Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh - 5 Stars (audiobook)
Oh, wait... I know: my TBR is the size of a mountain! 🤣
"In order to hate, one must first love."
I read The Wrath and the Dawn two months ago and fell in love, as soon as I was finished with that amazing duology I decided I needed to read Flame in the Mist. I think I still prefer The Wrath and the Dawn, but I did love this book as well. Renee Ahdieh is most certainly a must buy writer for me now. I cannot wait for the next book to come out.
For the blurb go here
The book as a whole was really well written. The world Renee created was fascinating and there were just enough descriptions and details to leave you wanting more. The characters, both main and secondary were really well thought out. I couldn't help but fall in love with every single one of them.
Mariko was a fun main character. She is very smart, albeit slightly naive at times due to her privileged background.
Her desire for freedom from the expectations put on her by her family and society are the main motivators behind everything she does. Meeting the Black Clan changes her, shows her that there is more to the world than what she grew up knowing. Her character grows as the story progresses and it is fun to take part of that journey with her. She is also very relatable, she may be clever but she is not unafraid and she knows she can't do everything. She isn't a fearless heroine, she is just a girl.
I loved Okami! He is guarded but not enough that we don't fall for him instantly. His past is marked by tragedy and he carries that pain deep inside, ignoring it rather than dealing with it.
He knows all the while that there is something off about the clan's new recruit but he can't figure out what it is. He is always watching 'him', waiting for 'him' to make a mistake. And the more he watches, the more protective he feels towards 'him'. The moment he figured out what was off about the new recruit was fun to read. It wasn't sweet or full of anger, it was just a 'well, so that happened' moment that left me a little baffled for a few minutes (in a good way).
The other members of the Black Clan were all lovable characters too. The clan leader Ronamru is actually my favorite! He is not the main character, but I can't help but love him. He is clever and intuitive and always watching.
The romance was done beautifully. It built slowly into something intense and real.
This has to be one of my favorite things in Renee Ahdieh's writing- her romances feel real. After so much lie and deceit most writers would write chapters and chapters full of angst between the main characters. Renee didn't do that in The Wrath and the Dawn and she didn't do that here either. I appreciate that more than I can put into words.
Although this is a 5/5 for me I confess it is not perfect.
First, there are big massive plot holes. Hopefully they will get explain on the next book, but the story would have to backtrack quite a bit to explain them, so I don't know... we will see. In this, I am reserving judgment.
Second, be prepared for a feeling of deja vu! You might end up feeling like you read The Wrath and Dawn in a different world setting. The writing style is the same, the pace is the same, the magic is just as low key (and beautiful), the romance builds up similarly... It is not the same story but it is not completely different either... I don't mind, those are all things I have now come to love in Renee Ahdieh's books, but it is something worthy of being noted.
"You are first and foremost a person. A reckless, foolish person, but a person nonetheless. If I ever say you are not permitted to do something, rest assured that the last reason I would ever say so would be because you are a girl.”
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