April 6, 2018 by ceresbooksworld
Flame in the mist by Renée Ahdieh
Book one in Flame in the mist
Publisher: G.P Putnam’s Sons
Publication date: May 16th, 2017
Source: Hardcover bought on Book Depository
Rating: 5 hearts
Synopsis (from goodreads)
The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.
So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.
The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.
First of all I want to say that this book is different from Renée’s first duology, there is less romance and the topic is different. On the other hand, Renée Ahdieh is a talented author.
Mariko would like to be free to decide what she wants to do, who her husband will be and finally be appreciated for her intelligence. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and only her brother is aware that Mariko is more than a woman. When her convoy is attacked, Mariko decides to take revenge, poses as a boy, infiltrates the group and tries to find out why they want to kill her. She didn’t expect to discover any kind of attentive people and eventually fall in love.
Mariko is a character that I appreciate, she’s intelligent, cunning, strong, she doesn’t balk at the task and knows how to defend herself. I like the way her mind works, she infiltrates the clan so that her family will not be dishonored if she goes home. One thing about her that bores me a little is her lack of open-mindedness, she’s persuaded of one thing and won’t change her mind except when it is too late.
Kenshin is Mariko’s brother, he’s going to do everything he can to find his sister and he’s a great tracker. I like this character and I hope that we will see him a little more in the next book because I would like to see how he’ll react. I’m pretty excited about whether he will surprise me or not.
Ranmaru is the leader of the Black clan, he’s charismatic and has with secrets, he welcomes Mariko but asks her to prove herself. I like his mysterious side and I also look forward to discovering what he’s going to do to save the people he loves in the next book.
Okami is Ranmaru’s right arm, he’s disturbing and irritating but he has a dark side that I adore. He hides a big secret and even if their first encounter was quite unconvincing, I love seeing him interact with Mariko.
As you guessed, there will be a story between Mariko and Okami, I would have preferred it to be a little more developed but I have no doubt that Renee will do it in the next book. They are both cute, they keep fighting and at the same time for Okami, Mariko is only a young boy in whom he doesn’t trust.
I loved the story, which happens in a feudal Japan, there are certain myths and legends and it’s nice to be transported into another universe with an exciting story.
Renée Ahdieh was able to conquer my heart and soul with this story full of twists and turns.
Quick word: An exciting story taking place in a country full of myths.
About the author
Renée lives in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with her husband Victor and their dog Mushu. Her YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, will be published on May 12th, 2015. In her spare time, she likes to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of her characters.
She’s also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as an active member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.