Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781473657977
Pages: 416
Read in: August 2017
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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.


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I really enjoyed this story. It was well written and I loved the overall plot and world-building. However, there’s just something about this book that left me with mixed feelings about the story.

I think the first half of the story dragged a little bit and as a result, the last thirty pages or so were packed with a bit too much action. The beginning was quite slow, and it was halfway through the book before I really got interested. There was a point where I was thinking that this seemed a pretty typical YA plot, and seemed quite predictable, until the last thirty or so pages where everything just got out of control really quickly. At that point, it actually got a little difficult to follow, and I had to re-read a few passages, but besides that, I quite liked it. I’m just a little sad about the ending – it was such a good ending/bad cliffhanger, and I really want the next book soon. Continue reading

Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780399176654
Pages: 395
Read in: December 2016
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Goodreads Summary:

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.


I loved it. Struggled for a little bit but then once I got into it, I couldn’t stop, simply because it was so damn good. (Also, I was unable to sleep but that’s an entirely different matter).

The writing was brilliant – it took me a while to get settled in but after about 100 pages I was fully immersed. Continue reading