Title: Flame in the Mist
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Date Started: July 17
Date Finished: July 18
Format: Hardcover from local library
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.
Hm…hm…hm…my status update from page 206 of this book still stands even now that I’m finished with it. Flame in the Mist was…odd. At times this book could be completely boring where I just wanted to fast forward to parts unknown. But other times…it confused me. Mariko is not like Sharazi. She’s weak where Sharazi was strong. But they are both emotional and Mariko is sly of wit. Okami is not like Khalid and his origins really confuse me the most. Actually if I’m being honest the last thirty pages of this novel completely threw me.
I think there was just problems trying to distinguish this book from The Wrath and the Dawn. In reality it shouldn’t have been, because they are two separate stories that take place in two different times and places. But trying to acquaint yourself with the era and the culture was difficult. That being said, the mystery of those last thirty pages has intrigued me enough to read the next book. Although if I remember anything that happened in this one it will be a miracle.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. It wasn’t horrible. But it wasn’t The Wrath and the Dawn. Mariko sometimes got really whiny. Her relationship with Okami was confusing on too many levels. And the mystery that lies within these pages is just too murky for me to try and even detangle. But, maybe, it will all become clearer in the next book?
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