Oak and Mist (The Ambeth Chronicles, #1) by Helen Jones


The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

(by Goodreads)

“The end of everything? Great, no pressure then.”

Pushed between two trees at her local park, Alma never expected to find another world. But Ambeth, where a palace gleams in green gardens by a wild sea, has been expecting her.

Now she has to find a lost sword or the consequences for humanity will be dire. With no idea where to look, despite help from her new friend Caleb, things get even more complicated when a handsome prince of the Dark seems to be interested in her. Add in some time-twisting, concerned parents and a battle between Light and Dark for control of a lost sword, and it’s enough to make any fifteen-year-old want to give up. But then she wouldn’t see Caleb any more. Or Deryck…

Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Series: The Ambeth Chronicles, #1
Length: 300 pages
Release date: 2015-03-23



But before she could move Ellery pushed her so hard she almost fell, stumbling into the space between the trees. There was a split second flare of light, and she was gone.

The other two girls turned to look at Ellery, who was breathing hard and furious.

‘What…What was that?’ said Dee, confused.

My Opinion

This book introduces you to 15-year-old Alma. Her life gets complicated when a girl from her school pushes her in the park.

With Oak & Mist, Helen Jones has created a wonderful fantasy story for young adult readers. It is a highly enjoyable and compelling read, drawing you in as you learn more about Alma and her new friends and allies. Helen Jones paints a clear picture of Alma’s mind while the story evolves. I was drawn very close to Alma and her story – an invisible friend and ally. The characters are complex, believable with their flaws and virtues. The story is very nicely woven and has a wonderful flow; it was easy to get hooked. I just have to read the rest of the series as well.

This is a book for you if you like young adult fantasy, urban fantasy, believable and often very likeable characters.

The very promising first book in The Ambeth Chronicles series!

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast, steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:
Violence 😳
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳


About the author

Helen Jones loves to write. That’s all there is to it. Born in the UK, she lived in Canada and Australia before returning to England several years ago. The thought of finding magic in ordinary places is one that inspires her; when she was a child she did find a strange valley and hear a scream – the incident stayed with her and was the starting point of the Ambeth Chronicles.

Helen has worked as a freelance writer for the past ten years, runs her own blog at http://www.journeytoambeth.com and has contributed guest posts to others, including the Bloomsbury Writers & Artists site. Ambeth is not the only world she plans to visit in her books, but it’s where she is now.

When she’s not writing, she likes to walk, paint and study karate (when housework and family life permit!) She’s now working on several other novels unrelated to Ambeth, enjoying the chance to explore other fantasy worlds.


Connect with the author:

Amazon:  Helen Jones
Amazon UK:  Buy link
Amazon US:  Buy link


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Oak & Mist?  Or – if you did not yet read Oak & Mist – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂




16 thoughts on “Oak and Mist (The Ambeth Chronicles, #1) by Helen Jones

  1. Oh this sounds very well written, Karen! I think this is one of the highest ratings and most wonderful review. You are a good reviewer who supplies us with just enough to decide if we shall read or not. Take care! ❤

    • Thank you very much for the praise, Robin! 🙂
      It is indeed a very well written YA fantasy; Helen Jones is a wonderful writer.

    • Following your advice – I created the menu item ‘Book Reviews – Legend’. I also refer to my legend on a regular basis.
      It is an enjoyable story. Thank you very much for your kind feedback, Sue.

  2. I’ve read it and reviewed it myself recently, Karen. Not normally my kind of thing, but I was curious to see what Helen had created. The best aspect for me was Ambeth itself. Helen’s descriptions of it were so clear it came to life for me. Like you, I’m curious to see what happens next – and somewhere on my TBR pile is No Quarter

    • The description is amazing, Graeme; telling the reader how it looks – without pressing it into the readers’ minds. I am pretty sure that each of us has a different perception of Ambeth. It is awesome to have inspiring descriptions like these. Did you also have the impression to know some of the characters (family, friends, neighbours, etc.) from real life? 😉

      • Well those characters, in the main, did feel very realistic – not overblown caricatures, for example. So the sense of people and place was excellent. For me, the only potential issue with the book was the pace, but I do prefer a story that rattles along, and I did understand that the scene really needs to be set for the remaining books, so it didn’t really detract. Glad you enjoyed it as well.

      • Characters and flow are important criteria for the joy of reading. Rather short books might be harder to read than longer ones if you do not really like some characters or you simply stay too far away from the story.
        Getting to know the characters and places influences the pace, true; I agree that it didn’t hurt too much in this case.
        I like the ‘two worlds’ concept – thanks to ‘The House Between the Worlds’ by Marion Zimmer Bradley…

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