Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series Number: 1
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Genres: YA Fantasy
Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ in exchange for a honest review.
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.
so i know this book was promoted as a mulan retelling, but as i haven’t seen the movie i can’t really comment on that. i’ve heard many say that it’s not anything like mulan and were disappointed by the fact.
the book itself was very well written and interesting. i loved the setting and the use of culture. i think this is the first book i’ve read thats set in feudal japan (well, japan in general tbh). it was so unique and different, and i got to learn a lot about japanese mythology and history.
i found it hard to keep track of the characters – mostly because there were so many different names for one person. i think if i’d slowed down my reading pace, i would’ve been able to keep up with it all. aside from the name difficulties, the characters were really fun and well written. i loved mariko. she was so relatable.
there were points where i got a little bored and even considered dnfing. i found it hard to motivate myself during these periods.
flame in the mist is the first book i’ve read by renee ahdieh, and although i struggled with some things, it definitely won’t be the last.