‘Flame in the Mist’ by Renee Ahdieh was an immersive read. I got caught up in this world within a couple of pages and after that I couldn’t put it down.
Mariko is a bride to be who survives a threat on her life on her journey to her new home. She survives by pure will and soon sets out to find the men who slaughtered those bound to protect her. Infiltrating their clan dressed as a man wasn’t her plan but she makes the best of it all the while gaining information on how to exact retribution.
This book reminded me of Mulan at every turn. In Mariko’s world, women are things, but she doesn’t let this dictate her life any longer. She stands up for herself and despite her lack of survival knowledge, she takes everything in her stride, as well as her fear. If Mariko was real, I would really like to be her friend. There are not many characters I would say that about either.
I can see how the men in her life would view her as strange and I’m glad she makes friends that embrace this about her. Her intellect is a weapon and she uses it just as well as any samurai would his katana. She is a katana of the mind and it doesn’t go to waste as it would have had her journey not been interrupted and her life altered.
The magic element of this book surprised me for some reason. I think it’s because none of the characters made a big deal about it. I understand the need for the magic within the story but I think I would’ve liked to have known more about it. More depth behind each power. The fact only some of the Ronin had powers would’ve been a nice side story. This also reminded me heavily of the film 47 Ronin.
I liked that, for me at least, two very different films blended together with this book. It was perhaps not the authors intention to do this and I hope its not viewed as an insult but I could imagine all the characters from Mulan, 47 Ronin and Flame in the Mist knowing each other and I would LOVE to see them all at the teahouse in Hanami. Having seen both Mulan and 47 Ronin prior to reading this book really helped me understand some of the rituals/formalities of the samurai. As well as the terminology.
The only thing I didn’t like was the BIG ASS CLIFFHANGER. I like my stories wrapped up in a bow and theres not even a ribbon on this one! I’m greatly anticipating the sequel to this. I need to know what happens.
I received this in FairyLoot’s May ‘Warriors and Legends’ box.
What did you think of this gem?
You can get it here