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Review: Flame in the Mist

Book: Flame in the Mist

Author: Renée Ahdieh

Year Published: 2017

  • Plot: 3/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Overall: 3.5/5

Flame in the Mist was a complex novel based on feudal Japan and a very loose retelling of Mulan. I liked it and the only reason I didn’t love it was because it just wasn’t memorable enough for me. The plot was slow-paced and the characters, although they were interesting, were just too forgettable.

Mariko, an intelligent young woman, was ambushed on her way to meet her betrothed and very nearly assassinated by a group called the Black Clan. She was the sole survivor of the attack. Afterwards, she decided to disguise herself as a boy and find out for herself who wanted her dead and why and she decided to do that by infiltrating the Black Clan.

I liked Mariko- she was smart, fierce and strong. She wanted to be more than marriage material, she wanted to use her skills and talents for a purpose and didn’t like the fact that they were overlooked simply because she was a woman. She was cunning, fearless and brave… until Okami came onto the scene and she fell head over heals for him. I did kind of ship Mariko and Okami but they were just so sudden and predictable and it felt like the type of romance I’ve read millions of times already and I wished their relationship was developed more.

I loved the descriptions of Japanese culture, customs, food and clothing because it was fascinating to read about and made the experience much more enjoyable. Also, I liked how the magical element of the book was very subtle, like an undercurrent but not a central plot device, because I think many books often rely on magic too much to drive the plot forward.

I will read the next book in the duology because although this book wasn’t perfect I do want to know what will happen next. Hopefully I will enjoy it more than Flame in the Mist.