Thursday, May 11, 2017

ARC Review: Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)

About The Book:

  Title: Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)
  Author: Renee Ahdieh 
  Pub. Date: May 16th, 2017
  Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers 
  Pages: 368
  Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy 
  Rate:  4.5/5 stars 

Synopsis :
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.


"Be as swift as the wind. As silent as the forest. As fierce as the fire. 
As unshakable as the mountain." 

At first glance, this might seem like a Mulan retelling. But this book is so much more. A combination of folklore and fantasy, Flame in the Mist will revolutionize the way you think about fantasy. Mariko's cunningness and survival skills save her from being murdered in the Jukai forest when her convoy delivering her to her new husband is slaughtered in cold blood. It just so happens that this forest is frequented by a dangerous gang, known as the Black Clan. Mariko infiltrates this infamous gang to find out exactly why someone wanted her killed. 

"She was without a doubt strange. Maddening.
A force to reckon and be reckoned with." 

Told in a voice that only Ms. Ahdieh has, we read as Mariko learns more and more about the mysterious Black Clan and the secrets they hide inside of the Jukai forest (including deadly trees and beasts made of shadow). We finally get a relatable heroine who wants her freedom and independence, while at the same time making mistakes and fumbling through life. Because after all, she doesn't have all of the answers. Trying to earn the trust of Ranmaru and Okami, Mariko finds herself drawn to them in more ways than one. Alternating perspectives only adds to the mystery of the situations in the book, forcing you to turn the pages. PLUS, the only thing steamier than the bits of romance we get in this novel is the constant action being thrown our way. When worlds finally collide, Mariko has to find out who she is truly loyal to. Her family, her betrothed, or the unexplainable black clan who might have tried to kill her? 

Flame in the Mist spins a tale of feminism, romance, and fantasy. It's uniqueness is sure to set the tone for future fantasy novels to come and will become an instant favorite to all fantasy lovers alike. As I'm sure you've heard of this book before, let me just assure you that you will not be disappointed come May 16th. Because you've already preordered it, right? 

Thank you to Penguin Young Readers for providing this book
in exchange for my honest review

- Jocelyn


  1. So glad you liked this one. I loved it! I loved how relatable Mariko was, and I loved her interactions with Okami and Ranmaru. Can't wait for the next book xD Great review!

    Christina @ Books & Prejudice

  2. I JUST FINISHED THIS AND OH MY GOD I LOVED IT! It was so beautifully written and gave me all THE FEELS! I need the next book NOW, not even joking and I cannot wait to see what Ahdieh doe with this world!

    xx Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages