Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Review - Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1) by Renee Ahdieh

Title: Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Pages: 416
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release date: 16th May 2017

Blurb from Goodreads: 

Mariko has always known that being a woman means she's not in control of her own fate. But Mariko is the daughter of a prominent samurai and a cunning alchemist in her own right, and she refuses to be ignored. When she is ambushed by a group of bandits known as the Black Clan enroute to a political marriage to Minamoto Raiden - the emperor's son - Mariko realises she has two choices: she can wait to be rescued... or she can take matters into her own hands, hunt down the clan and find the person who wants her dead.

Disguising herself as a peasant boy, Mariko infiltrates the Black Clan's hideout and befriends their leader, the rebel ronin Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, Okami. Ranmaru and Okami warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. But as Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets that will force her to question everything she's ever known.


*I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review - Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley. I also won a copy through Goodreads First Reads*

Mariko is on her way to the capital to marry the Emperor's son, but her convoy is attacked by the Black Clan and Mariko barely escapes.
Determined to discover who wants her dead, Mariko disguises herself as a boy and works her way into the camp of the Black Clan. Mariko intends to befriend the leader of the clan, Ranmaru, whose best friend, Okami, possesses a strange power.
Will Mariko learn who paid the Black Clan to murder her and prevent her marriage to the Emperor's son?
Will Mariko's gender remain secret?

As someone who often has unpopular opinions when it comes to books everyone else loves, I was worried that Flame in the Mist would be one of the books that I didn't like as much as everyone else. However, I really enjoyed it (thank the Book Gods!).
I found it refreshing to read a Japanese-themed book for a change, having read quite a few sci-fi books recently.
I liked Mariko and how she rebelled by creating inventions in a society where women have little to no control over their lives. She was smart and eager for knowledge.
Mariko's love interest wasn't who I thought it would be, which was a nice change. The romance was believable and didn't seem rushed. I loved the scenes between Mariko and the love interest (I won't say who it was to keep it a surprise), and found myself smiling a lot while reading them.
The plot was interesting and had a few twists, some of which I saw coming, some I didn't.
The writing style was almost poetic at times and grabbed my attention from the beginning.

Overall this was a very enjoyable read that I would recommend.