Title: Flame in the Mist
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: 16th May 2017
Pages: 416, hardback
Genre: young adult, fantasy, romance, retelling
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.
Flame in the Mist was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017, but somehow I never got around to reading it! I finally picked it up after writing my blog post on my fantasy TBR, which got me really in the mood for this genre, and I am so glad I did not wait any longer. I have been looking forward to sharing this review all week, as I have so much love for this book!
What intrigued me about this book from the beginning was it’s marketing: a retelling of Milan. Sounds perfect, right? Once I started reading, I found that it the story followed the plot of Mulan very loosely; aside from the fact that Mariko disguised herself as a boy, the story really took on a life of its own, which I loved! This book was action packed, with a little bit of romance and mystery, which, in my opinion, is absolutely perfect.
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