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.
About the Book
Flame in the Mist by Renee Adhieh
Series Frame in the Mist #1
Format Hardcover, 416 pages
Publisher Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (May 16th 2017)
Read June 1 -June 3, 2017
Source Fairyloot May 2017: Warriors & Legends
Flame in the Mist is the first in a duology by historical fantasy specialist Renee Ahdeih, who once again uses a folktale as her inspiration for a story set in a different culture.
Mariko believes she’s on a particular quest for the truth — and to defend her family — but she ends up discovering there’s so much more to the story than she initially thought. Mariko is strong-willed, curious, opinionated, and liberated far beyond what’s expected of an upper-class girl engaged to royalty. But she’s also sheltered and unaware of just how oppressive the emperor’s reign is for the poor villagers who do everything for their lords. It’s a pleasure to see her slowly question what she’s held true — particularly about the Black Clan and their intentions.
Then the ending left us with such a huge cliffhanger! There were so many reveals at the end yet author still managed to dangle us on a precipice of wanting to know more! I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO EVERYONE! And then the last scene sets up a whole new challenge that is going to await the characters in the second book. My patience will definitely be tested as I wait for the sequel. (Or maybe I can ask the Black Clan to help a girl out by getting the next book early.)