she really is, and keeps pushing people away. And above all, she despises her magic. She's no fighter. But then things change, and we get to watch Bleak grow, become stronger, more confident. We watch as she slowly comes to love her magic, use it, hone is like the weapon it is. We watch her befriend some great Valian warriors. She becomes the leader she was born to be. People follow her now rather than the other way around.
Then we have Henri, our Valian queen, who never once strayed from the path that is the Valian way. But then we watch her open her mind more, realizing that the Valian way isn't the only possibility. It is great to see as she too, starts growing closer to people.
Then we have Commander Swinton. I'm not going to lie I was getting angry with him at the beginning of the book for choosing the coward's way. But part of me always knew that he was going to turn around and make the right choice eventually. What I love so much about his character is that Swinton is as flawed as they come. He makes mistakes, chooses wrong time and again, but in the end, he does what feels right. His character development is a slow but steady one, one needs more time than the other because of all that he stands to lose. It's only normal he cannot make such a big decision with a snap of his fingers.
Also, can we talk about the kitty cats that are the teerah panters!! They are my favorites! I absolutely adore cats and to see such cute felines being a part of this story just warmed my heart. The relationship between Bleak and Rion is one I have with all three of my cats. And it's even more fun when you know that one of them has a black fur, with a subtle grayish shine just like Rion!
Okay and now we need to discuss the end because I am still screaming about that. Somewhere deep inside I've always known (or hoped) that Ermias was still alive. But I never, in a million years, would have guessed who he was and that he's been part of the story all along. He was so cleverly hidden that I can only admire Helen for being so sneaky.
If you're not yet convinced whether you should give this series a chance then let me break it down for you.
- Thrilling action and a unique world building
- LGBT romance
- Fierce warriors and badass Princesses and queens
- Great character development
- A fast-paced plot with dazzling twists and crazy cliffhangers
- Beautiful writing
Reign of Mist comes out September 13 so that's plenty enough time to catch up and start reading Heart of Mist if you haven't already because this dazzling, heart-racing, sequel is one you do not want to miss!