Saturday, September 30, 2017

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1)
by Renee Ahdieh

Hardcover393 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0399171630

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.


People seem to either be meh about this book or they love it. Because of that, I was hesitant to go into this book. It started off a bit slow, BUT HOLY GUACAMOLE, DID THAT CHANGE QUICKLY!!! This book quickly turned into a novel that I could not stop reading!!! There was action, romance, political schemes, social issues, and even some magic. All of that combined with the Japanese culuture made for one addictive book! Flame in the Mist was a lush and exquisite novel that will stay with me FOREVER. I AM SERIOUSLY OBSESSED. 

The main character, Mariko, was such an awesome character. SHE WAS SUCH A STRONG, SMART, STUBBORN, CUNNING, FIERCE, HONORABLE, AND INDEPENDENT WOMAN. I AM SO PROUD OF THE GROWTH SHE HAD IN THIS BOOK. Mariko discovered that she was worth so much more than just a prize to be sold off to men. She proved that even though she is a woman, she is worth just as much as any man. I WAS LIVING FOR THE GIRL POWER IN THIS BOOK. Mariko wasn't necessary the strongest physically, but she had so many attributes that proved women should not be overlooked. 

"The only power any man has over you is the power you give him." 

There were so many other characters in this book that also stole my heart. Mariko's bonds with the members of the Black Clan warmed my heart. THERE WERE SO MANY GREAT FRIENDSHIPS AND I LOVED IT. My favorite character from the Black Clan was Okami. EXCUSE ME WHILE I SWOON FOREVER BECAUSE OF OKAMI. Okami was a dark and mysterious character when we first met him so I obviously became fascinated by him. I wanted to learn more about him and discover what was underneath that cold exterior. LET ME TELL YOU, WHAT WAS UNDER THAT EXTERIOR WAS SO MUCH DEPTH AND PURE SUNSHINE PERFECTION. I LOVE OKAMI. HE WAS A DETERMINED, STRONG, LOYAL, AND ADORABLE MAN. HE WAS ALSO A FEMINIST AND IT WAS WONDERFUL. I WOULD MARRY HIM IN AN INSTANT. 

OH MY GOODNESS, THE ROMANCE IN THIS BOOK SLAYED ME. The enemies to lovers trope worked SO well in this book. The slow-burning relationship between Okami and Mariko was delicious and full of steamy banter. I was seriously screaming at my book for them to get together. I pretty much fainted anytime they looked at each other. I COULDN'T HELP IT!!! I SHIP THEM SO MUCH!!

“To me, you are magic.” 

One of my favorite elements of this book was the training. The training scenes between Okami and Mariko were PERFECTION. I COULD RE-READ THOSE TRAINING SCENES UNTIL THE DAY I DIE. MARIKO TURNED INTO SUCH A BADASS AND I WAS SO PROUD.

“If I am marching to my death, then I will march to it as a girl. Without fear.” 

Obviously, I loved this book. I could write a novel about how much I loved this book. I would recommend this book to ANYONE AND EVERYONE. READ IT!!!!

*continues to re-read this book and cry until book two comes out*

5 / 5 Fangs

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