We are so excited to be a part of the blog tour today for Flame in The Mist by Renee Ahdieh! Before we share our thoughts on this amazing new story, we want to tell you what it’s about!Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: The Wrath and the Dawn
Published by Penguin on May 16th 2017
Genres: Action & Adventure, Ancient Civilizations, General, Historical, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
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 by Renee Ahdieh is a book I was excited to get my hands on the second I read the summary. Samurai, a girl seeking vengeance dressed as a boy, danger and of course, romance…I couldn’t ask for more and I loved this book from the second I read the first page. I am going to do my best to do this one spoiler free – apologies in advance if anything comes across super vague.
Mariko has been destined for one thing in her life. As the daughter of a prominent samurai, her importance is in who she marries and this story begins for her as she is headed to the imperial city to marry Prince Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort. While on her trip, her caravan is attacked and everyone killed…or so the attackers thought.
As Mariko comes to, she realizes how much danger she is in. There are rumors that the Black Clan had been seen in the area they are traveling and Mariko has no doubt that is who has been tasked with killing her. As she narrowly escapes into the woods, Mariko decides she will do whatever she has to in order to protect her family’s reputation as well as get her revenge. I loved seeing the change in Mariko. She learns to fight and to stand up for herself as well as go after what she wants. Despite her initial anger at the beginning, Mariko also finds someone she can respect and love as well as a group of people she can trust.
There are so many great characters in this book. Mariko’s twin brother Kenshin, the emperor and Prince Raiden’s mother…I can’t wait to see what happens with them in the next book. While her brother is searching for her and wants to do the right thing, it is clear there is something more going on with him…I can’t say anything regarding this but trust me, you will see what I mean when you connect the dots.
And of course, the group who make up the Black Clan – there are so many favorites. Ranmaru and Okami of course – I loved the friendship they had and the way they protected each other. The Black Clan has a bad reputation and as Mariko learns more about not only these two but the others that make up the group, she realizes there is more to them than she originally thought.
As the story progresses, it is clear there is more going on here than Mariko ever expected. When the secrets finally come out, Mariko has to choose between her family and the place she has found amongst the Black Clan. As I mentioned earlier, I can’t wait to see what happens next for all of these characters. Ahdieh has created this world that I didn’t want to leave and I can’t wait to get back to now that I have finished this book. If you haven’t put this book on your TBR list yet, you should go do that now. Now…how long do I have to wait for the next book??
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!