Title: Flame in the Mist
Series: Flame in the Mist
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 16th May 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical, Japan, Retellings, Gender Bender
The only daughter of a prominent Samurai, Mariko has always known that being a woman means she’s not in control of her fate. Never mind her cunning or her skills as an accomplished alchemist, Mariko was raised for one purpose only: to marry.
At just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose. But the journey is cut short when her convoy is ambushed by the Black Clan – a group of bandits hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.
The lone survivor of the attack, Mariko swears revenge on those who want her dead: she infiltrates the Black Clan disguised as a peasant boy and befriends their leader. The clan warms to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity – but as she gets closer to her enemies, Mariko uncovers a dark history of secrets that will force her to question everything she’s ever known.
** spoiler alert **
I adored this book! Japanese mythology, samurais, feudal Japan, is totally down my alley. With a Mulan twist, which I absolutely loved, how could I resist? I loved the fact it’s only slightly like Mulan, not as predictable but loved the similarities. But don’t get me wrong, Flame in the Mist definitely had tonnes of originality.
Warning… spoilers ahead…
First off, I was so confused about the love interest. I so thought it was going to be Ranmaru and then it turned out.. to be Okami? But by the time I accepted that fact, I have fallen in love with his character. I found him to be so real and genuine. He had his own morals and beliefs which shaped him and was not a character that was righteous and hopeful. He was a bit different. I really enjoyed the bickering between Mariko and Okami, I was grinning with their smart exchanged and craved for more!
I loved the other characters in The Black Clan. Yoshi the cook was a character I immediately loved. I would love to learn more about the other characters too and their backstories. I started off liking Kenshin, but his character development happened very quickly and changed so much through this book. It was very interesting to see the path Kenshin has taken, and deep down I’m still hoping that he’ll be a good guy. A girl can be hopeful.
The magic mentioned was intriguing and vague. I hope book two will dive deeper into this and give an explanation. I thought it very interesting and look forward to seeing how it affects the story.
The ending seemed very rushed. If Ahdieh could have took the time to go through it at a slower pace, it would of been so much more enjoyable! Since it seemed so rushed to me, I’m finding it a bit hard to remember some of the finer details. But it has such a good cliff hanger! At the same time that I realised what was going on, I also thought, “I knew it!” without really knowing that’s what I thought in the back of my mind. I’m the type of person who is so engrossed into the story, I don’t always find them predictable >.<
Overall, Flame in the Mist has definitely made me fall in love with it. The writing style was lovely, I enjoyed reading the way Ahdieh wrote this and the use of language in the book. I cannot wait for the next book to come out! It will also be another highly anticipated release! Looking forward to finding out what happens to our protagonists after that cliff hanger! It definitely will be taking the plot to a whole new level! I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did!
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