Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 16th 2017
Genres: Action & Adventure, Ancient Civilizations, General, Historical, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn, comes a sweeping, action-packed YA adventure set against the backdrop of Feudal Japan where Mulan meets Throne of Glass. 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 Black Clan and track 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.
I don’t know if I’m having the worst reading slump of my life or if I’m really just not enjoying reading as much anymore.
Flame in the Mist was another anticipated release I was dying to get my hands on. And yet it was also another book I didn’t love.
What was the problem? First of all, despite being completely different from The Wrath and the Dawn, it all sounded just like that book. That’s not necessary a bad thing—since I enjoyed it—but the sequel not as much. Ahdieh’s writing style is beautiful as always, but it gets a little tedious at times reading a paragraph of flowery description of the most mundane things imaginable.
As usual, I seem to have low patience for romance. However, and I’m shocked, I actually do like the love interest (a rarity these days). Just…not them together. Maybe if it would have been a slower burn instead of them being all over each other once he knew she was a person with breasts. Not convinced they love each other that much despite what the story implies.
Mariko was interesting, but it’s so annoying when the little rich girls are all, “I don’t have real friends because I’m rich and odd…did I say odd? Because I’m really odd.” It just screams I’m not like other girls without outright saying it. You mean to tell me no other girls in Mariko’s social class were “odd”?? As for her inventing shuriken and smoke bombs, I mean…sure, okay. I’m a little iffy on that—though it’s not a problem.
As for her brother, it feels like Kenshin has taken a similar role as that of the loser (forgot his name) of the love triangle in The Wrath and the Dawn. Feels very very similar. (As in, “I will save her from the person she loves–despite what she wants while being confused on why she wants to stay with the bad people” kinda thing.) I didn’t care for the other characters, especially for the love triangle drama the emperor had going on there. Look where it got him. Haha.
All in all, my major disappointment is the direction of the plot. I think it’s apparent that this one isn’t for me. I’m not interested in the next book or at least eager for it like I was with this one. I feel it will likely be predictable. Though I might stick around long enough to read spoilers.