Soldier of the Mist

Soldier of the Mist

First edition (UK)
Author Gene Wolfe
Cover artist Mark Harrison
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Soldier
Genre Fantasy novel
Publisher Gollancz (UK)
Tor (US)
Publication date
Oct 1986 (UK)
Nov 1986 (US)
Media type Print (Hardback and paperback)
Pages 335 pp
Award Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (1987)
ISBN 0-575-03928-0
Followed by Soldier of Arete

Soldier of the Mist is a 1986 fantasy novel by Gene Wolfe published by Gollancz in the UK and then Tor Books in the US. It has two sequels: Soldier of Arete (1989) and Soldier of Sidon (2006). Mist and Arete have been collected as Latro in the Mist.


The story is presented as the recovered diary of Latro, a Roman mercenary who fought for Xerxes at the Battle of Plataea. As a result of head injuries incurred during the battle, Latro suffers from both retrograde and anterograde amnesia; due to the former, he does not know his own name, and must accept that others call him "Latro" (meaning "soldier"); due to the latter, he has been given scrolls on which to write down recent events so that he may (in principle) "READ THIS EVERY MORNING".

He has also developed the ability to see and interact with gods, ghosts, and mythological creatures; due to his amnesia, he does not know that this is unusual.


Soldier of the Mist won the 1987 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel,[1] and was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel[2] and the World Fantasy Award.[3]

Kirkus Reviews described it as "marvelously fluent" and "evocative".[4]


  1. The Locus Index to SF Awards: Locus Awards Winners by Category, at Locus; retrieved September 21, 2014
  2. Nebula Final Ballots from the 1980s, archived at AwardWeb; retrieved September 21, 2014
  3. 1987 World Fantasy Award Winners and Nominees, at the World Fantasy Convention; retrieved September 21, 2014
  4. SOLDIER OF THE MIST by Gene Wolfe, archived at; originally published November 3, 1986; retrieved September 21, 2014
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