Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Choosing what books to buy is never easy when you have a never ending list. This is one of the reasons I love the idea of a book subscription service. Regardless of all the other book paraphernalia I love the idea of a book arriving they I may not previously have had on my radar.  Now as with all things reading related book likes and dislikes are so subjective that I am aware I will not always like what other choose.

I subscribed to Fairyloot back in February before my first single purchases box had even arrived. I have now received four boxes and have read 3 out of 4 of the books sent. For me they have ranged from as low as a 3 star and as high as 5 star reads which I think is a good range. The most recent arrival in May was Flame in the Mist. Due to the constant hints the book would be a retelling of Mulan I guessed what it was before it arrived. I don't mind this as it does help stop me buying a book I think could be in the Fairyloot. 

The book intrigued me but I am not sure I would have brought it had it not appeared in the Fairy Loot having reading nothing else by the author and not seeing it from the blurb as particularly fantasy driven.  Well I sure am glad it came in the Fairyloot. I loved it. I think the comparisons to a retelling of Mulan are a bit loose as it has more depth and is less about her wanting to fight and more about her wanting to find herself.  I can understand why they have be made. Equally it has elements of fantasy that took me greatly by surprise. 

Mariko is being delivered by her family into the hands of the emperor as a bride for his son. She is fully aware that her alliance means more power for her father. She is a useful possession of his father because she was born a girl. She and her consort are ambushed on their journey to her would be suitor and Mariko the lone survivor decides to infiltrate the clan responsible in order to disestablish them from within and have her revenge. Disguising herself as boy she endears herself to the Black Clan. No one is as they seem in the book and the fantasy elements become stronger as the story continues. 

I loved the effortlessly way in which Ahdieh writes, it flowed off the page and I was completely enamoured. The characters were all well developed and Mariko was a likeable main character and had a sense of self I appreciated. I could not put the book down and I am thrilled that is not a stand alone book.

The story effortless weaves itself off the page. A must read

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