I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Flame in the Mist
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Book for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Summary (from Goodreads): 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 Throne of Glass.
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 Black Clan and track 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.
I have been waiting all my life for a YA Mulan retelling, and I am so thrilled that we finally have one! This story is about a girl who disguises herself as boy to get revenge on a group of men who attempted to assassinate her. The main character is brave and intelligent, and I adored the Feudal Japanese setting. This book is just so original and I definitely encourage everyone to read it.
It is shocking to me that I have never read a Mulan retelling before. Mulan is probably my favourite Disney movie, so when I saw that one of my favourite authors had written a retelling of it, I knew it was going to be good. This book tells the story of a girl who is attacked by a group of bandits and secretly joins their group while disguised as a boy to figure out who is responsible. I loved the whole secret society idea, and of course Mariko’s attempts to ensure that she isn’t found out. This book is so action-packed and will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat!
I adored Mariko’s character! She is so strong and intelligent. Her plan to attack the Black Clan from within is so daring, and even though she is treated horribly at first, she remains determined. Mariko discovers her many talents while she is in the Black Clan and is committed to proving her worth as a female. She is the epitome of strength, courage, and independence, and I was definitely rooting for her the whole way.
The Feudal Japanese setting in Flame in the Mist is so original! I’ve read books set in Japan before, but I’ve never read anything set in Feudal Japan. The Japanese mythology and terms throughout the book are so interesting to me, and I feel like I learned a lot while reading. The descriptions of the scenery and culture are also so vivid, making the story come to life. After reading this book, I really need more books with this setting.
Flame in the Mist is the Mulan retelling that I’ve always wanted. The main character is headstrong and independent, and the setting is very unique. I can’t wait for the sequel to be released!