No major spoilers.
A Flame in the Mist is the first book I have read by author Renee Ahdieh. I went into it with high expectations (having heard rave reviews for it and for her duology – The Wrath and the Dawn.) I also had seen that the book was book was a retelling of Mulan (one of my favourite Disney films) and of 47 Ronin (I have no idea what that is about).
And sure, on the surface it was a pretty cool story.
There is a ‘bad ass’ girl, who joins a band of thieves in order to determine who means harm to her and to her family.
Only nothing is as it seems.
Sadly, I found the execution of this seemingly awesome story to be a little lacking.
Constantly we’re told how awesome Mariko is – but don’t see her actually being awesome. Then there is her love interest – who I wasn’t overly thrilled with either. I didn’t feel any sexual tension whatever between the characters until Mariko starts describing his muscles. In fact, I spent most of the book wondering who the hell her love interest was going to be.
Then there is this weird magical element. It was kinda obscure and has almost no context. I mean – a clue would have been nice. At this stage I’m not really sure that the magic is even valid in the context of this story.
The book also ends on a cliffhanger. I’m still confused about it. And I am definitely not a fan of having so little answers – especially in the first book. I got NO closure whatsoever after reading this. It felt incomplete.
That said, I didn’t completely hate the book. I love the time and place Renee has set it in. Some of the characters also seem really interesting and I can’t wait to see where this story leads them.
I’m rating this one 3/5 stars.