Hello everyone! Today I will write about Flame in the Mist, this will be my first spoiler free book review so I hope you enjoy it! I just wanted to let you know, because this is a spoiler free review it will be shorter than my usual reviews, nonetheless, I hope you like it :).
“If I am marching to my death, then I will march to it as a girl. Without fear.”
What is the book about?
The book is about a girl, Hattori Mariko, who is on her way to the royal palace so she can meet her betrothed. She is on her way when her convoy and she are being attacked by the Black Clan who was hired to kill her. What they don’t know is that she wasn’t killed and now that she knows that someone had tried to kill her, she’s determined to find the Black Clan and get her revenge. She is the only one who survived their attack and now she is on her way, dressed as a peasant boy to give them what they deserve and after that, she just wants to return to her normal life, but if you’ve been out in the world, learning the truth about the harsh world she might not want to return…
The main characters.
Hattori Mariko, Mariko is the seventeen-year-old and only daughter of a prominent Samurai, she has always known that the only purpose she has is to marry but she’d rather fight like her brother or use her skills as an alchemist. She is smart and brave, even though she feels lost. I kind of liked her and kind of didn’t, she sometimes acted really dumb and I get why but she is really ignorant to the world around her and only sees the things she has been taught to see.
Hattori Kenshin, Mariko’s brother who also happens to be one of the best samurai’s. We don’t get to see a lot of Kenshin, there are some chapters written from his point of view where we learn quite a bit about him, for example, his love and protectiveness of his sister. All of his chapters are basically him trying to find his sister and bring her back home/to the royal palace.
Ranmura, he is the leader of the Black Clan and I really like him. He gives off a wise and mysterious vibe while being very young. We learn quite a bit about him, especially in the second half of the book.
Okami, I didn’t really like him. He and Ranmura are very close but he’s very mean to Mariko. I didn’t really like what Renée had planned for him and Mariko but I liked who he turned out to be.
“I’ve never been angry to have been born a woman. There have been times I’ve been angry at how the world treats us, but I see being a woman as a challenge I must fight. Like being born under a stormy sky. Some people are lucky enough to be born on a bright summer’s day. Maybe we were born under clouds. No wind. No rain. Just a mountain of clouds we must climb each morning so that we may see the sun.”
I really liked this book. It has a slow beginning but it has its purposes. The book starts off with a little story which we later find out is about two characters who we get to know really well. I really liked that.
The writing style is amazing, it is written in in the third person which I favor about the first person in a book with multiple points of view. The way Renée describes things is sometimes a bit poetic which I didn’t think was a bad thing, it made things more interesting.
One of the things I really loved about this book was the friendship between the Black Clan members. It really put them in a different light and I sometimes felt I was right with them besides the fire telling stories.
There were also some parts I didn’t like. The romance, for example, I felt like it was unnecessary and sometimes even forced. I’d rather see it happening with a different person.
Nonetheless, this was a highly enjoyable book. I would recommend it to anyone who likes ancient China and Japan, I do want to mention that the book is described as a Mulan retelling, while it doesn’t feel like it, it has some Mulan aspects featured in it. It also features some magical aspects which are sometimes confusing but in the end, they make sense, sort of.
I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars because of the mentioned above things, it was a solid read with a good and well thought out plot.
“Be as swift as the wind. As silent as the forest. As fierce as the fire. As unshakable as the mountain. And you can do anything…”
I hope you enjoyed this review! That’s it for today!