Review of Flame in the mist by Renée Ahdieh.
This book is set in feudal Japan. Mariko betrothed to the brother of the heir of the throne. She is curious and a cunning alchemist. Unfortunately this is not fit for women. On the road to the palace her convoy is attacked by the Black Clan who are out to kill her. Mariko escapes and tries to infiltrate the Black clan to seek her revenge. Disguised as a peasant boy she becomes part of their ranks. Soon she finds out that everything is not as it seems. With her falling in love she needs to decide whose side she is on.
I loved this book! The fact that the book is set in Japan makes it really interesting. I feel like a lot of books are focussed on the Western world, so for me it always feels refreshing when books focus on other cultures. The characters in the book are amazing. I almost loved every character in the book. The way the characters interact with eachother feels real. You can feel the friendship and unit. Sometimes a book has a combination of characters in a group that just works perfectly together. They supplement eachother perfectly.
I like the journey that Mariko makes in this book. From curious girl who can not express herself because the world around her does not except it. To independent women who knows her value. Since the Black Clan acknowledge her skills and value her for it, she learns to believe in herself and her talent. I love the way the book portrays this journey.
Personally, I love the romance in this book. The romance does not take over the book. It is based on mutual respect. Besides I like how complicated the romance started because everybody thought Mariko was a boy. The whole story reminded me of Mulan but then better.
I give this book 5/5 stars
For the sequel Smoke in the sun. I liked this book as well. The only criticism I have is that the ending felt rushed and it felt like a lot of things were left unexplained. I give this book 4/5 stars.