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.
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Expected publication: May 16th, 2017
I would like to thank NetGalley and Hachette Australia for providing me with an eARC of this book.
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh was absolutely incredible. Where do I even begin?
I adored The Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger, so naturally I was excited to read this book! Basically this is a mash-up of Mulan and 47 Ronin set in feudal Japan. Renee Ahdieh’s descriptions of the world in this book were incredible. From her descriptions of food, scenery and appearances, I felt as if I was living and experiencing this beautiful world myself.
I loved the main character, Mariko from the very beginning. I felt as if I went on this journey of self-discovery with her and it was beautiful to see her grow and reach her full potential. Just like Shazi in The Wrath and the Dawn, Mariko was strong, smart, brave and, quite frankly, badass.
The romance, WOW. Okami, the love interest, is just PERFECT. It’s one of the best hate-to-love romances that i’ve read in a while! I loved their banter, the words of wisdom that they shared with one another and, most importantly, the fact that he didn’t treat Mariko any differently when he found out the truth about her. Okami was such an interesting character and I loved reading about his past. I can’t wait to read more about him in the next book!
The only advice I would give before diving into this book, is to read the Glossary at the back of the book first. A lot of the vocabulary used, for me at least, was sometimes hard to understand and pronounce. As I read this in ebook form, I could highlight a word and get the definition, but if you purchase a physical copy, I highly suggest familiarising yourself with the Glossary, even just briefly.
Overall, without giving away too much information on the plot and characters, I would highly recommend this book to everyone! It’s got incredible characters, a swoon-worthy romance, a beautifully described world and an awesome plot filled with action and a touch of magic! This book is such a page-turner and it had me on the edge of my seat for every single chapter. I cannot WAIT for the sequel and to read about these characters again that i’m already missing.
Go pre-order your copy of Flame in the Mist ASAP!