by Renée Ahdieh
Narrator: Nancy Wu
Published by Listening Library on May 16, 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy
Length: 10 hours and 19 minutes
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Reading Challenges: 2017 Audiobook Challenge, 2017 New Release Challenge
The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.
So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.
The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.
Flame in the Mist is my first book from Renee Ahdieh and it won’t be my last.
What did I like?
- The story is written beautifully and I was taken in from the first chapter. The author paints a beautiful image of ancient Japan and I felt transported to that time.
- I loved Moriko’s independence even though it was not a welcome trait for women in this time period. Her inquisitive mind helped her to be aware of her surroundings and survive the time in the forest.
- I loved the relationship between Moriko and her brother. It was clear how much they loved and respected each other.
- I liked the twists of the story and the deceitful characters. It was surprising and left me questioning who can be trusted.
What didn’t I like?
- The characters names are similar so it was difficult to keep track of each person. I listened to the audiobook so it was difficult for me to rewind and highlight a passage. For the next book I plan to read it so I can keep notes.
- The ending was a bit confusing (which mainly was because of the similar character names) but it was shocking.
Overall, I enjoyed this story and now I see why author Renee Ahdieh is popular. I liked her writing style and her imagination. I can’t wait to find out what happens in the next book.
3 Star Audiobook Review
The narrator Nancy Wu has an elegant voice that is pleasant to listen to. I thought her performance was good and she created distinct voices for the characters. But I didn’t think she brought any excitement to the story. Since I was having a hard time keeping track of the characters names I didn’t enjoy this as an audiobook as much as I hoped. I’ll be reading the next book in the series to make it easier for me to follow along.