Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: Flame in the Mist

Title: Flame in the Mist 
Series: Flame in the Mist #1
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 16, 2017 
Source: Bought

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.

Find Flame in the Mist online!
Ohh, this one was so good.  So, so good.  And that was even after hearing about all the hype surrounding it.  I had my expectations pretty high going in and this story didn't let me down!  While it wasn't perfect, I was kept entertained throughout and had a great time with this story and learning a little about the culture of feudal Japan.  

I really loved the concept of the story in this one.  It's been called a Mulan retelling, and while that can be argued for some aspects of the novel, it wasn't totally similar.  Mariko, the main character, spend the majority of the novel dressed as a boy in order to infiltrate the Black Clan, who attacks her and her convoy.  This was what I had the most fun reading.  It was so interesting to watch Mariko fall into their ranks.  There was always a sense of danger and tension because of the threat posed to her in the Black Clan ever found out she was a girl rather than a boy.  Despite these challenges, Mariko begins to thrive within the Black Clan and I really enjoyed seeing this strength in her. 

The other characters were interesting, though a little hard to keep track of.  Each other seemed to have a few names and nicknames than were used interchangeably , which made it difficult to figure out who was who.  While I thought it added a bit of realism to the story, it did take me out of it at times because I would have to stop reading to figure out who exactly was in the scene.  Another thing that left me feeling a bit dazed when reading was the changing POVs.  This story is told through the perspective of many different characters and, while it adds some roundness to the story, I found myself growing bored with some of the perspectives and just wanting to skip back to Mariko's story.  

Despite these slight problems, I still really enjoyed this novel.  It's full of strong characters and an immersive world with lots of carefully researched details.  The characters, while sometimes hard to keep track of, were well thought out and interesting.  I'm curious to learn more about this world, especially the magic that we briefly see in this book but that isn't really explained.  I can't wait to continue this series!

“I believe the stars align so souls can find one another. Whether they are meant to be souls in love or souls in life remains to be seen.” 
  Four Teapots

****I'm hosting a giveaway right now in which you can win your choice of one of the books listed!  Don't miss your chance to win!  Find the giveaway here!****


  1. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY! I'm so glad you enjoyed this book, Ashtyn! Ahdieh really did a spectacular job with this one. I like that she didn't explain too much in terms of the magic, because that makes book two's potential so much better. Hopefully everything is explained in the sequel. In the meantime, we wait on pins and needles for the book!

    Great review, Ashtyn! Have a fabulous weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  2. I'm glad to see you enjoyed this!! I've been seeing a lot of mixed reviews and it had me worried


Imagination Designs
Images from StarCityDesigns