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review 2020-02-08 22:28
Book Review: Flame in the Mist
Flame in the Mist - Renee Ahdieh

Book: Flame in the Mist

 

Author: Renee Ahdieh

 

Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Adventure/Romance

 

Summary: 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. - G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2017.

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review 2019-11-11 11:09
The Flame In The Mist
Flame in the Mist - Renee Ahdieh

I really quite liked this one. Flame in the Mist was the first book I read by this author and it was a pleasant surprise. It was set in feudal Japan, so it immediately had this mysterious feel about it. Mariko as the main character was a strong young girl who sets out on an interesting quest.

I would like to see where this story is going from here.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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text 2018-04-17 18:42
#24 - Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh
Flame in the Mist - Renee Ahdieh

I had already written a review for this book but my computer decided not to cooperate and I lost it...

So here we go again!

 

I really enjoyed this story. I think that Mariko is a great main character. She is so strong and so delicate at the same time; I liked the fact that she still has her feminine side while being a warrior. I agree this is something really typical in most YA books, but I never get tired of it. It is, I think, something important that girls need to be reminded of.

 

The setting was what appealed to me the most in this book. It takes place in feudal Japan and it is definitely something I’m not used to in YA books! It was amazing to see how Mariko could easily pass as a boy and that nobody noticed. It emphasizes the place of women in this society; they don’t realize she is a girl because a girl would not be capable of what she does. The fact that her brother don’t even recognize her (or thinks he does, but then he knows it can’t be her) is even more reveling.

 

The plot was interesting but was not what I preferred in the book. It felt a bit too long at certain moments then a bit rushed at the end. But in general, I enjoyed the story.

 

However, I have one major disappointment: the love interest. I would have preferred it not to happen like that, but then again, it is only my personal opinion.

 

Also, I thought it was a standalone while reading it and I was frustrated at the end, so I’m really glad there will be other books in the series because I definitely want more of this world.

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text 2017-06-12 06:41
Stop Misassigning The Original Stories in Retellings
Romancing the Throne - Nadine Jolie Cour... Romancing the Throne - Nadine Jolie Courtney
Flame in the Mist - Renee Ahdieh

Hello everyone! I've been away for a long time dealing with my personal life. I normally only post book reviews and musings here, which is why even though I've been blogging on my main blog for a few weeks now, nothing's been posted here, because I've only been doing memes and tags for that, and I'm still not reading anything. But here's a musing I feel pretty strongly about and I wonder if anyone else cares as much as I do?

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review 2017-05-08 18:31
Review: Flame in the Mist
Flame in the Mist - Renee Ahdieh

I wound up with two review copies of this one. I first put in a Netgalley request which I figured was a long shot, and when I didn’t hear anything back in months, I used some of my Penguin First to Read points to secure a copy when it popped up on their read to review site. And then when I’m half way through the book my Netgalley request was approved. Oh well.

 

I don’t really know what to make of the novel in the end. I gave it a generous 3 stars, but it’s more like two and a half. While I can appreciate the journey of inner strength from the main character, Mariko, I didn’t actually like her all that much. I found the first 100 pages or so incredibly boring. The novel is beautifully written, the scenery is fantastic and the descriptions are vivid and lyrical. The fantasy setting in a Japanese world is fascinating. All marks of a fantasy I should love.

 

But personally, I just could not get into the plot. I found Mariko almost aloof, I didn’t get much of a sense of personality from her at all. I couldn’t connect with her character in a way that would make me as a reader care about what happened to her.

 

That being said, as the novel progressed, the plot did get better and Mariko did show some pretty impressive growth and strength. She’s definitely intelligent and determined, you have to give her that. On the way to her politically arranged marriage her carriage party is attacked by a notorious mercenary group the Black Clan. Mariko survives the attack and doesn’t cower in fear. She’s furious and decides she wants to know the reasons behind. Disguising herself as a boy, she follows the Black Clan and worms her way in.

 

Back in her home province, Mariko’s twin brother Kenshin, is convinced she survived the assassination attempt. Other plots include devious goings on between the Emperor and his Mistress who seems to have some hint at dark dangerous magic and her own political agenda. The Empress who seems quite passive but there’s more to her than meets the eye. The Emperor’s legitimate son (Mariko’s intended) and the illegitimate son with their own squabbles. And while all this is going on Mariko in the guise of a boy is uncovering the inner secrets of the Black Clan.

 

Of course there are lots of plot twists and everyone has secrets of their own. Mariko uncovers some shocking truths about the lands she came from and how her lord father runs them, and must decide where her true loyalties lie. There’s a romance agenda as well for Mariko when the truth about her identity is revealed. There are secrets within the Black Clan itself.

 

The plot did improve as the novel goes on and starts getting more into the twisty secrets, there’s a barest hint of some sort of magic involved, but very little of it is explained. Though it’s enough to make the reader want to know more (or it certainly worked that way for me). While Mariko was a difficult character to warm to, her journey throughout the novel is impressive, even with a kind of predictable romance, I want to know what happens next.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for approving my request to view the title.

 

Thank you to Penguin First to Read.

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