Next month, I’m going to be reviewing a very exciting YA epic fantasy novel called Heart of Mist by brand new author Helen Scheuerer. The book sounds amazing and I can’t wait to read it – I’m sure it’ll appeal to a lot of you, too! Heart of Mist follows 19-year-old Bleak as she seeks a cure for her power, trapped in a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden.
I’m so happy to host an excerpt from the book! It’ll be totally exclusive on my blog for a month, and then it’ll also be available on Helen’s website. Before we get started with the excerpt, here’s the synopsis.
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, still trying to suppress her magic 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.
Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions.
Heart of Mist by Helen Scheuerer: Exclusive Excerpt
The branches of the canopy were like springs beneath the balls of her feet, making her lighter than air as she leaped from one tree to another, towards her freedom. None of the sentries stirred. She knew how to use the dark cloak of night to her advantage. She was no more than a shadow, flickering with the rest in the dappled moonlight. She wove through the branches like a ghost, leaving the sleeping keep, her family and her future behind. When she got to the outskirts of the forest, she dropped down onto the soft earth and ran. Although she had rigged the guard changes, it wouldn’t be long before they realised she was gone. She sprinted. Her feet barely touched the damp ground as she darted between the lean trunks, her breath forming small clouds before her in the cool night, her dark hair sticking to her face. She had the build of her kind: tall, lean and corded with muscle. A body that had been pushed to the limits of endurance, moulded by a strict regime of discipline, forced to fight with blade, arrow, spear and fists. She was meant to be a leader, a warrior, a queen of the Valian people, but she couldn’t be. Not when there was another choice.
Each thought pummelled into her, spurring her on, while branches stung her face and the wind tore through her leathers. Too soon, she was at the border. All that marked the end of their territory was the mist. It rolled in slow, thick waves, stopping abruptly at her feet, as though an invisible fence kept it contained. It rose up into the sky, as far as she could see. A seemingly impenetrable wall. Beyond it was more mist.
The young woman tugged off one of her leather gloves, letting it drop to the ground. She stretched out a hand into the shifting mist. It escaped between the gaps of her long fingers, and a cool sensation crept along her skin. Magic. She could feel it pulsing before her. The air in there was different, people said, thinner, unbreathable. Slowly and steadily over the past few decades, the mist had encroached, inch by inch, thirsting for more life, more magic. Those who went beyond it fell off the face of the realm.
About the Author
Helen Scheuerer is a YA fantasy author from Sydney, Australia. Heart of Mist is the first book in her high fantasy trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles. It explores themes of identity, belonging, loyalty, addiction, loss, and responsibility.
After writing literary fiction for a number of years, novels like Throne of Glass, Elantris, 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. In its first year, Writer’s Edit reached thousands of new authors, and soon became its own small press, with Helen overseeing the production and publication of three creative writing anthologies, Kindling Volume I, Volume II and Volume III. It’s now one of the largest writers’ platforms in the world.
Helen’s love of writing and books led her to pursue a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong. While the Kindling books were being published, Helen also completed a Masters of Publishing at the University of Sydney.
Helen now works as a freelance writer and editor, while she works on the second book in The Oremere Chronicles.
Do you love the sound of this book as much as I do? Look out for my review of the book coming soon, as well as an interview with the author herself!