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Flame in the Mist Audiobook

Flame in the Mist

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Publisher's Summary

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Wrath and the Dawn comes a sweeping, action-packed YA adventure set against the backdrop of Feudal Japan, where Mulan meets Tamora Pierce.

The 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 17 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, whom 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, that will force her to question everything she's ever known.

©2017 Renée Ahdieh (P)2017 Listening Library

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (142 )
5 star
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4.3 (133 )
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4.5 (135 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lilian Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 06-04-17
    Lilian Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 06-04-17

    I'm a librarian, knitter, crochetter... I love audiobooks because I can knit and "read" at the same time.

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    "Really great!!!!"

    It's my first time reading anything by Renée Ahdieh. And what a book!
    I must say that I do love retelings, but until I knew about this book I never had seen Mulan, so I went to see it and I loved, of course!
    This book delivered and I'm really excited to know what happens next.
    In the beginning it was kinda difficult to read the names of people and things, so I bought the audiobook and began to read and listen at the same time. Much better! (Eventually I dumped the book, because I was practicing brush lettering 😂).
    Anyway, I totally recommend this book. One of the best reads of this year! I'm on a good streak, thank God! 😃

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirstyn 09-12-17
    Kirstyn 09-12-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Left Feeling A Bit Lost..."

    I want to preface this review by first saying...I think the audiobook narrator did a fantastic job. I really do.

    That said...this story left me feeling so lost and confused. Maybe, it's a story that is best read from a book, rather than audiobook. I wanted to love this story...but in the end I honestly felt like I was listening to it simply for the sake of completing what I started.

    The beginning of the story had me completely captivated. As I flew through the first half, I found myself loving not only the carefully selected prose, but the mystery surrounding each character and plot point. But as the story unfolded...everything felt so...gray. For example...the poetic dialogue that each. and every. character uses throughout the novel becomes so over exhausted that I found myself daydreaming half the time. The characters blend together into an arc-less character unit. All except for the main character whose has that "I'm defiant, deal with it" attitude that I just can't bring myself to love. The action scenes had such a slow pace...a combination of what felt like run on sentences, and massive chunks of inner dialogue/narration. Then suddenly a character would die, and I'd have been so lost in the prose that I felt no emotion at all for the loss. Also...the characters have very little, if any, backstory. Which I believe the author is saving for book 2. In any case, I found them all to be un-relatable.

    I believe my issue with the story overall is this...although the prose is beautifully poetic...I got so lost in it...it began to feel unlike a story at all. No disrespect to the author intended. It just wasn't for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    amber herman 08-17-17
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    "Great!"

    I really liked this book! The narrator did a graet job, I do however wish that there were multiple narrators but that is just personal preference.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie Cole 07-31-17 Member Since 2017

    Say something about yourself!

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    "An Amazing Story with Asian Influences"

    I really enjoyed this book! I wasn't happy with the way that almost every chapter kept reminding that the Black Clan was evil, but other than that the story was really good. I need more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-15-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Very Good"
    Any additional comments?

    This was a good book with an excellent premise.It could have been better, but overall well worth your time. The romance between Mariko and Ookami is really well done. The scene in her tent was one of the best love scenes I've read. Short but good. I like the dynamic between them a lot. The history between Ranmaru and Tsuneoki is great too.
    The main issue with the book is that Mariko goes on a quest to find out who tried to kill her, and by the end of the book, has made no progress towards that goal. Once everything is out in the open at the end of the book, the Black Clan has no reason not to just tell her that they didn't attack her, yet she asks them point blank, and they refuse to answer. This felt like a cheap way to stretch out the "mystery." Yumi even makes this snotty comment about "if you have to ask, then you don't deserve to know Ranmaru/Tsuneoki." Mariko has completely valid concerns, that could be dispelled by a simple "no," and yet everyone is playing these dumb games. It's frustrating.
    Another major issue for me was the lack of development of the Black Clan. They are supposed to be Robin Hood types that steal from the rich and give to the poor, and yet we never get to actually see them do it. Mariko lives with them for, I think months?, and she sees a grand total of 1 mission, which they botch so badly, that they actually make the starvation in that region worse instead of better. The book glosses over that completely and never discusses it. Furthermore, the moral compass of the Black Clan is inconsistent. They come down hard on Kenshin for hurting his enemies more than necessary to get information, and yet they torture a boy that sneaks into their camp by allowing him to be slowly eaten by a tree. They even give a speech about how this is OK, because he is their enemy. I would like to know what they actually believe and see it in action, and this needed to be in book 1, not somewhere down the road. It might not even be in book 2, since Mariko and Ookami have been taken to the palace. I just wanted more in regards to the Black Clan.
    Overall I am looking forward to the next installment. I got really attached to Mariko and Ookami, and that went a long way to overlooking some of the plot issues.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mimi 06-23-17
    mimi 06-23-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Looking forward"

    i fell deep into this plot. It gave a spike of culture which really fed my curiosity.
    The book did lose me a couple times but the ending was exciting and the coming drama is making me impatient for the next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tatiana 06-18-17
    tatiana 06-18-17
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    "It has potential!"

    I got about 4 hours in and I want to love it but the writer keeps reminding the reader of how bad the black clan is how much she hates it again and again so that in one chapter it's repeated 5 times. Yes we got it the first time!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cristal H. my own world. 06-03-17
    Cristal H. my own world. 06-03-17 Member Since 2014

    Mostly romance reader.

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    "I was enthralled."
    What made the experience of listening to Flame in the Mist the most enjoyable?

    It is a wonderful and fresh rendition of a beloved classic, made more remarkable by the author’s stunning prose and imaginative story telling.


    What about Nancy Wu’s performance did you like?

    The performance was a part of the story. At no point was I aware of Nancy Wu, just the prose, and the plot, and setting.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Strike when they least expect it.


    Any additional comments?

    “Mariko was the daughter of a samurai. The sister of the Dragon of Kai. But more than that, she still held power over her decisions. For at least this one last day. She would face her enemy. And die with honor.”

    Flame begins with Mariko, a girl in feudal Japan, on a journey to meet her betrothed, the emperor’s bastard son. Her father arranged her marriage to gain some political power, and maddeningly, Mariko can do nothing but go along with this play. On the way, her norimono is attacked (by bandits, magical monsters, who knows?) and everyone dies except her. Mariko suspects the Black Clan, and sets out on a dangerous journey to find the truth. Also, this is Mariko’s opportunity to do something on her own, and escape from the oppressive and inflexible life she’s made to lead simply because she’s a girl.

    “Family can entitle you to many things. It can also feel entitled to much from you in return.”

    If you’re a girl-power enthusiast, and if you like being fully entrenched in a world of the past, then Flame in the Mist is definitely for you. Renée Ahdieh’s skill at world-building is uniquely beautiful, and even more enchanting since she brings to life worlds and cultures that don’t get showcased enough in this genre. With "The Wrath and the Dawn," readers fall in love with the rich, vibrant and romantic Persian and Middle Eastern culture. And, with "Flame in the Mist," Ahdieh elicits all the senses with her writing, and creates an enchanting world filled with intrigue, danger, romance, and magic.

    “Control is an illusion.”

    As mentioned, and as should be known if you’ve read this author before, the prose is superb. The plot is engaging, though it might take some a while to become entrenched. Ahdieh doesn’t skimp when representing this culture (mostly through Mariko’s eyes), and she richly incorporates language, food, dress, and technology to build her world of characters.

    It took me about 20% to settle into this novel. I had to get used to the rhythm and language before I could feel like I was a part of Mariko’s world–a feeling that was shaky and unsure at first, and sometimes uncomfortable because of what I didn’t understand. Once I was settled, I was engaged and curious.

    “Without risk, life is far too predictable.”

    Flame in the Mist is told from multiple perspectives. Mariko gets the bulk of the narrative, and the intrigue is built around her, her twin brother, Kenshin, plus a few more (brief) points of view, which I won’t expand on since that’ll ruin the fun. Each perspective is compelling and elevates this novel from a simple Mulan fanfic featuring a girl in a man’s world training to be a warrior (though those scenes in the Black Clan’s lair are fun) to one featuring political intrigue, murder, betrayal, class struggles, and other thought-provoking themes.

    “Strike when they least expect it.”

    This novel impressed me, especially considering I was hesitant to pick it up since "The Rose and the Dagger disappointed me." I might even like this one more than "The Wrath and the Dawn." Because, while "Wrath" is a love story of the epic kind; "Flame" is more. It’s layered, it’s relevant, it’s intense. I love the mood, it’s sinister thread and the dark turn it takes at the end. I can’t wait for the next book!

    “I believe the stars align so souls can find one another. Whether they are meant to be souls in love or souls in life remains to be seen.”

    Of course, my favorite aspect of Flame is the love story that unfolds, because I will always be here for the romance, but it’s not a large portion of the story, since Mariko holds her secret for the majority of the book. This might disappoint readers who fell for the sweeping romance of "Wrath," but I don’t mind it, and I’m embracing all the secondary characters and the mysteries they hold.

    I dreamed about this book, and if I dream about a book, then it’s left its mark. There’s something about Mariko that draws me, and definitely something about Black Clan leaders Ōkami and Ranmaru. Their secrets, in particular, are fascinating and I am dying to know more about them and their pasts.

    “To me, you are magic.”

    I think this series is billed as a duet, and that makes me nervous, especially after my reaction to The Rose and the Dagger. I need all the characters to get their dues, their stories to develop as they deserve, and I’m not sure that can happen in one book, unless it’s much longer than this one. Regardless, I’m going to judge Flame on its own merits and appreciate it for the gem it is, but keep my fingers crossed that this tale will keep getting better.

    This book is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaleigh 05-27-17
    Kaleigh 05-27-17 Member Since 2015
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    "An Absolute Joy to Read"

    I loved this book!! I've read the author's other books and liked them, but this was by far the favorite! The romance, characters, magic, and culture created an amazing listen! I can't wait for the next book!'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alyson ames 05-21-17
    alyson ames 05-21-17 Member Since 2017
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    "amazing"

    I can see why it was on the best sellers list in this year .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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