Will Flame in the Mist be the best fantasy novel of 2017?

For me, Flame in the Mist is the epitome of YA fantasy. It has all the elements that I look for in a book, and it executes on each of those elements so exquisitely. Getting to read an ARC copy of this book was truly an honor.


Wine Pairing

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh


The richness of this Cherry Blossom Pinot Noir pairs perfectly with Ahdieh’s vivid writing and the lush world she’s created in Flame in the Mist. The lavish, juicy flavor is also the perfect match for the gorgeous romance scenes that Ahdieh has masterfully threaded throughout the story.

 *All wine recommendations are strictly for those of legal drinking age only.*


The Details

  • Title: Flame in the Mist
  • Author: Renée Ahdieh
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
  • Pages: 368
  • Pub Date: May 16, 2017

Goodreads Description


23308087.jpgThe daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

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My Review

five-stars

Thank you Penguin Teen for granting me an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

The first thing I have to say is just WOW! This is one of those book reviews that is difficult to write, because finding the words to adequately describe a book that is this well-written, beautifully-developed, and perfectly executed is a near impossible task.

I loved everything about this story from the world-building, to the characters, to the magic, to the incredibly swoony romance. This book is everything I hoped it would be and so much more.

The various settings in Flame in the Mist are told with such vivid detail, I felt like I was there inside the story. The details of the forest particularly captured my attention. It is haunting, captivating, and a lovely all at the same time. There is also a bit of magic to the forest that made me fall in love with it, in spite of (or maybe because of) its darkness and secrets.

There are so many incredible characters in this book, and Ahdieh expertly handled the switching of POVs, and Mariko was an ideal protagonist for me. She is a strong female character, and by “strong” I mean that she is strong in spirit, mind, and heart. She is intelligent. Getting to watch her think through situations and finding effective solutions to those situations was fascinating. She has a wonderful character arc, and I adored her for her love and loyalty to both her friends and family in spite of the fact that they weren’t all on the same side of the major conflict that runs throughout this book. Mariko is passionate, caring, smart, and everything that I look for in a main character.

There is an incredible cast of characters surrounding Mariko, who I also fell in love with. They all have hidden depths and motivations and getting to see more and more of each their characters unfolding as the story progressed was just so much fun.

I love books that include secret societies in their stories, and the Black Clan is a secret society that is captivating on so many levels. I can’t say anything more about them without including spoilers, but I am certainly excited for this book to be out in the world so I can discuss them ad nauseum with my fellow voracious readers.

From reading the description of this book, I expected to enjoy the plot, the characters, and the world. I did not see expect for there to be such an incredible and intense romance though, and that unexpected element of this story in combination with everything else that I loved about it, is what propelled Flame in the Mist from being a great book to being the best book I’ve read so far this year.

There are some books coming out this year that sound like they are just going to knock our socks off, but it will be amazing difficult for any of them to top Flame in the Mist for being the best YA fantasy novel this year.

This book is a masterpiece in storytelling. I cannot think of a single way in which it could be improved, or that would have made me enjoy it more. This is pure perfection on a page, and I will be enjoying every second of anticipating the next book’s release.


Cover Rating

five-stars

This is also the best YA book cover I have seen this year, and that is saying something. YA books have their cover game on point, and this cover is certainly going to push cover artists to continue stepping up their game. Everything about this cover is perfect. The color scheme is gorgeous. The cherry blossoms that transform into throwing stars are symbolic and important to the story. And this cover also just has this underlying magical vibe to it that so perfectly mimics the tone of the novel itself.


Swoon Rating

five-stars

Oh my sweet, beautiful, and unexpected romance! I will not say who Mariko’s love interest is, because spoilers, but I will say that their chemistry is off the charts! I haven’t felt so swept away by a romance in a book since ACOMAF last year. This book has all of that heat, but without all the graphic details. For the record, I’m not bagging on those graphic details. I love ACOMAF, but sometimes I do prefer for those details to be left off the page, and for the author to focus more on the emotion going into the scene than on the physical action itself.


Have you gotten to read this gorgeous, GORGEOUS novel yet? Will you be reading it when it comes out next month? Are you a fan of  Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn series?

41 Comments Add yours

  1. Great review! This one is in my radar, can’t wait to read it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

      Like

  2. Justine says:

    I’m so excited for this! I haven’t read her other books yet, but The Wrath and the Dawn is second in my TBR queue 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I LOVE The Wrath and the Dawn, but I actually liked this one even more. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. TeacherofYA says:

    I still have to read it before it’s gone! So I’ll be doing a marathon read if I must!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, did you get an eARC then? You definitely need to marathon it! It’s so worth it!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. TeacherofYA says:

        Yup…need to get it read quickly now!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yay! READ IT! LOL. I want to chat with you about it. 🙂

        Like

  4. I can’t wait to read this! Wonderful review! I’ve been excited to read it but I just preordered it after reading your review 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you! It is a gorgeous book! Ooh, if you preordered make sure to submit your confirmation to penguin teen. You can win a trip to Book Con with Renée Ahdieh!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely can’t wait for this book!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, it’s incredible! I can’t wait to start seeing everybody’s reviews on it, so we can all fangirl together!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. great review and yes, that cover is just gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, that cover is just stunning! I can’t wait to get a hardcover copy!

      Like

      1. I’m thinking about getting this one too (:

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You DEFINITELY should! 🙂

        Like

  7. I’m so excited for this book and you’re review only makes me more excited! It sounds excellent! And I agree about the cover. It’s phenomenal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, I’m so glad to hear that! I absolutely adored it. Obviously. 🙂 And YYAASSS! That cover is just beyond gorgeous!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Amber says:

    So glad to hear you loved it!! I’ve been extremely excited about this book for some time now, as Mulan is my favorite Disney princess! She’s so fierce, creative, and authentic. Thanks for the review, I’m looking forward to the release date even more now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Amber! I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did, but it definitely sounds like this is a book that you will enjoy. 🙂

      Like

  9. ravenblake99 says:

    Great Review! It’s one of my top anticipated books of this year! I’m so glad you loved it! Reading your thoughts has made me even more excited. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, good! Now I just hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

      Like

  10. Angela JC says:

    I’m so glad you loved this book! It sounds awesome so any good reviews make me happy! Loved reading your review 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! This one is definitely a book that lived up to all of its hype. I love to see that other people are giving it such rave reviews also!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I swoon every time I see that cover.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here! It is just too beautiful. <3<3<3

      Liked by 1 person

  12. *flails about* ROMANCE COMPARED TO ACOMAF????? I DON’T THINK I CAN HANDLE THIS. INSANITY I DARE SAY. *deep breaths* I must get this. It has to happen. Wonderful, wonderful review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! That’s the level of feels I got from it anyway. I totally dug the romance in this book. I can’t wait to hear what you think when you read it. 🙂

      Like

  13. We heard about this book for a long time bow and seen plenty of reviews saying its FABULOUS!! Cannot wait to read this – your review just made us officially want to read this!! Too many books are coming out in May don’t even know where to start 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, good! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Seriously. I don’t know if I’m going to sleep at all in May with all of these releases!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Forget not sleeping in May!! How about the whole year with the aftershock of awesome books (and perhaps some not so cool books) affecting our sleep!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s true. Who needs sleep when you have books anyway?

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Michelle says:

    I hadn’t really heard much of this one, which is a shame because it sounds amazing??? I need this book!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! You definitely need this book! I know some other people with ARC copies floating around out there, so I’m sure you’ll start hearing more about it soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I have been struggling with a lot of YA lately, but this one is defintely going on the TBR! Your review solidifies all of the seemingly deserved hyped 🙂 Very nice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I hope you like it as much as I did then! Now I’m nervous. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No haha don’t be. I understand just how individualized and personal a reading experience is. I promise not to hold you accountable 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha. Okay, deal! 😅

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Yesssss! I just got approved for an ARC, and I am SUPER excited! This book sounds right up my alley and your review confirmed that I have every right to be hyped. I can’t wait to start reading this soon! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yay! I’m so excited for you, Jackie. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Can’t wait to read your review.

      Liked by 1 person

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