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Monday, May 22, 2017

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh Blog Tour: ARC Review

Format: Paperback ARC, 392 pages 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BFYR/Penguin Random House
Pub. Date: May 16th, 2017
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository 
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.

Renée Ahdieh is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; consequently, Renée enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog.
Connect with Renée: Website | Twitter | Instagram | FB | Pinterest

Flame in the Mist was one of my most anticipated books of 2017 and it's everything I expected out of a Renée Ahdieh book — atmospheric setting, a sassy female lead, and misunderstood boys with dark pasts. The style of this book reminds me a lot of Sabaa Tahir's An Ember in the Ashes, with the elegance of Memoirs of a Geisha, combined with Inuyasha and a sprinkling of Naruto for all the ninja stuff. I know that may sound like a really strange combination, but it totally works, okay? 

The story flowed right off the page and into my soul. It made me want to read more books set in Japan and to watch all of my favorite anime over again (if that wasn't already obvious). Flame in the Mist truly transported me to Feudal Japan, and I enjoyed every second of my stay. I can't wait to find out what's up next in this fantastic duology. 

1) This book is so extremely well-researched. I knew that it would be because Renée Ahdieh has expressed how important research is to her when writing books, but it really stood out to me here. I have been obsessed with Japanese culture for as long as I can remember, and this book incorporates so many of the things I love about it. I was especially impressed with all of the Japanese words, terms, and honorifics that she put into the story in such an organic and effortless manner. All in all, Renée she elegantly captured the culture and aesthetic of Japan's feudal era.

2) I loooove Ōkami. He definitely stood out amongst all of the Black Clan, and I was incredibly interested in his past, his personality, and his intriguing powers. His character had so much depth that we could have ten books focused solely on him, and he'd still have plenty of secrets to share.

3) If you're a fan of the anime Inuyasha, like I am, then I think you will really love this book because it gave me so many similar feels! Besides the fact that they are set in the same era, the fantastical and mythical aspects have a comparable vibe, given all the ninjas, yokai, drama, and bloodiness. Honestly, Mariko seems like what you would get if you combined Sango and Kagome into the same character.

4) While frustrating at times, I still really enjoyed Mariko as a character. When she failed, she would try again and again until she persevered. No matter how many times people told her to quit or how many obstacles she had to face, she was undeterred. I really appreciated her gumption and her spirit.

5) I adore a good bromance, and the one between Ōkami and Ranmaru reminded me a lot of Khalid and Jalal from The Wrath and the Dawn duology. It's complicated but still very sweet. I loved all of their moments and their gibes. Those two beautifully depicted how family is not always defined by the blood that runs through your veins.

1) This point is hard to describe without spoiling the book, but I'll try. There is a twist in Mariko's "she's not who they think she is" reveal to the other focal characters, and the result seemed oddly . . . underwhelming? I suppose I am still hoping for more of an explanation for this in the sequel.

2) I needed more romantic and kissy moments between Mariko and her love interest. However, the way their relationship developed is pretty common from what I've seen in many other Japanese-inspired books, anime, manga, and dramas. The whole "we seemingly hate each other until at one point, we finally kiss and surprise—we've actually been in love the entire time" thing. Because I'm so used to this happening, I didn't particularly mind. BUT . . . because I know how fantastic Renée Ahdieh is with swoony scenes, I desperately wanted more in this book. So hopefully in the sequel, then? *fingers crossed*

I chatted with Renée Ahdieh about Flame in the Mist for Penguin Teen on Tour. Check it out here!

Week One:
May 8 – Two Chicks on Books – Author Q&A
May 9 – The Eater of Books! – Mood Board
May 10 – Book Hounds YA – Guest Post
May 11 – YA Book Central – Excerpt
May 12 – A Page With A View – Review + Photos

Week Two:
May 15 – The Young Folks – Guest Post
May 16 – Once Upon a Twilight – Author Q&A
May 17 – The Fandom – Guest Post
May 18 – Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style File
May 19 – Fiction Fare – Review

Week Three:
May 22 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Review
May 23 – ButterMyBooks – Review + Photos
May 24 – Mundie Moms – Author Q&A
May 25 – A Perfection Called Books – Review
May 26 – Novel Novice – Flame Pinsperation

Week Four:
May 29 – Twirling Pages – Review + Photos
May 30 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Guest Post
May 31 – Oh the Book Feels – Review
June 1 – Dark Faerie Tales – Author Q&A
June 2 – The Book’s Buzz – Japanese Lesson

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (ARV: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 8, 2017 and 12:00 AM on June 5, 2017. Open to residents of thefifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 10, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. 
FTC Disclaimer: I received my review copy of Flame in the Mist in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Great post - I love the art and gifs! This book sounds great, thanks for hosting.

    1. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by ^_^

    2. I am always looking for such kind of website as well as I love reading blogs and books as I am an educational writer. So I am very happy to find here book Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh which is sound like a one of the most interesting book. My students whom I am providing business economics assignment help and assist them to solve difficulty on Economics task including both Macro Economics and Micro financial matters at Secure Assignment Help (which is top leading academic writing services provider consultancy in Australia) would be also like your book after reading such an awesome post.

    3. Love this post. In a very effective way you describe here review of book Flame in the Mist which was written by Renée Ahdieh Blog Tour. This very well written content sound like a book is so interesting and I am very excited to read it as I love to reading book because I am by profession a coursework writer and proudly supporting students by offering coursework help service UK at Elite Assignment UK where our main goal is to solve all your academic problems and make sure that your coursework is error proof and plagiarism proof. I am very happy and enjoying reading this post! Thank You!

  2. Eee, yay for loving this book so much :D Stunning post Brittany. <3 Sigh. But ruuude. You have now made me even more curious about this book, and I do not have it, and that is the worst. Hmph. Think I will love it too :) Thank you for sharing. <3

    1. Thank you! And thankfully the book is out in the world now so you should definitely go out and get it!

  3. I love Inuyasha so I know I neeeed this book now!

    1. I have watched Inuyasha from the beginning to end multiple times, I love it so much. I hope you enjoy Flame in the Mist!

  4. Nice review. The pictures and quotes are very beautiful.

    1. Thank you so much! I hope you added or already have Flame in the Mist on your TBR!

  5. I love your post and review! I'm glad you enjoy the book :)

  6. Great review, Brittany! We were sold at Renee Ahdieh, but it's good to hear from someone we trust that we won't be disappointed.

  7. Amazing review, Brittany!! I also love the quote graphics you made! So gorgeous! :)

  8. Great review! Makes me even more excited to read the book! (:

  9. Excellent post...I love the cover for this book. I love your images in between so cute.
    Thank you for your honest opinion

  10. You blog is so beautiful! And awesome review! This book sounds so amazing. The cover alone makes me want to read it.

  11. Your graphics are so beautiful... thanks for the giveaway!

  12. This is one of my most anticipated books, so I am so glad to hear you enjoyed it so much. It sounds absolutely fantastic! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ Stories on Stage

  13. I love the quotes with the pictures. What a beautiful blog. I am really excited to read Flame in the Mist.

  14. I have seen this book so much on social media and like a stubborn thing that I am, dismmissed it, but now, I want to read it! after commenting am ordering it!

  15. I really enjoyed this one. I can't wait until the second book comes out. I need to know what happens! lol Great review!

  16. Cool giveaway! And I'm excited to read this book now!

  17. This giveaway is so amazing!!! :D I can't wait to win my own official copy! I'm also hoping to win another copy for a friend of mine, but I'll have to check if anyone else is doing a giveaway for the book.

  18. I absolutely loved this book! I think that you are right, though, there did need to be just a little bit more romance in this one. Still an epic story that has me still wanting for Ahdieh!! I am so happy that you enjoyed it, too! :)

  19. I've just finished reading this one myself and I really enjoyed it too! I agree - the research was incredible and very well done.

    Okami was AMAZING. I can't wait to see more of him in the next book.

    I agree with the sh'es not who they think she is thing... I was surprised about that and I hope it's explored more in the sequel.

    P.S. If you want an EXCELLENT Japanese mythology inspired series, check out Red Winter. I've just done my review of the first book but I'm totally singing the praises of this series to anyone who will listen. It's awesome.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed this one and great review!

  20. Cool! I am a fan of Inu Yasha too and Sango is my favorite character.Thanks for this really great review! I want to read it now more than ever. :)

  21. I'm SOOO happy you loved this one. And now that you mention it... THE ROMANCE DOES SEEM LIKE AN ANIME-PROGRESSION ROMANCE, LOL. Maybe that was why I couldn't connect to it! The tsundere vibes in lots of fantasy anime, especially like in Inuyasha, gets a bit annoying to me and I can totally see where you're coming from when you describe it. Nevertheless, I'll be looking out for the sequel!

    - Aila @ One Way Or An Author

  22. Awesome post! I am so excited to read this book!!

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