Flame in the Mist: Flame in the Mist (Book 1)
by Renee Ahdieh
“The only daughter of a prominent Samurai, Mariko has always known that being a woman means she’s not in control of her fate. Never mind her cunning or her skills as an accomplished alchemist, Mariko was raised for one purpose only: to marry.
At just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose. But the journey is cut short when her convoy is ambushed by the Black Clan – a group of bandits hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.
The lone survivor of the attack, Mariko swears revenge on those who want her dead: she infiltrates the Black Clan disguised as a peasant boy and befriends their leader. The clan warms to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity – but as she gets closer to her enemies, Mariko uncovers a dark history of secrets that will force her to question everything she’s ever known.”
I saw about Flame in the Mist at the beginning of the year in a post about the most anticipated books of the year, so I had a look, thought it sounded good and preordered it. However, it then worked out that Flame in the Mist came in the May box from Fairyloot.
Mariko and her train are attacked on the road to Inako, she was on her way to meet her betrothed (the Emperor’s son), everyone is killed apart from Mariko. She decides to find out what happened before heading home to her family, otherwise she might be disgraced. Kenshin (Mariko’s twin brother) goes to find out what happened to Mariko and discovers that she is alive, but has to go home before finding her.
Wow, I was reading this as part of a book group, but I was finishing off the second section and just decided that I had to jut carry on reading, then I could not put it down when it got to the last section… I was completely and utterly hooked, the story just got better the more the book went on. I loved the twists and my emotions went on a journey.
My favourite part was probably the parts where Mariko is with the Black Clan, I loved getting to know the boys and the little things that make them tick. I adore when authors make their secondary characters that bit deeper. There were a few bits that seemed a little gory, but I did think it fitted into the story.
My favourite characters are Mariko, Okami, Ranmaru and Yoshi. I did like Kenshin to start with, but by the end I ended up not liking him. I am also not sure who to trust anymore. I enjoyed the different points of view, and I cannot normally say that.
Flame in the Mist ended on a cliffhanger, there is a second book coming, but there is currently no title or publishing date as of yet.
While reading this book, I described it as a girl infiltrating a group of ronin to find out the truth, while her brother searches for her. I would recommend this book to older teenagers and adults. 5 out of 5.
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