Expected publication: May 2nd 2017 by Putnam Juvenile
Original Title : Flame in the Mist
Edition Language : English
Series Flame in the Mist #1
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 Tamora Pierce.
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.
Let’s start my review with this : I loved the book. The characters were okay. The plot was good. But it was so slow paced. It honestly put me in a reading slump. I tried so much for me to like it, but there was so much nonsense babble for me that I couldn’t quite get on with the story. I’ve also seen several reviews on Goodreads pitching this as a Mulan retelling but I actually didn’t see it that way. It was more of a Japanese Samurai based novel about female badassery. I just hope people don’t hype it just because of that loosely based trope pitch.
On a positive note, I do love the whole badass female warrior trope and the whole feminist vibe going on and our protagonist showing these men what she’s made of. What I don’t like about her is that she wants to be honorable yet she doesn’t do honorable things. I mean, I do understand her situation but there were just some decisions she made that were so bad she might have ended up dead.
I liked the Black Clan. They look like a bad batch of thugs at first but they can be pretty lovable which I’m sure that’s what the author intends. They were like a whole group of Robinhoods ready to finish off the rich for the poor.
I love and hate Kenshin at the same time. Why couldn’t he be as reasonable and honorable and loyal at the same time?!
Yoshi is such a sweetheart! I love him to bits and pieces and I can bet our protagonist treated him like a father or older brother figure.
Ranmaru is such a smart person. I think we’re underestimating his brains when our protagonist think that he doesn’t know her secrets.
Okami! I love this little precious mysterious man. He sees through everything but still a little cinammon roll. Love him!
I am giving this book 3 royal stars just because it took so long for me to jump into the story and the characters was what just kemp me going. I am still giving the series a chance though because I love the plot and the story, just some improvement o the way it was told though.
That’s it friends! Thank you for reading my review. Have you read this book? If you already have, please comment below. Thank you!