An “action-packed YA adventure set against the backdrop of Jeufal Japan“?! Sign me up! I’ve heard some great things about Renée Ahdieh, so when Flame in the Mist was available on Netgalley, I could not pass up the opportunity. I never got anything off Netgalley before, so I imagine my surprise when I got the email telling me I got access to the title! A huuuuuuge thank you to Pinguin for providing me with an eARC. This book releases May 16th, so make sure to preorder or pick up a copy!
“Be as swift as the wind. As silent as the forest. As fierce as the fire. As unshakable as the mountain.”
I love Japan. I’ve never been there, but it’s in the top 3 on my travel wishlist. I got so incredibly excited when I found Flame in the Mist, mainly because of its setting. I was able to imagine everything so vividly! Renée did a wonderful job at worldbuilding and it absolutely did not disappoint.
The plot is a little bit slow at first. When I put the book down the first time I didn’t continue until days later, simply because I didn’t feel the need to know what would happen next. Once I did pick it up again, though, I just could not put it down! Renée’s writing is absolutely beautiful in a way I can’t really explain. It was a bit difficult at first (English is not my first language…) but once I got used to it, I just wanted more! I kind of literally want to quote all the quotes because man, I highlighted a lot.
Flame in the Mist is told through multiple POVs, mostly through the main character Mariko’s and her brother Kenshin’s. It was a bit confusing to me sometimes. That was probably because new chapters didn’t start on new pages, but right below the ending of the previous chapter. I did really like the multiple points of view, though. It really moved the story along. Plus, I’m sure it’ll be easier to switch between POVs when chapters start on new pages, hehe!
Mariko is an amazing main character. She’s super smart and there’s not a single thing I don’t like about her. I mean, she was ambushed and nearly killed but then she turns into this badass and I just LOVE IT. And it’s super realistic too. Sometimes the badass-ness is just overdone but it was developed so nicely! Her brother Kenshin is a whole different story for me. But I can’t quite put my finger on why I don’t like him, to be honest. Maybe it’s this whole Dragon of Kai thing? Like, what is it even supposed to mean? I don’t feel like we got to see his badass samurai side… But that could just be me, ha!
The romance was a little predictable but still so wonderful. AHH! ***spoiler!(-ish? hehe…) and Mariko are my new OTP! They’re the CUTEST! Again, it was predictable but I so did not mind at all. I just want more!
Flame in the Mist is absolutely wonderful! I know that when this review goes up, the book won’t even be officially out yet, but I’m already so excited for the sequel! I still have some unanswered questions which will probably be answered in whatever comes next. Be sure to get yourself a copy, because you do not want to miss out on the beauty that’s Flame in the Mist!
About Flame in the Mist
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn, comes a sweeping, action-packed YA adventure set against the backdrop of Feudal Japan where Mulan meets Tamora Pierce.
The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.
Have you ever read anything of Renée Ahdieh before? Are you going to pick up Flame in the Mist? Let’s discuss in the comments!