War of Mist
by Helen Scheuerer
Series: The Oremere Chronicles #3
Published by: Talem Press
Publication date: July 25, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
War is here.
Toxic mist drives all life to the brink of destruction and the conqueror queen, Ines, has her talons in the kings of the realm.
Bleak, having discovered her true heritage, must now scour the lands for the one thing that might save them all.
But the search is a treacherous one – and it will push her to the very limits of endurance.
Amidst secrets, lies and the intricacies of battle, Bleak and her companions learn just how far they’ll go for the ones they love. But will it be enough?
As deadly forces grapple for power across the continents, families, friends and allies unite to take one final stand.
Explosive revelations, heart-wrenching betrayals and breathtaking magic soar in the epic conclusion to Helen Scheuerer’s bestselling trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles.
First book in The Oremere Chronicles:
I’ve been staring at my laptop screen for hours, trying to articulate how I feel and pinching myself in hopes it’ll help me convince that this is indeed the final chapter for The Oremere Chronicles. I can’t imagine saying this, but it’s time for me to say goodbye to the best characters the fantasy realm had ever known.
Dang! It feels like the ending of this series is much emotionally harder for me to handle than any heartbreak I have ever experience. Why it’s so hard to let go?
How many times I had to catch my breath, trying to steady myself from sobbing uncontrollably, or those moments I was emotionally wrecked, feeling a lump in my throat, because I’m not ready for the fate of some the characters in the story.Then I realized nothing could have prepared me for this even if the title itself is like a huge neon sign or the synopsis saying, “War is here” had already warned me.
Because if you read the entire books in this series like me, you should know by now that Helen Scheuerer forged a fantasy world that was entirely reflected to our real setting where everyone is fighting their own battle and people are either guided by their moral compass or blinded by their greed, personal interest and hunger for power. Her books are not a Disney princess movie where everyone gets a happy ending and live happily ever after.
By going into detail, I will conclude this series by highlighting the key narrative elements that made this story one of the best fantasy series I have ever read.
❥ Change is possible
Driven by each characters’ struggles who are fighting for different reasons, either to find out their identity and true heritage or save the people they love and the rest of the realm, the flow of change is apparent since the beginning of the series.
Bleak is a testament to this. Imagine you discover you are an Ashai who wants to get a cure for your magic, only to find out that the self-proclaim one true queen sought and want all your magic for her own. Throughout her journey, from a drunken pickpocket to a woman who braved the mist and embraced change by having her own choices, she was never the same Angovian girl I knew.
Don’t get me started with young Dash because, at the end of Reign of Mist, the change in him surprised me! Well, I won’t say more than that. Though he needed to get used to what and who he is, he is proven to be a valuable asset, an ally, from the war they had to face.
Henri, on the other hand, has always been confined by the Valian Way, but not anymore. She started to see that it is not the only important thing in life because there’s far more beyond that. The war made her see that. Deaths of loved ones made her see that. In the end, she opened herself up to changes.
Things had changed. It was a new dawn for her people and for the Valian Way.
And let’s not forget Swinton whose character I stand up for being one of the most conflicted and complex characters I read. He’s quite made an impression the moment I start reading this series and I could rant all day how his character was inconvenient yet real in every way.
Swinton made sure that whatever he did in the past did not define who he becomes. Even he made bad choices, that doesn’t mean that it makes him any less of a good person. He finally overcame his fears and believed that he could commander himself towards change.You see, change is possible. Rules change. A place can change. People change. And here, the characters morphed into someone that is complex and painted in a way that makes them real and relatable. Whether it is the right thing to do or they were forced by it, every small change became significant, giving them the chance to be the best possible versions of their selves.
❥ There is always hope
Amid cruelty, treachery, and war, believing that if not a rainbow, there will always be a light and a flicker of hope that could sparks change.
Did Swinton consider that change for him is slim? Yes! Did Casimir think their only chance to defeat Ines is dead? Yes! Did Mariette believe that the realm is doom? Yes! Did the war quash everyone’s hope? Yes!How many times do you think the word hope appeared within the entire books in this series? Believe it or not, it appeared 100 times. And it is more than enough to say that hope is not dead, that every let down gave each character a reason to believe they can change the tide of war and giving up shouldn’t be an option.
I’m going to go to war. I’ll carry on. As you have done. We stand to face the storm, no matter what it throws at us.
❥ Friends stand up for each other
From the very beginning, I adore the friendship between Swinton and Fiore. Strengthen by the war they need to fight alongside each together; they both learn to trust more and rely on each other.
I told you once, old friend; my place has always been, and always will be, by your side.
While Henri and Bleak were only used to looking out for their own, the things they both need to endure piled with the journey they experienced together, made their relationship proven worthy of friendship. Believing “Every woman for herself.” was then changed by “No one gets left behind.”That same goes with Dash who found a friend with Luca, Princess Olena who found a friend with Prince Nazuri, and Bleak who found a friend with Sahara.
The queen I imagine would never run, would never leave her friends behind to die for her.
I believe that’s the truest form of friendship, right? Some people may hurt you, betray you or don’t give a damn care about you. But see? Genuine friends will stand by you until the end no matter what.
❥ Love wins
Why do you think Bleak came back to save Bren from Moredom Tower? Why do you think Athene want her daughter to be the next heir of Valia? Why do you think Tailor didn’t introduce himself all those years ago knowing Casimir and Alarise is still alive? Why do you think Henri and Sahara did everything in their power to save Allehra? How about that time when Swinton did terrible things that later caused everyone he cares about in the entire realm? Or that moment when Gesa chose to use her magic even if it caused her being apart from Alarise?I could go on and on asking questions that will leave you with the same answer. But see? It all boils down to love. Each character has their reason, selfish or not, that drove them to do everything in the name of love. Even if they did not utter the four-letter word, their actions say it out loud. With the Oremere Chronicles now officially over, worth of watching 10 seasons of Game of Thrones, I recommend you read this series if you love magic, rich world-building, well-developed character arcs, sensational plot twists and an epic battle leading to a bittersweet ending that will make you want to shield your heart from arrows and flying spears.
I received an eARC of War of Mist as a part of my participation in this blog tour and this in no way influences my rating nor my opinion on this book.
‘If you want something done right, do it yourself,’ she muttered under her breath. Her fingers toyed with the layered necklace resting against her collarbone, a pretty gift from the infatuated king. She was fond of this piece in particular, adorned with rare jewels from lands long forgotten. It reminded her of something her mother had worn so many years before. A piece she was meant to inherit, before they’d taken her and stripped her of all her rights and belongings. The order of the high priestesses allowed no effects, no personal property, but now … now she had many things to call her own.
Below, the castle maze sprawled across the grounds, and beyond the walls and gatehouse, the whole of Ellest bent to her will. It was all hers. She had taken it easily, as was her destiny. The instinct of the magic in her veins drove her to take and take, but it wasn’t enough. She wanted to add to her kingdom, her collection. The need to do so raged within her, a demand, a drive to fill the gaping hole in her chest.
Then there were those who threatened to take away all she held dear now. Tonight, along with all the other nights, the thought of them, and what they were searching for, kept her from sleep. She had begun her own search for the item they planned to use against her. The maze, the armoury, the jewel vault had all proved fruitless, but earlier in the week, she’d had a breakthrough. The old library. She had felt its presence. Demanding solitude, she had locked herself away and combed through every volume the damn room held. Nothing. But she knew it was in there. And she would find it. Rheyah help the realm when she did.
About The Author:
Helen Scheuerer is the YA fantasy author of the bestselling novel, Heart of Mist (2017) and the upcoming sequel Reign of Mist (September 2018). Both books are part of the action-packed trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles.
After writing literary fiction for a number of years, novels like Throne of Glass, The Queen’s Poisoner and The Queen of the Tearling inspired Helen to return to her childhood love of fantasy.
Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit, an online literary magazine and learning platform for emerging writers. It’s now one of the largest writers’ platforms in the world.
She has been previously shortlisted for Express Media’s Outstanding Achievement by a Young Person in the Literary Arts Award and the Young Writers Showcase. Helen has also run writing and editing workshops for the NSW Society of Women Writers.
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