Sunday, 11 June 2017

Flame in the Mist - Renée Ahdieh

General Info
Rating: ★★★★★

Where I got it: got it in the may Fairloot box

Short reaction: ASDFGHJKL I need the second book!!!

Fav Quote: “I believe the stars align so souls can find one another. Whether they are meant to be souls in love or souls in life remains to be seen.”

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.

First of all, I would like to mention the absolutely STUNNING cover!! I mean, look at it!! It’s gorgeous!! In my opinion, that alone is enough reason to pick up this book. But not only the cover is truly amazing, the story is just as incredible! I enjoyed reading this book so so much! I simply cannot wait for the sequel, the end left me craving for more!

“Be as swift as the wind. As silent as the forest. As fierce as the fire. As unshakable as the mountain. And you can do anything...”

The writing is one of the most important aspects of a book, if the writing doesn’t draw you in you can’t really enjoy the story, right? But that was definitely not a problem with this book! I already knew that Renée Ahdieh is a phenomenal writer as I have read het the Wrath and the Dawn duology but she truly outdid herself with this book! The writing was just so beautiful! The way she puts words together to create touching and beautiful sentence or a meaningful and powerful one. I fell in love with the writing from the first page and that didn’t change throughout the entire book.

Another thing in this book that is extremely well done is the story itself, the plot. Some people say that the start of this book is a bit slow, I didn’t experience that at all! To me, there never was a dull moment in this book. I mean bloodsucking trees, magic, secrets, betrayal, samurai warriors, thieves and so much more! There was nothing slow about it! The pace was perfect, not too fast, not too slow but just right. So, naturally it kept me hooked! This book is described as being a loose Mulan retelling and I’d like to put an emphasis on ‘loose’ because this story is so different! The only aspect that is the same is the girl dressing as boy part, the rest of the story is all Renée Ahdieh. And she managed to create such an original and intriguing story! And OMG that ending… I did not see that one coming! Looking back now I can see the signs but she hid them so cleverly! Like I mentioned before, this book and its story, they left me craving for more!

The setting of this book was also so perfectly captured! It is set in feudal Japan and you get to learn so much about Japanese mythology. Renée Ahdieh really knows how to create an amazing atmosphere for her story. To me it felt like I was dropped in the world she created, she just wrote it in such a beautiful and realistic way!

Mariko, Ranmaru, Okami, Kenshin and all the other characters were all so interesting and realistic. I love all of them so much! Even the side characters like Yumi and the emperor are all so fantastic and well developed! Imperfect, Realistic characters are really important in a story, at least in my opinion, and Renée Ahdieh managed to write them perfectly. I mean, yes, some characters make some stupid decisions but they are realistic, you can see where they come from. It shows that they’re not perfect, but nobody is. Their imperfections are what make them such perfect characters!

“To me, you are magic.”

Ahhh the romance part of this book was so swoon worthy! Renée Ahdieh has already shown us that she can write beautiful and epic romance stories through her the Wrath and the Dawn duology. The romance in this book was a lot quieter and subtler and that’s precisely the thing that made it so perfect!

So, in case you haven’t noticed, I truly absolutely loved this book! I loved every part of it! It was pure perfection, from the writing and story to its setting and its characters. Everything was so well done! Naturally, I’d recommend this book to everyone! Just read it! You’ll love it, trust me! :)

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