Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

 

Title: Flame in the Mist

Series: Flame in the Mist

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Pages: 392

Publication Date: 16th May 2017

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical, Japan, Retellings, Gender Bender

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

** 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!

If you would like to chat to me more about my thoughts, you can find me on:

  • Instagram @wanderlust_pages
  • Twitter @wanderlustpages

Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Title: Gemina

Series: The Illuminae Files (Book 2)

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Published: October 2016

Pages: 659

Genres: Young Adult/Sci-fi

Goodreads: 5 stars

Holy Guacamole! What a rollercoaster ride Gemina was! This book was amazing and beyond my wildest dreams! I felt like I got tricked so many times! The format continues to capture me and is so good to look at! What an intense book, I couldn’t put it down and it was unpredictable.

First off, Hanna Donnelly. Gosh, what an amazing heroine of the story! She’s smart, beautiful, is awesome at fighting and a fashionista! I could totally imagine all this in my mind as a movie! Hanna was so clever and strong throughout this book. I loved seeing what she would do next and it amazes me how capable she was of pulling this off! I was both amazed and in doubt at the same time!

Nik Malikov. This guy. If you loved Ezra in Illuminae, you’re going to love Nik even more! I loved the way Nik was written and misunderstood. His background is very interesting and I loved reading the interactions between him and Hanna. Such an unlikely couple until halfway through the book, you start to ship them so hard!

Ella Molikova was such an interesting character. For a 15 year old, she is brilliant and funny. I loved reading what she was doing to support our protagonists. And I won’t so much more.

And can we just talk about Marie Lu’s illustrations for a minute? I loved the addition to journal illustrations in the book, they were beautiful to look at and gave us a deeper insight to Hanna’s mind. I loved the ones that told a story and scribbled notes etc. Such a great addition to the book! I hope Lu continues to do illustrations for Illuminae 3!

Throughout this whole book, the story unfolded quickly and was intense the whole time. I really enjoyed the fast pace and I loved the how it wasn’t predictable. I feel that format was so distracting and good to look at that I didn’t even have time to think ahead! The concepts in the book was brilliant and as I don’t read much sic-fi it was delightful to come across the solutions to the continuous conflicts that arise. Gosh, it never ended! I loved when the characters of the first book intercepted with Nik and Hanna, and it was so good to finally find out what was happening on Heimdall. Seriously loved every moment in this book! Now for the long wait for Illuminae 3 and what happens right after. I highly recommend this book, even if your not a sic-fi person, it’s definitely something to read if you want to try something new. I know a lot of people have converted!

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Title: Nevernight

Series: Nevernight

Publisher:  Thomas Dunne Books

Published: August 2016

Pages: 429

Genres: Young Adult/Fantasy

Goodreads: 5 Stars

Synopsis:

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

Wow, this book. This was so refreshing! Especially for a young adult/fantasy book. It brings me back to the days that I used to only read fantasy. I miss the journey books of the protagonist learning the art of what they are to become. Mia’s story was intriguing, many protagonists may start like Mia, but the magic system is what really sucked me in. Mister Kindly was such a mysterious and loyal character and he seemed like a great ally to have. But there comes a part in the book that you question all that he is. I loved this! It made us so suspicious of the shadows surrounding Mia.

The opening paragraphs of this book was so interesting. It was so confusing and I found myself rereading these paragraphs to compare the different situations written so similarly. I had to find out what was going on! And I was drawn in by Jay’s writing style. References at the bottom of the book answered some of the questions I had, gave us insight to Nevernight’s world without one character explaining it to another or heavy information all at the beginning of the book and some were quite funny. Eventually the complicated writing style evened out and it became an easier read. The flashbacks at the beginning of each chapter gave us insights to Mia’s past. I really liked this as it kept us curious the more I read and knowing how it linked to the present.
Continue reading “Nevernight by Jay Kristoff”

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Title: The Assassin’s Blade

Series: Throne of Glass (Novella/Prequel 0.1-0.5)

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Published: March 2014

Pages: 437

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Goodreads: 4 Stars

Synopsis:

The twist of a knife, the birth of a legend…

Celaena Sardothien owes her reputation to Arobynn Hamel. He gave her a home at the Assassins’ Guild and taught her the skills she needed to survive.

Arobynn’s enemies stretch far and wide – from Adarlan’s rooftops and its filthy dens, to remote islands and hostile deserts. Celaena is duty-bound to hunt them down. But behind her assignments lies a dark truth that will seal her fate – and cut her heart in two forever…

These novellas, compiled into one book, forming the prequel to The Throne of Glass series is a must read! I have read everywhere that it should be read before Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the series as it adds a lot of depth and understanding of what happens before Celaena Sardothien is pulled out of Endovier.

At first I thought the book was quite slow, to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered reading it all that much. But then I read somewhere that it is recommended to be before the release of Queen of Shadows, and that someone from the prequel shall be revealed, I thought; gosh I better get started! So I started the book slow, but once I got into it, I wanted to know more! I wanted to know more about Sam, the boy she loved before everything happened, and what he would be like. Definitely you will get to see him throughout the book. As I read on, The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, I could see the beginning of Celaena and Sam’s relationship, how it they were always at each other, and then slowly seeing that change as they worked together through the first novella. By then you can see hints of what Sam feels for Celaena, but she is oblivious to it.

Continue reading “The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas”