Monday, September 18, 2017

Flame in the Mist

Flame in the Mist
by Renée Ahdieh
Penguin Random House LLC 2017, 392 pgs. Young Adult Fiction

Set in feudal Japan, Mariko is the daughter of a prominent samurai. In order to gain prominence in court Mariko’s father arranges her marriage with the oldest son of the emperor. On Mariko’s journey to present herself at the palace her caravan is attacked and everyone but herself is killed, allegedly by the members of the Black Clan. Mariko then sets off by herself to see if she can discover who commissioned the Black Clan to kill her, and somehow maneuver her way into their good graces and then when the moment strikes sabotage them.

This was a fun story. I liked the perspective on the Japanese culture and the emphasis they place on honor in their society. I like that Mariko is not a perfect heroine. Over the course of this journey she makes some big mistakes which fits along really well with a character who was essentially culturally bred to be nothing more than an asset to her family. It was fun watching Mariko draw on the strengths she did have and use them to overcome the obstacles place before her.


1 comment:

AJ said...

Set in ancient Japan, this is the story of Mariko, the high-class daughter of a prominent samurai, who desperately wants to reject the planned life her parents have for her. So when her caravan is attacked on her way to marry the emperor’s son in an arranged marriage, she decides to find out who attacked her and why rather than running home. Learning that the Black Clan was behind the attacks, Mariko disguises herself as a boy and infiltrates their clan to learn what their motives were. She hopes this will help her parents she her usefulness in a different light.

I’m not sure this was a total hit for me. I enjoyed the historical setting and most of the plotline, but Mariko isn’t always easy to like. She’s spoiled and pigheaded at times which made it hard for me to connect to the story. I also felt the magical elements needed to be developed more. However, if you like Japanese culture and can overlook some of the flaws, I think readers could enjoy this book.