Genre: YA Fantasy/High Fantasy
Page Count: 552
Publisher: Talem Press
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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.
After finishing the first book a few weeks ago, I was really excited to start Reign of Mist. Last time, I loved the world-building and the characters so I looked forward to seeing those aspects build out some more.
Normally, I’m a little wary of second books in trilogies because they can sometimes feel like a weird prolonged transition between plot points, but Reign of Mist was really well done. In this part of the journey, all of the major characters are separated and on individual journeys. We have Bleak who is alone on a continent no one else knows exists, Henri off trying to forge alliances to fight an enemy of unknown power, and Swinton and Fiore (who I both hate and love) in a whole other place. The set-up intrigued me and I loved reading and trying to figure out how every everyone would connect again.
The pacing (my one complaint from last time) is also better in this sequel. I got enough context on the cultures and more background on Oremere, but the plot also moved along well and I didn’t feel like things were crammed in at the end. The prose is appealing, and I think Scheuerer does a great job at sprinkling hints here and there about where things will go. These clues kept me guessing, but nothing was obvious enough to ruin the plot. In addition to all this, the character building continues. I love how complex each and every single one of them is, especially Swinton. I cannot decide if he is a good or bad person, but I love exploring the morality of his character.
Also, as an added bonus, the romance is still minimal because when the world is falling apart there are more important things than whether or not two characters are going to get together. I’m so glad that at least one author recognizes this. Far too often, YA Fantasy makes romance take centre stage and plot an afterthought.
That being said, there were two things that I didn’t love. First, there seemed to be a weird plot gap in the beginning of the novel. How did Bleak end up in Oremere?? And how did she immediately know where she was? I’m sure there was a way to explain that, but it wasn’t there. Secondly, where did Bren go? In the first book, it seemed like he was going to become a fairly important secondary character considering how often he’s come after Bleak but he just disappeared in this one?
Overall, The Oremere Chronicles continue to be an intriguing and well-done series. I’m really excited to see how the third book wraps everything up! War of Mist comes out July 25th so mark your calendars!!