Marketing Mishap Shadows A Cunning Story | Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Friday, December 14, 2018

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: 5/16/17
Pages: 392
Source: purchased
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.
Mariko is heading toward the Imperial Palace to wed her betrothed who she’s never met. On the way, her party is ambushed and leave her for dead. It becomes clear that they were sent to kill her and she vows to find out why. Mariko tracks down the Black Clan, the group that terrorizes the area in search of answers. Disguised as a man, she infiltrates their ranks and works to uncover their secrets. Renee Ahdieh brings her all in Flame in the Mist, such a gorgeously written story that will leave you wanting more.

  • The writing is absolutely superb! I cannot mention it enough. That's one of the main reasons why I fell head over heels for her last books, The Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger. Her writing flows easily and gorgeously. Not only does the writing help the book feel fast-paced but it immerses you right into the story. 
  • With non-stop action, immersion in a story is exhilarating. Was there an actual time that I could catch my breath? No, Flame in the Mist is such a high stakes adventure. At every turn—with Mariko disguised as a man—I thought she was going to be found out. It made me stay up reading late into the night. I needed to know what was going to happen. 

  • The way the book has been marketed is unfortunate. I've seen a lot of bloggers remark on this so going in, I was prepared what wouldn't be there. As in, the book is marketed as a Mulan retelling. And what we got is not really a Mulan retelling. Sure, we get an adventure about a woman disguised as a man but I don't think that fully makes it to Mulan retelling status. Besides the disguise, Flame in the Mist and Mulan have very little in common.  
  • I love a lot of things about Mariko. She's extremely brave and courageous. And the development she undergoes from being ambushed in the beginning to becoming such a fighter is definitely amazing to note. Yet, I couldn't really get behind her reasoning to infiltrate the Black Clan, her initial attackers. And without any outside help, no less. Her reasons were a bit unclear and when the Clan gave her openings to leave, she never took them. It just seemed borderline ridiculous and most of her decisions of staying earned several face-palms. Though, I must admit, she's certainly committed to her cause.

Flame in the Mist is initially plagued by a marketing mishap. However, I urge you to still give the book a try as Ahdieh’s beautiful writing style and cunning story makes the book superb.

Flame in the Mist (5/16/17): 4 stars
Smoke in the Sun (6/5/18): TBD

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