Book 27 took some time to get through because I started to get a little indecisive on what book to read next and a little burned on reading books fast. So I just read a little at a time and then jumped right in. I am glad I did. Renee Ahdieh did an amazing job with this book Flame in the Mist. Ahdieh is really great at bringing different cultures and different times periods to life. And the love story actual pretty good, considering it was a young adult book.
So this book is about young Mariko, a young Japanese woman from a prominent family in feudal Japan. Mariko is being married off to the second son of the emperor to help your family’s standing in the empire. She is not that happy about this arrangement and is even less happy when her convoy is attacked and she is the only survivor. So what do you do when your convoy is attacked and it looks like a band of mercenaries known as the Black Clan (seriously, it’s not a racial joke, it the actual name of the group) is responsible? You, as an untrained warrior and a woman, dress like a boy and try to infiltrate this clan.
The book may be based in Japan but it reminds me of a historical Korean drama so much. I am not kidding when I say that I was reading this book and the author would describe something, I pictured the Korean counter part instead. I blame it on the fact that I have frequently watched historical Korean dramas. They are so full of political intrigue and romance. My favorite so far is a Korean drama called Scarlet Heart Ryeo, check it out. If you have watched this Korean drama, this book is just as good. Now just because I said this doesn’t mean that the book doesn’t read like it is based in Japan. I have watched enough anime and Japanese dramas to know how similar but how different the cultures of Japan and Korean are. I just happen to relate more with the Korean culture and it’s history because I lived there for 18 months after college. The book is based on Japanese culture and you can see and feel that as you read. But because my mind relates more with Koran culture and I know a good amount about both, my mind created the equivalent in Korean culture. I am just weird like that.
Enough about me. Mariko is an interesting heroine. She isn’t annoying at all, like most heroines in animes, the kind that has the high-pitched voice and has a “woe is me” complex. Mariko is really brave to try to live like a boy, knowing that if she were found out, she would be killed. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact was finally free. I think that is mostly the reason as to why she decided to hunt down the Black Clan instead of going home to her family. She probably saved herself doing that, since an enemy really attacked her and it’s not the obvious choice (that is your hint). It is really sweet to see the duality of her and her brother, Kenshin. Kenshin, her twin, is so devoted to his family and the way of the warrior. Mariko is devoted to knowledge and freedom. There is no question on whether she loves her family or not but there is definitely a question on whether her family loves her.
So I know this post is a little all over the place, happens a lot in my blogs, but all in all this is a great book and definitely something to read if you like reading about different cultures. Anyways, I see you soon with my next book. Hopefully it won’t take me as long to finish.
Let's enjoy the many worlds there are to enjoy, in just our own heads.