Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist, #2)by Published 05 Jun 2018
|Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist, #2).pdf|
|Publisher||G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers|
The highly anticipated sequel to Flame in the Mist--an addictive, sumptuous finale that will leave readers breathless from the bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn
After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, Mariko has no choice--to rescue him, she must return to Inako and face the dangers that have been waiting for her in the Heian Castle. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor's ranks and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead.
With the wedding plans already underway, Mariko pretends to be consumed with her upcoming nuptials, all the while using her royal standing to peel back the layers of lies and deception surrounding the imperial court. But each secret she unfurls gives way to the next, ensnaring Mariko and Okami in a political scheme that threatens their honor, their love and the very safety of the empire.
"Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist, #2)" Reviews
It was a night for magic. A night swirling with mystery, an unknowable energy pulsing in its depths.
Okay, I'm going to be honest about something: I remember enjoying the arc I read of Flame in the Mist last year but, before reading this book, I couldn't remember anything that happened. In fact, I wasn't sure I was going to continue with the duology. When I was lucky enough to get an arc of this sequel, I figured I'd just give it a shot.
And it all came flooding back to me in a stream of drama, action and royal manipulations! It makes me sad to think I might not have continued with this series and missed out on a lot of enjoyment.
I find myself remembering why I enjoy Ahdieh's writing so much. Her descriptions of the setting (a fantasy inspired by feudal Japan) are detailed and stunning. She really captures the place where the story is set. She's one of those authors who makes every scene feel a little bit magical, even when nothing supernatural is happening.
Smoke in the Sun is a less romantic book than Flame in the Mist, which is just fine by me. The relationship was left in a good place in the first book and I'm glad Ahdieh moved on to more important things instead of prolonging the angst. Here, Mariko finds herself in Heian Castle, playing the part of dutiful bride-to-be to the Emperor's younger brother, while the Emperor Roku himself becomes ever more violent and vindictive.
The perspective of the novel frequently switches to secondary characters to offer more depth to them and more layers to the story. Indeed, the secondary characters were even more interesting to me than Mariko and Okami. From Kanako, the former Emperor's scheming consort, to Kenshin, Mariko's brother and dedicated samurai who never got over losing the girl he loved. Characters who at first appear to be villains turn out to be more complex, which I love.
“We should create a world for women like us. It would be a thing to see.”
I love how this book shows a world where, on the surface, powerful men battle it out to be on top, but behind the scenes there are also powerful women pulling the strings. Mariko's friendships with Yumi and Suke offer a delightful break from the action and violence, and show that there is great power in one woman helping another.
A very engaging, fun, action-packed fantasy. Ahdieh's future in YA looks set to follow writers like Bardugo and Maas: a balance of magic, drama, action and romance that is a guaranteed bestseller.
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Who invented duologies?
No, but really, since when is it okay for a series with such unique content and loveable characters to end so soon?
Yes, I am in mourning. I should be celebrating, because that ending is priceless, the author wrapped things up very nicely, but instead I am suffering from Flame in the Mist withdrawal. Just when you start caring for the protagonists so much… they are stolen away from you.
Hatred for duologies aside, I have to admit I admire Renée Ahdieh for knowing when to stop. It’s better she stops then goes on to develop her series some more, only to go in the wrong direction and ruin everything, like previous authors have done.
Maybe Divergent should have been a duology after all.
Whereas the first book took me no less than ten full hours to read, Smoke in the Sun read particularly and unexpectedly well. Don’t get me wrong, Flame in the Mist mesmerized me, but boy did I have to push through at times. The story is incredibly interesting nonetheless, but even my imaginary turtle moves faster than that.
It’s like the author heard my prayers because I was able to finish this in two sittings and didn’t have to force myself one second. I’ll come clean and say that I forgot who most of the characters were, so I even had to Google them at some point. Renée does introduce them again in the beginning, but my brain couldn’t process.
Fortunately, the more I read, the more my memory resurfaced, and so did my love for Mariko. Strong female characters are more present than ever in YA fantasy books, but not all understand their worth like Mariko does. She knows she deserves to be free and loving a man does not mean giving everything up for him in the process. Without necessarily realizing it, she is fighting for equal rights.
You go, girl.
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I love this cover, and I love the fact that it's got this gorgeous woman of color on it, and I love that Renee herself had a hand in ensuring that the color scheme still complimented the US hardback of the first book just so people wouldn't feel like their covers mismatched. <3 Precious.
Update (October 2017): I'm pretty sure this book's publication date is now June 5, 2018 (not May 1st) and now I'm sad. 😭😭😭😭 Need need need need neeeeeeedddddd.
Update (August 2017): THE TITLE IS SMOKE IN THE SUN OMG!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!
Update (April 2017): I'VE READ THE FIRST BOOK AND YUP THAT ENDING THAT BOOK THAT ROMANCE THAT OKAMI I NEED EVERYTHING TO BE OKAYYYYYYYYYYYY. *grabby hands*
HAVEN'T EVEN READ THE FIRST BOOK BUT WANT THIS SO BADLY!!!!!!!
I don't normally comment on book covers, but am I the only one who thinks the colors don't work together?
I see they were going for a red heart, but yellow dragons would look much better against the purple background, in my opinion. Or maybe light pink dragons?