Wednesday, September 27

Review: Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1)

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1)
Renee Ahdieh

Published By: Hodder and Stroughton
Publication Date: May 18, 2017
Date Read: August 4, 2017
Genre: YA - Fantasy
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 400

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.

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

Flame in the Mist is a book that has been on my radar for so long. From seeing that absolutely stunning cover to reading the amazing blurb I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. I'm usually a wait-till-the-paperback kinda reader but when I saw the stunning hardback when I was at YALC this year I couldn't resist but get it. I absolutely adored every single second of this book.

Flame in the Mist tells the story of Mariko, the daughter of a wealthy samurai, who is on her way to meet her betrothed, the son of the Emperor. On the way her convoy is attacked with the men trying to kill her. Mariko survives, disguses herself as a boy and plans to infiltrate the Black Clan, the group who tried to kill her. But as she infiltrates them, Mariko finds things about the Black Clan that she never would have guessed. She also finds that it's the only place that she is appeciated.

I absolutely fell head-over-heels in love with this book. Right from the start I was captured by the amazing world building, characters and writing style and I just couldn't read this book fast enough. Flame in the Mist is the first book that I have read by Renee Ahdieh. I own her other books but have yet to read them. I am now totally and utterly regretting that choice. I absolutely adored her writing and storytelling in this amazing novel that I cannot wait to start reading her other books as well.

I absolutely loved everything about this book. Mariko is such an amazing character to follow through this book. I loved her. This book is full of amazing feminism but not in an obvious way. I love that Mariko fights the inequality of how women are seen by posing as a male and it really comes out about how unfair it is how women are treated in this samurai-led world. I really loved this as sometimes when I'm reading books that show feminism I feel like it's sometimes overpowering the story... however that is absolutely not the case in this book. It is just an added layer to the already phenomenal world. Mariko is such an amazing strong-willed, kick-ass and totally intelligent character and I absolutely loved her. Okami is one of our other main characters and I am totally in love with him. To start, he is a uptight, total asshole but the more I read of this book, the more I realised how amazing he truly is and I adored the relationship between him and Mariko.

Flame in the Mist was utterly amazing. I was totally taken away on this adventure filled with action, magic and Japanese mythology. I loved every single second of it and I am dying to get my hands on book 2 already. Especially after that shocking ending. If you love fantasy books set in different cultures with lots of magic, intrigue and a dash of romance this book is definitely for you. A must read.

"To me, you are magic. My heart knows your heart. A heart doesn't care about good or bad, right or wrong. A heart is always true."

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