I received an e-ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
No spoilers in this rapid review of War of Mist by Helen Scheuerer. I really liked it and give it 4.5 stars. This is how you wrap up an epic fantasy series! I’ve been a little let down by several series finales this past year—even from authors like Sarah J. Maas—but Scheuerer didn’t disappoint.
I find it’s hard to summarize a finale in a fantasy series. My synopsis always seems to go something like this: Do you know what we’ve been building toward in the previous books? Well, now it’s happening! All the characters have come together to push toward an epic battle against the evil foe.
It’s never quite this simple, of course, but this description is quite fitting for War, particularly because I don’t want to say anything that might be a spoiler. Trust me, all the hints Scheuerer dropped in the first two installments were capitalized on as she spun us toward a fantastic conclusion. The story arc spanning the entire series was well thought out, with seeds planted from the very beginning. Thus the little surprises here and there each felt fully earned. I love thinking back to the beginning of book 1 and seeing how far each of the main characters have come since then. (I’m looking at you in particular, Bleak and Dash). 😉
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I choose favorite characters in every series since I’ve been with them through multiple books and feel like I’ve gotten to know each of them well. I find this especially true when the book is written from multiple points of view like The Oremere Chronicles, and Swinton and Dash ended up at the top of my list. When I turned the page to a new chapter, I would hold my breath and hope it was from the perspective of one of these two men.
Besides writing these characters that leapt off the page, what else did Scheuerer do well? The friendships and family relationships she created tugged at my heartstrings equally. The scenes between a certain father and son pair were my favorite. She also kept me guessing until the end about who a couple of characters would end up with, and I always enjoy that. Unknown relationship statuses pull me along through a book more quickly than anything else.
But I’d say Scheuerer’s greatest strength lies in her prose. Her descriptions of the terrain fully immersed me in each distinct kingdom. And her characters’ dialogue was top notch. Every conversation felt real as it echoed in my mind. Additionally, her battle scenes were vividly written. More than once, my heart raced with anticipation about what was going to happen next. I guess it’s hard to choose a favorite aspect of her writing!
Can you tell I loved this story? I recommend this book as well as the entire series to all YA fantasy lovers. It’s a hidden gem in today’s flooded YA market, and I continue to try to spread the word about it.
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