Title: Flame in the Mist
By: Renee Ahdieh
Published: May 16th 2017
By: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.
I want to thank NetGalley and Penguin Young Readers Group for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review
Wow this has been a great book, guys, it really is full of stuff going on all the time, not easy to process !.
Right now I’m in shock for the end and I need the next one, which is sad because it doesn’t even have a release date yet LOL.
The thing is that it has been an AMAZING journey, I loved it
I must confess something about the reading, at first it was easy to enter and commit myself to it, I ended up adoring the characters and the plot was great, but I must warn to whom english isn’t their mother language, like me, that not is an easy book to read, actually isn’t a book problem at all, but in several parts I had to struggle to understand whats was going on, have terms that I didn’t know and all the Japanese terms, which are also in english, were impossible to decipher, so I had to read the whole book with the translator very close to me, and I want to say this because it’s the reason why I haven’t given it a 5 stars, you know?. The book is amazing but it was very difficult at times to understand for me although I must confess I’ve learned many new words, which is great and I feel very proud for having accepted the challenge.
Now, let’s talk about this incredible story, I’ve been seeing that many say the book is a Mullan retelling , which I wouldn’t know since I’ve never seen or read Mullan, although I know what it is, I don’t know the story in depth, so about that, I’ll not be able to comment.
Mariko is our main character, she’s a Samurai’s daughter who wants her to marry with the son of the emperor, which Mariko expresses having been raised for, but on the way there, her caravan is attacked by a group known as “The Black Clan” where everyone is killed, but she succeeds in escaping and It’s there when she starts to think about idea of being freed and creating her own destiny, especially begins to think that she has to find out who wants her dead and why. The thing is that ends up joining “The Black Clan” and from there many things begin to happen and Mariko begins a journey of discovery and realization
Then many things begin to occur within the plot ,we have a lot of action, we have several high impact scenes and something bloody too, it has a great content of Japanese mythology, since that is where the story unfolds, in a feudal Japan. We know about their customs and I personally learned a lot of things that I had no idea, and that was super interesting, because being honest I didn’t think I would like this whole thing so much because I had never even thought about it, but I liked it a lot and now I want more .
Throughout the story you can understand how this is a world dominated by men, where women are only objects or tools that they can use to their liking and knowingMariko and her hunger for freedom and her thoughts that things can be different and her struggle to be independent, all that made me love her and respect her as a main character, also has a great growth and learning during the book is so great to read, I adore it, I feel she represents a strong, intelligent and brave woman which we all hope to see in the books we read. She’s also a girl who for nothing is defenseless in fact she knows how to defend herself, this is thanks to her twin brother Kenshin who is a very famous samurai named The Dragon of Kai who has taught her everything she knows.
I enjoyed reading about Mariko and Kenshin’s relationship is adorable and made me feel so many emotions, really these two have made me feel a roller coaster of feelings.
All the other characters are perfectly made too, I love how everyone is so different and real in their own way, everyone has left me something, they are fun, they are fighters and bad guys too, there is also a lot of variety and this gives the story many different personalities where to choose from
This is one of those books that only gets better and better, it starts with a lot of action so you are waiting for the story to calm down a bit, but it continues with that feeling that anything can happen at any time, love that, all the revelations and the plot twists were so incredible
I want to talk for a moment about the romance of the plot, I liked it, but I really don’t think it’s the strong point of the book and if it wouldn’t have been there at all, things wouldn’t have change, I didn’t adore it and I didn’t found it original or anything, so it would be one of my “problems” I found here, although it isn’t a big thing, because it hasn’t prevented me from enjoying everything else although I just wanted to say it because didn’t seem immemorial for me
In summary I really enjoyed this book, it’s amazing, it’s very well written, it has memorable characters that you have to read!, the plot is super original, so I would definitely recommend it for everyone and if you enjoy Japanese things or you want to know more about it then you will love it.
I’m so glad I could read it before its release date, I’m honored and I’ll surely be a re-reading later in preparation for the next book