Flame In The Mist by Renée AhdiehFlame In The Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Flame In The Mist

byRenée Ahdieh

Hardcover | May 16, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$21.93 online 
$23.99 list price save 8%
Earn 110 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn, comes a sweeping, action-packed YA adventure set against the backdrop of Feudal Japan where Mulan meets Throne of Glass.
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 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 Black Clan and track 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.
Renée Ahdieh is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; con...
Title:Flame In The MistFormat:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 8.63 × 5.91 × 1.25 inPublished:May 16, 2017Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0399171630

ISBN - 13:9780399171635


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magic, Adventure, Romance, History, What more could you ask for? Renee Ahdieh has fast become one of my favourite young adult authors. Her ability to transport the reader to an entirely different place and time in history is masterful. Flame in the Mist is no exception. We are taken on a journey with Mariko through feudal Japan. As a girl and the daughter of an ambitious samurai, Marika's place is set for her. She will marry a royal son. Even before her convoy is attacked, the reader is aware of Marika's frustration with the lack of choice in her life. When she is given the gift of escaping the attack with her life, she seizes the opportunity to start a new life. But being raised with a samurai brother and father, Mariko's sense of honour run deeps. Instead of running away and claiming a life of her own, she using the opportunity to track the band of thiefs who attack her and take revenge upon them. What follows is a tale filled with courage, magic, adventure, and romance. This is the start of a new series by Ahdieh. One I will be reading for sure!
Date published: 2018-03-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read with great characters I read her other series first (The Wrath and the Dawn), and loved it! Especially the first book, so I had high hopes for this one and was not let down. The characters are well-developed and jump off the page, the setting is unique and the world building is done well. Sometimes I wish she would spend more time on some of her other characters because they are so interesting and do not get the same kind of development. I finished this book in 2 days and have already pre-ordered the sequel!
Date published: 2018-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unique Read What set apart this novel from others is that we get a taste of a story set in a different culture, set in Japanese culture of samurai. It's quite a refreshing read and lacks no action and adventure. It actually sort of reminds me of Mulan- the main character is greatly admirable for her courage, but also for her cleverness and adaptability to survive, though she makes mistakes. The only thing is that I did get confused at parts of the plot and it was easy to get names mixed up, just because it's a bit of an unfamiliar language, but overall the story is great and very enjoyable to read!
Date published: 2018-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this so much! Action-packed and hard to put down- I cannot wait for the next book!!
Date published: 2018-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this! I read Renee Ahdieh's The Wrath &the Dawn duology earlier this year and I was somewhat underwhelmed by it, especially with it SO hyped up. I'm happy to say I enjoyed this book much more! This book still has all of the lovely things that Ahdieh is known for - beautiful writing (it really makes the setting into another character!), complex characters (even the supporting cast is interesting), and a swoony romance (even though I do still think feelings were slightly rushed, but not as much as TR&TD) Mariko was smart and fierce and resourceful. I was on her side from page 1, but wow I don't envy the position she's in right now. That ending has me so pumped for the sequel.
Date published: 2018-01-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Really unique and good twist to the story of Mulan, although it does lag in some parts
Date published: 2018-01-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay. I'm crazy about this book, but I'm not mad at it either. It's not really like Mulan at all, so that was a bit disappointing, but I love Renee's writing so I'm hopeful the next book in the series picks up the story a bit.
Date published: 2018-01-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok This book was really good. I was in a really bad book hangover and this was perfect. The world building and the world in general was amazing
Date published: 2017-12-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pleasantly Surprised This book started out a bit slow and then picked up pace! Looking forward to the sequel!
Date published: 2017-12-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok An imaginative page-turner
Date published: 2017-12-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok This book consumed me. I lived in every word, and felt every feeling.
Date published: 2017-12-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok i am so excited for this to arrive!
Date published: 2017-10-31
Rated 1 out of 5 by from just awful I had high hopes for this book and I was severely disappointed. Throughout the book the author merely "tells" as opposed to "shows" - we kept being told how great and smart and bla bla bla the main character is, when it fact, she constantly acts like the biggest moron.
Date published: 2017-10-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Gave as a birthday present, and the person loved. it.
Date published: 2017-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I love the characters and the story line. It kept me on my toes the entire way through!
Date published: 2017-10-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved it! i like how renee ahdieh tries to include a diverse cast in her books. i love it! worth the rereads
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok everyone should read this story
Date published: 2017-10-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! This book is really good! Would definitely recommend!
Date published: 2017-10-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I couldn't put this book down. There is always something going on that keeps you reading
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I couldn't put this book down. There is always something going on that keeps you reading
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I couldn't put this book down. There is always something going on that keeps you reading
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from MULAN and RENEE ADHIEH = such a good match I really enjoyed this new Renee Adhieh book. I loved all the characters and the plot was very fast and engrossing.
Date published: 2017-09-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great book. the beginning was slow, but as things progressed it got more interesting. I am eagerly awaiting a sequel. I really enjoyed the book.
Date published: 2017-09-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Read This book is slow at first but draws you in as you continue reading. I can't wait till the sequel #plumreview
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok this is such a great book! I loved the plot, storyline, and everything in between!
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from it was aiight!!! i was enjoyable and not a hard read
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An okay start I wasn't sucked in the same way and level that The Wrath and The Dawn duology did but I still really enjoyed this book. The cliffhanger ending was so well done and I just have to read the sequel (whenever that comes out). I absolutely loved all the relationship development, romance building and that whole "who is the actual bad guy?!" feeling. Renee Ahdieh was an amazing ability to paint a world in foreign places (I'm based in Canada) so vividly that I feel like I'm there and can follow the characters through the forest or on a magic carpet. I really enjoyed the Mulan retelling aspect but it didn't feel like the book leaned on my awareness of this popular story--I find a lot of retellings fall flat because authors either just rewrite the old fairytale/Disney adaptation or they bet on you knowing the romance or settings to the point where they don't feel the need to describe them to you. Overall, a solid (but not my favourite) retelling but it's a wonderfully unique world with some really interesting characters and a SOLID romance that focuses on a strong woman and the people who support her.
Date published: 2017-09-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Little disappointed Went in with high expectations but it turned out to be really disappointing for me. It isn't horrible it just wasn't for me. The beginning was confusing and slow paced but the second half was great! Would recommend though especially if you like pretty covers haha
Date published: 2017-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Full of Twists Wonderfully written. Enjoy the diversity of the characters and teh attention to detail.
Date published: 2017-08-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable! I really liked the atmosphere that Renee Ahdieh creates in her novel! Mariko is a very interesting protagonist! The plot was definitely excited and prepares us for another action packed sequel
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great YA book i really liked this book; can't read to read the next one
Date published: 2017-08-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from really good i really liked this book, cant wait to read another one
Date published: 2017-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Good I loved this book. I can't wait to read the next one.
Date published: 2017-08-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Detailled. Renée has a particular style. While the beginning was kinda long, the story finally took a turn and it I really liked how it was going. The heroine and the plot are original, even tho it's a retelling, it's really interesting to see asian culture represented for once.
Date published: 2017-08-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing! Weak female characterization, failed plot and overall bad book. There are so many better options out there.
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So much fun Renée Ahdieh has wowed me yet again. The more I read, the more I wanted to read. I finished the better part of this book in 2 days- And I am a slow reader. The story was intriguing, fun and fast paced. I can't say I enjoyed this more than the Wrath and The Dawn. A few parts in this book (the romance included) I found to be a tad cheesy and moving too quickly to be realistic. This is why I chose not to give it 5 stars.
Date published: 2017-07-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from 3 stars for secondary characters like Amaya and Yoshi. Well the expectations I had for this book were pretty high. Before this book was released, I saw a ton of reviews from readers saying it was sort of a Mulan retelling. That Disney movie is one of my favourites as a kid so yes...high expectations. That being said, this book didn't quite deliver. The same pretty prose from The Wrath and Dawn were present but I enjoyed her other series a lot more. Mariko was an okay protagonist. She kept repeating how clever she was and how she was planning to ruin the Black Clan after she discovered why they wanted to assassinate her. She pretty much did a whole lot of nothing most of the book besides having a few ideas for some weapons. So knocked off a star for that. Okami seemed like an intriguing character/love interest at first. Then the instalove between Mariko and Okami came out of nowhere. One paragraph she thinks that she hates him and wants to kill him and the next she wants to kiss him. Their banter wasn't that fun for me and I don't see where the sudden feelings came from. Also not cool that Okami was so relieved after discovering that Mariko was a girl and that his feelings toward Sanada Takeo (Mariko's name while disguised as a boy) were justified. As if he should be afraid of possibly being attracted to the same gender. =_= Mariko's twin brother Kai was flawed and interesting. Although they were never really together in the book, I never felt they had real sibling affection. At least I'd imagine twins would be close growing up. Pfft, I found Kai and Amaya's relationship more interesting than Mariko and Okami's and they had probably a few pages hinting at that. Anyway, maybe I'll read the next book if I really care to find out what happens to Amaya or maybe not.
Date published: 2017-07-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from loved it! such a great book; not my usual genre but so glad I picked this up
Date published: 2017-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MY GOODNESS!!! This book is absolutely amazing!! Loved it so much, great story can't wait to read the squeal :)
Date published: 2017-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MORE PLEASE all I can say is that Ahdieh wrote a story that pulled me in and left me wanting MORE. I NEED A SEQUEL NOW! oh, and more Okami. Please and thank you.
Date published: 2017-07-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Better than tWatD Actually really good. The ending wasn't my favourite, that reveal was kinda stupid, but the rest of the book was great. Way better that tWatD. But maybe I'm biased, Mulan was always my favourite "princess" story
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good great book, I enjoyed the mulan aspect of it
Date published: 2017-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Although a little weak in the word building, this is a strong start to an exciting series. I absolutely loved The Wrath and the Dawn, so when I heard that Renee Ahdieh was writing a retelling loosely based on Mulan I was very excited. And I was not disappointed. I think it was Roshani Chokshi who described Renee Ahdieh's writing as "butter", and I cannot think of a more accurate description. It is rich, and smooth, and velvety, and makes you wonder how you managed without it before. One of my favourite things about reading this book (which I also found with The Wrath and the Dawn) is that you feel like you know where it's headed. You know where this story is going, and you're on board. And then there's a twist. And you thought you saw the twist coming. But it's a different twist, and this is all so much better than you thought it was going to be. You saw the turn in the road, but it went in a completely different direction than you anticipated. And the scenery is great. Renee Ahdieh is a big fan of her hate-to-love romances. And I am not complaining. The romantic tension in this book was excellent, and I think that people who felt that Khalid and Sharzad were too insta-lovey will not be disappointed with the romance in Flame in the Mist. That being said, I feel like there was a missed opportunity to explore with the nature of gender and sexuality (because of the cross-dressing), but you can't have everything. The Mulan references were not too heavy handed (there was one part where I couldn't help but start singing Be A Man in my head), but very much appreciated. It appeared as though the research about Japanese culture was thorough and well-applied.
Date published: 2017-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Epic Retelling WARNING: THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS! From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn, comes a sweeping, action-packed YA adventure set against the backdrop of Feudal Japan where Mulan meets Throne of Glass. Released on May 16, 2017 in Canada, Flame in the Mist promised to be one of the best Young Adult Fantasy releases on the season – and Ahdieh certainly didn’t disappoint! I had been excitedly awaiting Flame in the Mist for months when it finally arrived on my porch in my May FairyLoot box (along with plenty of themed goodies – yay!). And what could go wrong, what with Japanese mythology, samurai, cross-dressing female warriors, secrets, lies and just the right amount of romance mixed in, right? Ahdieh’s newest book promised to be another action-packed, romance-filled and politically charged YA Fantasy novel, and as always, Ahdieh delivered on all counts. The plot, the prose and the characters were spot on, and I found that I was barely able to put the book down once I started reading! Let’s start with the plot – the entire story was exceptionally well-paced, which was highly satisfying. Ahdieh ensured that any “dull” or less-action-packed sequences were balanced by action and intrigue, ensuring that the story did not feel like an info-dump, nor did it feel like a poorly explained whirlwind of action. The action, romance and intrigue were well-paced, such that occurrences relating to any of them felt well-placed and thought out. And that final plot twist? I didn’t even see it coming. I probably should have, in retrospect, but I was just so engrossed by the story and the characters that I was totally blinded by the reveal at the end of the book – and completely satisfied by it as well, as it added a whole new dimension to the plot, and the the story going forward. Furthermore, the prose is, true to Ahdieh’s style, simply stunning. Descriptions of food, clothing, people and even the scenery are rich and full of detail, adding a layer of intricacy and detail to the story that wouldn’t have otherwise been there. Ahdieh’s beautiful and flowing writing style will make you fall in love with all that Flame in the Mist’s Japan has to offer, make you wish you were right in the heart of it all. And more than that – it is evident that the research that went into this book was intense, making the descriptions all the more valid and heartfelt, especially for those readers who find themselves enamored with Japan and its culture. And then there’s the characters – not only did I absolutely adore Mariko, but Kenshin, Okami, Yumi, Ranmaru and much of the Black Clan were well-developed into lovable, strong and interesting characters. Even secondary characters, like Yumi, Ren and Yoshi, added something important to the story – they were actual characters, not simply names, and were all the more engaging for it. But the best part? Nearly every character was a morally grey character. I simply loved how there was no really clearly defined “bad guy” or “good guy” among the main cast of characters. All the characters had understandable, human motivations behind their actions, making it harder to hate them for doing something despicable – because sometimes, there simply are no good choices, and you just have to choose between bad ones and hope for the best. For example – Mariko’s twin brother Kenshin. While the reader, and the Black Clan, view his actions while hunting Mariko as pretty despicable (fighting with Okami and Ranmaru, killing innocents while searching for Mariko, leading a party to attack the Black Clan, etc.), the reader can also sympathize with his plight – he is trying to maintain his own personal and family honor, desperately seeking out the missing sister he loves, and searching for vengeance for the (assumed) death of the girl he loved – a death for which the Black Clan was indirectly responsible. And so, Kenshin can’t really be seen as a completely black-hearted, cruel villain – simply a casualty of circumstance and political maneuvering in a much larger game than he ever knew, or expected. Furthermore, I really enjoyed Mariko’s character development. Mariko undergoes some truly impressive character development and growth over the course of the story. While struggling to understand the powers at work around her, she decides she won’t be a useless prize to be sold, and begins to fight for the new home she’s found – for the new friends she’s made. She decides that she will no longer be meek and afraid, but instead that she will be something stronger. I absolutely loved how stubborn, fierce, and honorable she was, and how much more those traits grew to be as she developed. Mariko never swayed from her morals, and she remained wholly her own, regardless of those who would have willed otherwise. And the romance. While Flame in the Mist had significantly less romance than Ahdieh’s other books, Mariko and Okami’s hate-to-love relationship left nothing to be hated about their relationship by the end. They’re an equal match – not half of another, but wholly their own, and truly in love. By the time Mariko and Okami finally got around to doing something about their feelings, I was practically steaming with frustration. Overall, this book was everything it promised to be – a very loose retelling of Mulan, smashed together with Japanese mythology, samurai, 47 Ronin and feudal Japan – which meant lots of action, intrigue and yes, romance. I loved every word of this book – from the well-paced plot, to the intriguing, morally grey characters, right down to the stunning prose that defines Ahdieh’s style. So, if you’re a lover of fantasy, retellings and/or Mulan, you’re not going to want to miss out on this one (4.5/5)!
Date published: 2017-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fantastic YA Fantasy Enthralling and inventive, Flame in the Mist will grip you with its creativity, delight you with its humor, and hold you to the end, leaving you wanting more. I absolutely loved this book! I wasn't sure what to expect when I first chose to read it for review - I knew it was "making the rounds" as a new, popular YA Fantasy but I was hesitant to pick it up. Not for any other reason than that my TBR is rather insane and I had other books I was working through...but this cover drew me in. It tricked me, luring me to give in. So I did. I am SO glad I did! From the moment I began Flame in the Mist, I was hooked. Ahdieh's writing is lyrical and beautiful. Like a song played by a skilled musician, you can't help but sit and listen--or in this case, read. And read I did. I ran through pages and pages with ease because of the story as well as the skill of the story-weaver. I was intrigued by the characters. Mariko is such a beautiful, complex character who is at once strong and weak in the best ways. Strong so that we can view her as a she truly is, and weak so that we can see her shortcomings and where growth must happen. On a note about Mariko and women in general in Flame in the Mist, I really appreciated how Ahdieh represented women in this book. None of the girls were "looking for a hero to save them" (as some even stated) and the bent was definitely toward strong, female protagonists, but not for the sake of strength alone. It was about finding the beauty and strength in being a woman, not becoming like a man to find that strength (which is slightly ironic giving the plotline). Mariko's strength was in who she was as a person, not her gender, but her gender didn't mean she was weak either. I like that both men and women were portrayed as strong in this book, working alongside one another. I won't say more about characters at this point since I don't want to give away even the smallest of spoilers, but I will say the web of intricate characters Ahdieh weaves is beautiful and complex. The setting and magic depicted in the book was also delightful. If anything, I would have loved to know and see more of the magic. I did enjoy how it was woven into the plot, but sometimes it left me wanting more or an acknowledgment of its strange nature within context. The characters just seemed to accept it without question which, without being given a reason for this acceptance, seemed strange to me. Lastly, I am a little frustrated that I didn't realize this was a series. While the ending was not exactly a cliffhanger...it kind of was. It doesn't take away from the beauty of the story or writing, nor does it diminish my love for this book, but it does make me a little annoyed that I have to wait (probably a year) before I get book 2. *sigh* I highly recommend this to lovers of YA Fantasy (or Fantasy in general). I think you'll find it enjoyable as well as intriguing. *A final word* I have heard some say that the plot is a loose retelling of the elements of Mulan into Japanese culture and, personally, I'm really enjoyed having that thought in the back of my mind because, loving the story of Mulan as I do, it made me think of that story with fondness and be able to appreciate the skill and ingenuity that Ahdieh wove her own tale. It's not exact to Mulan's story, but there are things that are similar in a good, creative way. That said, I think the Flame in the Mist is completely its own story and diverges in all the right ways. A note to my clean readers: This book was relatively clean - there were a few cuss words and some kissing scenes as well. I'd probably rate it for ages 15+. My rating: 5 _______________ I received this book for free but was under no obligation to post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.
Date published: 2017-06-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Rich In History A wonderful retelling of The Ballad Of Mulan.
Date published: 2017-05-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A For the Lover of Books Review Number of pages: 393 Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1 Rating (out of five stars): 1.5 I wanted to love Flame in the Mist. Maybe A Court of Wings and Ruin was disappointing, but Flame in the Mist was sure to be my five star read for May, right? I’m just tired of being disappointed. The first thing that didn’t really work was the writing. While flowery, metaphor filled writing works really well for a romance novel, it does not work for an action book. The writing slows the progression of the plot. Frankly, the first 250 pages were really boring. There was a point in time where I didn’t even notice I had been staring out my window at a tree for ten minutes instead of reading. It’s just the wrong writing style for this type of story. Mariko is really similar to Shazi. In fact, the whole romance plot is really similar to The Wrath and the Dawn. Boy is dark and mysterious, the “villains” are really the good guys, and then there is the heroine. Maybe it’s frustration with Feyre, but I’m becoming really sick of these heroines who are perfect in every way. Raised well, incredibly “intelligent”, and strong in every sense of the word. All these perfect, strong women are fine in principle, but they are starting to grate on me. I want my legitimately flawed heroines back. I want to see quiet, weaker heroines more often, because we exist. There are so many other things I had problems with in Flame in the Mist. The magic didn’t really make sense, there was hardly any action, and this really wasn’t a Mulan retelling. In fact, I’m really sick of publishers pushing books as something they are not. A Mulan retelling is not the same thing as a girl cutting her hair and carrying logs for a secret society. A Mulan retelling is not the same thing as including a play on the whole “swift as a coursing river…” line from I’ll Make a Man Out of You. The ending also didn’t really work. It would have been better if it had ended at the second last chapter, rather than where it did. The final chapter feels so out of place. I get that the information had to be conveyed, but it made me even less eager to read the sequel. Overall, Flame in the Mist was disappointing, ultimately earning 1.5 stars out of 5. I do urge you to give it a try, however, because maybe I’ve gone insane at this point.
Date published: 2017-05-24

Read from the Book

The Beginning   In the beginning, there were two suns and two moons.   The boy’s sight blurred before him, seeing past the truth. Past the shame. He focused on the story his uba had told him the night before. A story of good and evil, light and dark. A story where the triumphant sun rose high above its enemies.   On instinct, his fingers reached for the calloused warmth of his uba’s hand. The nursemaid from Kisun had been with him since before he could remember, but now—like everything else—she was gone.   Now there was no one left.   Against his will, the boy’s vision cleared, locking on the clear blue of the noon sky above. His fingers curled around the stiff linen of his shirtsleeves.   Don’t look away. If they see you looking away, they will say you are weak.   Once more, his uba’s words echoed in his ears.   He lowered his gaze.   The courtyard before him was draped in fluttering white, surrounded on three sides by rice-paper screens. Pennants flying the golden crest of the emperor danced in a passing breeze. To the left and right stood grim-faced onlookers— samurai dressed in the dark silks of their formal hakama.   In the center of the courtyard was the boy’s father, kneel­ing on a small tatami mat covered in bleached canvas. He, too, was draped in white, his features etched in stone. Before him sat a low table with a short blade. At his side stood the man who had once been his best friend.   The boy sought his father’s eyes. For a moment, he thought his father looked his way, but it could have been a trick of the wind. A trick of the perfumed smoke curling above the squat brass braziers.   His father would not want to look into his son’s eyes. The boy knew this. The shame was too great. And his father would die before passing the shame of tears along to his son.   The drums began to pound out a slow beat. A dirge.   In the distance beyond the gates, the boy caught the muf­fled sound of small children laughing and playing. They were soon silenced by a terse shout.   Without hesitation, his father loosened the knot from around his waist and pushed open his white robe, exposing the skin of his stomach and chest. Then he tucked his sleeves beneath his knees to prevent himself from falling backward.   For even a disgraced samurai should die well.   The boy watched his father reach for the short tantō blade on the small table before him. He wanted to cry for him to stop. Cry for a moment more. A single look more.   Just one.   But the boy remained silent, his fingers turning bloodless in his fists. He swallowed.   Don’t look away.   His father took hold of the blade, wrapping his hands around the skein of white silk near its base. He plunged the sword into his stomach, cutting slowly to the left, then up to the right. His features remained passive. No hint of suffering could be detected, though the boy searched for it—felt it—despite his father’s best efforts.   Never look away.   Finally, when his father stretched his neck forward, the boy saw it. A small flicker, a grimace. In the same instant, the boy’s heart shuddered in his chest. A hot burst of pain glimmered beneath it.   The man who had been his father’s best friend took two long strides, then swung a gleaming katana in a perfect arc toward his father’s exposed neck. The thud of his father’s head hitting the tatami mat silenced the drumbeats in a hol­low start.   Still the boy did not look away. He watched the crimson spurt from his father’s folded body, past the edge of the mat and onto the grey stones beyond. The tang of the fresh blood caught in his nose—warm metal and sea salt. He waited until his father’s body was carried in one direction, his head in another, to be displayed as a warning.   No hint of treason would be tolerated. Not even a whisper.   All the while, no one came to the boy’s side. No one dared to look him in the eye.   The burden of shame took shape in the boy’s chest, heavier than any weight he could ever bear.   When the boy finally turned to leave the empty court­yard, his eyes fell upon the creaking door nearby. A nurse­maid met his unflinching stare, one hand sliding off the latch, the other clenched around two toy swords. Her skin flushed pink for an instant.   Never look away.   The nursemaid dropped her eyes in discomfort. The boy watched as she quickly ushered a boy and a girl through the wooden gate. They were a few years younger than he and obvi­ously from a wealthy family. Perhaps the children of one of the samurai in attendance today. The younger boy straight­ened the fine silk of his kimono collar and darted past his nursemaid, never once pausing to acknowledge the presence of a traitor’s son.   The girl, however, stopped. She looked straight at him, her pert features in constant motion. Rubbing her nose with the heel of one hand, she blinked, letting her eyes run the length of him before pausing on his face.   He held her gaze.   “Mariko-sama!” the nursemaid scolded. She whispered in the girl’s ear, then tugged her away by the elbow.   Still the girl’s eyes did not waver. Even when she passed the pool of blood darkening the stones. Even when her eyes narrowed in understanding.   The boy was grateful he saw no sympathy in her expres­sion. Instead the girl continued studying him until her nurse­maid urged her around the corner.   His gaze returned to the sky, his chin in high disregard of his tears.   In the beginning, there were two suns and two moons.   One day, the victorious son would rise—   And set fire to all his father’s enemies.     Illusions and Expectations Ten Years Later   On the surface everything seemed right.   An elegant litter. A dutiful daughter. An honor bestowed.   Then, as if to taunt her, Mariko’s litter lurched, jouncing her shoulder into the norimono’s side. Its raised mother-of-pearl inlays would undoubtedly leave a bruise. Mariko took a deep breath, stifling the urge to grumble in the shadows like an angry crone. The smell of the norimono’s varnish filled her head, bringing to mind the Dragon’s Beard candy she favored as a child.   Her dark, sickly sweet coffin, bearing her to her final rest­ing place.   Mariko sank farther into the cushions. Nothing about the journey to the imperial city of Inako had gone well. Her con­voy had left later than intended and stopped all too often. At least now—by the way the norimono listed forward—Mariko could tell they were traveling down an incline. Which meant they’d moved past the hills around the valley, more than half­way to Inako. She leaned back, hoping her weight would help balance the burden.   Just as she settled in, the litter halted suddenly.   Mariko raised the silk screen covering the small window to her right. Dusk was starting to descend. The forest before them was shrouded in mist, its trees a jagged silhouette across a silver sky.   As Mariko turned to address the nearby soldier, a young maidservant came stumbling into view. “My lady!” the girl gasped, righting herself against the norimono’s side. “You must be famished. I’ve been remiss. Please forgive me for neglecting to—”   “There’s nothing to forgive, Chiyo-chan.” Mariko smiled kindly, but the girl’s eyes remained wide with worry. “It was not I who halted the convoy.”   Chiyo bowed low, the flowers of her makeshift hairpiece falling askew. When she stood once more, the maidservant passed along a neatly wrapped bundle of food to Mariko. Then Chiyo moved back to her post beside the litter, pausing only to return Mariko’s warm smile.   “Why have we stopped?” Mariko asked the nearby mem­ber of the ashigaru.   The foot soldier wiped the perspiration from his brow, then switched the long pole of his naginata to his other hand. Traces of sunlight glinted off its sharp blade. “The forest.”   Mariko waited, certain that could not be the extent of his explanation.   Beads of sweat gathered above the soldier’s lips. He opened his mouth to speak, but the clatter of approaching hooves stole his attention.   “Lady Hattori . . .” Nobutada, one of her father’s con­fidants and his most trusted samurai, reined in his charger beside Mariko’s norimono. “I apologize for the delay, but several of the soldiers have voiced concerns about traveling through Jukai forest.”   Mariko blinked twice, her features thoughtful. “Is there a particular reason?”   “Now that the sun has set, they fear the yōkai, and they worry—”   “Silly stories of monsters in the dark.” She waved a dis­missive hand. “Nothing more.”   Nobutada paused, doubtlessly taking note of her interrup­tion. “They also claim the Black Clan has been seen near here recently.”   “They claim?” A dark eyebrow curved into Mariko’s fore­head. “Or they’ve sighted them in truth?”   “They are merely claims.” Nobutada lowered the chin guard beneath his horned helmet. “Though it would be un­usual for the Black Clan to rob us, as they do not generally attack convoys containing women and children. Especially those guarded by samurai.”   Mariko lingered in consideration. “I defer to your opinion, Nobutada-sama.” Recalling the foot soldier from a moment ago, she attempted a smile. “And please see that the ashigaru have time to rest and take in water soon, as they appear overtired.”   Nobutada scowled at her last request. “If we are forced to go around Jukai forest, it will add a full day to our journey.”   “Then it will add a full day to our journey.” She was already beginning to lower her screen, the awkward smile still pasted across her face.   “I’d rather not risk angering the emperor.”   “Then it is an easy choice. We must lead so that others may follow, Nobutada-sama. You taught me that, even as a young girl.” Mariko did not look away as she spoke. Nor did she attempt to apologize for the sharpness of her retort.   His scowl deepened. Mariko smothered a sigh. She knew she was being difficult. Knew Nobutada wished for her to make a decision. At the very least, wished for her to offer an opinion.   To make a useless play at control. A play Nobutada could then smugly subvert, as her elder.   As a man.   Try as she might, Mariko could not help the resentment simmering beneath the surface.   Control is an illusion. Expectations will not rule my days.   Not anymore.   “Perhaps not easy,” Mariko amended, her fingers toying with the edge of the screen. “But it is simple.” She softened her tone—a pitiful attempt to mollify him. One that was sure to chafe, as her contrary nature so often did. Her brother, Kenshin, frequently gave her grief about it. Frequently told her to be less . . . peculiar.   To conform, at least in these small ways.   Mariko dipped her head in a bow. “In any case, I defer to your wise judgment, Nobutada-sama.”   A shadow fell across his features. “Very well, Lady Hattori. We shall proceed through Jukai forest.” With that, he urged his charger back toward the head of the convoy.   As expected, Mariko had irritated him. She’d offered no real opinion on anything since they’d left her family’s home that morning. And Nobutada wanted her to play at directing him. To give him tasks befitting such a vaunted role.   Tasks befitting the samurai in charge of delivering a royal bride.   Mariko supposed she should care she might be arriving at Heian Castle late.   Late to meet the emperor. Late to meet his second son—   Her future husband.   But Mariko did not care. Ever since the afternoon her father had informed her that Emperor Minamoto Masaru had made an offer of marriage on behalf of his son Raiden, she’d truly not cared about much.   Mariko was to be the wife of Prince Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort. A political marriage that would elevate her father’s standing amongst the ruling daimyō class.   She should care that she was being exchanged like prop­erty in order to curry favor. But Mariko did not.   Not anymore.   As the norimono lurched forward again, Mariko reached above to adjust the slender tortoiseshell bar speared through her thick coils of hair. Tiny strips of silver and jade dangled from its ends, snarling with one another in a ceaseless war. After Mariko finished sorting them into place, her hand fell to the smaller jade bar below.   Her mother’s face took shape in her mind—the look of determined resignation she had worn as she slid the jade orna­ment into her only daughter’s hair.   A parting gift. But not a true source of comfort.   Just like her father’s final words:   Be a tribute to your family, Mariko-chan. As you were raised to be. Forswear your childish wishes. Be more than . . . this.   Mariko’s lips pressed tight.   It doesn’t matter. I’ve already taken my revenge.   There was no reason for Mariko to dwell on these things anymore. Her life was on a clear path now. Never mind that it was not what she wanted. Never mind that there was so much left to see and learn and do. She’d been raised for a purpose. A foolish one at that—to be the wife of an important man when she could easily have been something else. Something more. But it did not matter. She was not a boy. And—despite being barely seventeen—Hattori Mariko knew her place in life. She would marry Minamoto Raiden. Her parents would have the prestige of a daughter in Heian Castle.   And Mariko would be the only one to know the stain on that honor.   As dusk fell and the convoy made its way deeper into the forest, the scent of warm, wet air took on a life of its own. It mixed with the iron of the earth and the green of newly trod leaves. A strange, heady perfume. Sharp and fresh, yet soft and sinister all at once.   Mariko shuddered, a chill taking root in her bones. The horses around the norimono whickered as if in response to an unseen threat. Seeking a distraction, Mariko reached for the small parcel of food Chiyo had given her, staving off the chill by burrowing into her cushions.   Perhaps we should have gone around Jukai forest.   She quickly dismissed these doubts, then turned her atten­tion to the parcel in her hands. Within it were two rice balls covered in black sesame seeds, along with pickled sour plums wrapped in lotus leaves. After unfolding her meal, Mariko shifted her fingers to light the tiny folded-paper lantern sway­ing above.   It had been one of her earliest inventions. Small enough to hide in a kimono sleeve. A special slow-burning wick, suspended by the thinnest of wires. The wick was fashioned from cotton braided with river reeds dipped in wax. It kept its shape despite its size, all while burning a steady light. Mariko had made it as a child. In the heavy dark of night, this tiny invention had been her savior. She’d placed it beside her blankets, where it cast a warm, cheery glow by which she’d penned her newest ideas.   Smiling in remembrance, Mariko began to eat. A few black sesame seeds fell onto the painted silk of her kimono; she brushed them aside. The fabric felt like water at her fin­gertips. The color of sweetened cream, its hem bled through with darkest indigo. Pale pink cherry blossoms crowded the long sleeves, unfurling into branches near Mariko’s feet.   A priceless kimono. Made of rare tatsumura silk. One of the many gifts sent to her by the emperor’s son. It was beauti­ful. More beautiful than anything Mariko had ever owned in her life.   Perhaps a girl who prized such things would be pleased.   When more sesame seeds fell onto the silk, Mariko didn’t bother brushing them away. She finished eating in silence, watching the tiny lantern sway to and fro.   The gathering of shadows shifted outside, growing closer and tighter. Mariko’s convoy was now deep beneath a canopy of trees. Deep beneath their cloak of sighing branches and whispering leaves. Strange that she heard no signs of life out­side—not the caw of a raven nor the cry of an owl nor the chirr of an insect.   Then the norimono halted again. All too abruptly.   The horses began to pant. Began to stamp their hooves in the leafy earth.   Mariko heard a shout. Her litter teetered. Overcorrected. Only to strike the ground with a vicious thud. Her head smacked against varnished wood, throwing stars across her vision.   And Mariko was swallowed into a void.     The Nightbeast   Mariko woke to the smell of smoke. To a dull roar in her ears.   To shooting pain in her arm.   She was still in her litter, but it had toppled to one side, its contents smashed into a corner.   The body of a familiar maidservant lay across her. Chiyo, who had loved to eat iced persimmons and arrange moon­flowers in her hair. Chiyo, whose eyes had always been so open and wide and honest.   The same eyes that were now frozen in Death’s final mask.   Mariko’s throat burned. Her sight blurred with tears.   The sounds of movement outside brought her back into focus. Her right hand pressed into a tender lump on the side of her head. She gasped into full awareness, the sound a stran­gled sob. Her arm pulsed sharply, even with the smallest of movements.   Mariko shook her head clear. And looked around.   From the way Chiyo was positioned across her—and from the way Mariko’s lacquered zori sandals had fallen from the maidservant’s hands—it was clear the girl had tried to free Mariko from the wrecked litter. Tried to free her and died in the attempt. Blood was everywhere. Splashed across the shining inlays. Spilling from the nasty gash in Mariko’s head. Pooling from the fatal wound in Chiyo’s heart. An arrow had pierced clean through the small girl’s breastbone; its tip dug into the skin of Mariko’s forearm, a trickle of crimson in its wake.   Several arrowheads were embedded in the wood of the norimono. Several more were fixed at odd angles across Chiyo’s body. Arrows that could not have been meant to kill a kind maidservant. And had it not been for this kind maidservant, these arrows would undoubtedly have struck Mariko.   Mariko’s eyes brimmed with more tears as she clutched Chiyo tight.   Thank you, Chiyo-chan. Sumimasen.   Blinking away her tears, Mariko tried to shift her head. Tried to seek her bearings. The ache near her temple throbbed, keeping time with the rapid beat of her heart.   Just as Mariko began to move, a rumble of male voices drew near. She peeked through a break in the mangled screen above. All she could discern were two men dressed in black from head to toe. Their weapons shone bright in the light of nearby torches, their blades oiled a sinister red.   It can’t be . . .   But the evidence was irrefutable. The Black Clan had over­run her convoy.   Mariko held her breath, wincing into the corner as they moved closer to the litter.   “She’s dead, then?” the tallest one said in gruff fashion.   The masked man to the right considered the overturned litter, his head cocked to one side. “Either that or she passed out from the—”   A howl in the distance swallowed the last of their conver­sation.   The men eyed each other. Knowingly.   “Check once more,” the first man said. “I’d rather not be forced to report we failed in our mission.”   The second man gave a curt nod and moved toward the litter, his torch held high.   Panic took hold of Mariko. She clenched her rattling teeth still.   Two things had become clear as these masked men spoke:   The Black Clan obviously wanted Mariko dead. And someone had tasked them with killing her.   Mariko changed position, ever so slightly, as though it might conceal her from their prying gazes. As though it might shrink her into nothingness. Chiyo’s head slumped forward, thwacking against the battered wood of the norimono. Mariko bit back an oath, cursing her thoughtlessness. She inhaled through her nose, willing her heart to cease its incessant pounding.   Why did it suddenly smell so strongly of smoke?   Mariko’s eyes darted around in alarm. The edges of Chiyo’s bloodstained robe were blackening. Brushing against the crumbled wick of Mariko’s tiny lantern.   Catching flame.   It took all her restraint to remain quiet and still.   Terror pressed in on her from all sides. Pressed her to make a final decision.   If Mariko lingered, she would be burned alive. If she moved from her hiding place, the masked men outside would undoubtedly finish their dark task.   Flames licked the hem of the maidservant’s robe, grasping for Mariko’s kimono like the tentacles of an octopus.   Her panic rising, Mariko shifted once more, stifling a cough in her shoulder.   It was time to make a decision.   How am I to die today? By fire or by the sword?   The advancing man halted a hairsbreadth away. “The litter is on fire.”   “Then let it burn.” The taller man did not flinch. Nor did he look their way.   “We should leave.” The man just outside glanced over his shoulder. “Before the scent of blood and singed flesh draws the nightbeasts.” He was near enough to touch. Near enough to strike, had Mariko the courage.   The taller man nodded. “We shall leave soon enough. But not before you check to make sure the girl is dead.”   The mournful baying grew louder. Closer. Hemming them in.   When the man nearby reached for the mangled screens, one of the norimono’s damaged poles split in two. The broken wood struck his arm, sending a flurry of sparks every which way.   Leaping back, he cursed under his breath. “The girl is as good as dead.” The man spoke more forcefully, his torch whipping about in the wind. Heat from the mounting fire sent sweat down Mariko’s neck in steady trickles. The growing blaze near her feet crackled as it seared Chiyo’s skin.   Mariko’s stomach lurched at the smell. Sweat poured onto her stiff white collar.   Make a decision, Hattori Mariko! How do you wish to die?   Her teeth chattered. With a forceful swallow, Mariko dug her fingernails into her palms, her eyes flitting about the small, shattered space. Bravery did not come to her naturally. She spent too much time weighing her options to be brave. Too much time calculating the many paths before her.   But Mariko knew it was time to do more. Time to be more.   She would not die a coward. 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.   Her sight blurring from the thickening smoke, Mariko pushed Chiyo aside, her hands trembling despite her best efforts.   A shout rang out in the darkness. The man near the norimono twisted around at its cracking toll.   The cries were followed by the snarl of an animal. The growl of several more.   Another shriek. The echo of a death knell. With it came the cries of feasting animals.   “The nightbeasts!” The man with the torch pivoted again, his flame leaping with his motions. “They’re attacking our flank!”   “Check the girl,” the first man insisted. “The girl is more important than—”   “The prince’s bride is as good as dead!” With that, he threw his torch on top of Mariko’s norimono, whirling away as he sealed her fate. “Collect our fallen. Leave nothing be­hind,” he yelled to men she could not see.   Mariko bit back a scream as clanking metal and rustling bodies converged in the nearby shadows. Chaos grew with each passing moment. The flames in the norimono leapt higher. Faster. Their heat turned her skin pink. She clasped her fin­gers tight, smothering her coughs as she shrank farther into the corner. Tears streamed down her face, leaching her of all resolve.   Coward.   The torch above crackled to fire against the varnished wood of the norimono.   It wouldn’t be long before Mariko would burn along with it. The lacquered tinder around her popped and fizzed, the melted resin burning into blue flame.   A shuddering breath flew past her lips.   I am not a coward. I am . . . greater than this.   Her tears stained the front of her kimono silk. She refused to die like an animal locked in a cage. Like a girl with nothing save her name.   Better to die by the sword. Better to die at the mercy of the nightbeasts.   To die in the night air. Free.   Her pulse trilling in her fingertips, Mariko shoved Chiyo’s body away in final decision. She kicked open the norimono’s door. One glossy sandal fell as she struggled to heave her­self through, gulping air to quench the burn in her throat. Mariko reeled from the ruins, her eyes wild as she glanced about, frantic.   The forest was full dark.   And her kimono was on fire.   Her mind worked quickly. Instinctively. Mariko wrapped the silken material around itself, robbing the fire of the air it needed to burn. Her wrist seared beneath the kimono’s folds, smoke curling from the watered silk in grey wisps. With a rasping cry, Mariko tore at her obi, cursing the way it had been wound about her waist. So intricate. So unnecessary. Stumbling through the underbrush, she ripped the beautiful kimono from her shoulders, lurching away from the burning norimono like a drunken fool.   Her eyes sought the darkness for any beacon of light. All she could see was her litter, engulfed in flames. Her kimono smoldered against the forest floor.   If the men return, they will see the kimono. They will know I escaped.   Without hesitating, Mariko took hold of the hem and hurled the silk back at the pile of hissing flames.   It flared as it touched the melting varnish. Burning silk and scorching lacquer. Melting Dragon’s Beard candy.   Mingled with the scent of searing flesh.   Chiyo.   She blinked hard, struggling to remain steady.   All around her were the bodies of her father’s convoy. Maidservants. Samurai. Foot soldiers.   Slaughtered as one.   Mariko stood swathed in shadow, her chest heaving as her eyes flew across the damp earth.   Anything of value had been taken. Swiftly. Efficiently. Trunks had been emptied. Imperial chargers had been yoked as chattel, leaving nothing but their tasseled reins behind. Ribbons of red and white and gold littered the ground.   But Mariko knew robbery had not been the primary objective.   The Black Clan tried to murder me. Even though they knew I was to marry Prince Raiden, they still carried out their task.   Someone with sway over the Black Clan wishes me dead.   Cold shock descended upon her in a sudden rush. Her shoulders began to wilt. Again—as if on instinct—Mariko set them straight, her chin braced against the threat of further tears. She refused to succumb to shock. Just as she refused to grant refuge to her fears.   Think, Hattori Mariko. Keep moving.   She staggered forward, intent on fleeing without a glance back. Two halting steps were all she managed before she thought better of it. Thought better about the odds of pro­ceeding through a darkened wood, unarmed and dressed in nothing but her underclothes.   Shielding herself from the worst of the carnage, Mariko moved toward a fallen samurai. His katana was missing, but his shorter wakizashi was still in its scabbard, bound to his waist. She took the small, wieldier weapon in hand. Pausing only to kick soil across her tracks, she moved through the forest, without direction, without purpose. Without any­thing, save the need to survive.   The darkness around her was oppressive. She stumbled on roots, unable to see. After a time, the lack of one sense heightened all the others. The snap of a twig or the scuttle of an insect rang through the air with the resonance of a gong. When the bushes nearby rustled—steel grinding against stone—Mariko pressed into the bark of a tree, terror finally taking the last of the warmth from her blood.   A low growl crawled from the earth, cutting through her like the thunder of an approaching army. It was followed by heavy paws padding over dead leaves.   A savage sort of stealth.   A nightbeast, stalking the last of its prey.   Mariko’s stomach clenched, and her fingers shook as she prepared to meet her end.   No. I will not cower in a corner.   Never again.   She scrambled away from the tree, her ankle catching on a scree of rocks. Each movement jolted through her as she landed on the forest floor, only to claw back to her feet. Her body felt alive, energy rolling beneath her skin in waves, all while her blood coursed through her body. There was nowhere to hide. The white silk of her underrobe did nothing to shield her from the forest’s most sinister monsters.   The growling behind her had become a steady grumble. Undeterred. Moving ever closer. When Mariko spun around to face her attacker, two saurian yellow eyes materialized in the darkness. Like those of a giant snake.   The creature that formed around these eyes was immense, its features resembling a jaguar, its body as massive as a bear. Without further provocation, the beast rose on its hind legs, saliva dripping from its bared fangs. It threw back its head and howled, the sound ricocheting into the night.   Her knees turned to water as Mariko fought to brace herself.   But the creature did not attack.   It looked to one side, then back at her. Its yellow eyes glowed bright. It canted its head, as though glancing past her shoulder.   Run! a voice within Mariko cried out. Run, you silly little fool!   She inhaled, taking a slow step back.   Still the beast did not attack. It glanced again to the same side, then back at her, its growl rising in pitch and ferocity.   As though it was warning her.   Then—without another sound—the beast glided toward her. Like a ghost. Like a demon of the forest, flying on a whorl of black smoke.   Mariko’s scream tore through the night sky.   The creature disappeared in a whoosh of air. In a swirl of inky darkness.   “Well.” A gruff voice resonated from behind her. “Fortune has indeed smiled upon me tonight.”

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Flame in the Mist:New York Times Bestseller A Spring 2017 Amazon Pick – Spring’s Best Young Adult FictionA PW Best Summer Book of 2017   ★ “[A]n elaborate fantasy set in feudal Japan . . . Ahdieh (The Wrath & the Dawn) is immensely skilled at crafting vibrant settings inhabited by sympathetic characters with rich pasts . . . readers will enthusiastically anticipate the next installment.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review “Ahdieh’s first duology (begun with The Wrath and the Dawn, 2015) propelled her to the top of the charts, and this new series starter brings that same blend of history, magic, and sensuality that drew readers in the first place.”—Booklist “This story of female empowerment will resonate with girls today. This novel has something for every reader to savor: a budding romance, invention of new weaponry, and detailed battle scenes.”—School Library Connection “This story . . . will undoubtedly enthrall readers.”—Kirkus Reviews “Rich in magical realism and cultural nuance of feudal Japan, Ahdieh’s series starter begins with a girl-power bang. . . . A wonderful choice for YA shelves, especially where lush fantasy is popular.”—School Library Journal“[A] fun feudal samurai drama. . . . an action-packed and well-paced young adult novel.”—The Washington Post  “Filled with strong female characters, action and adventure, and beautiful storytelling, Flame in the Mist offers a world you'll want to escape into for a long while.”—BuzzFeed "Romance, action and magic intertwine in this novel likely to keep readers enthralled."—Deseret News“This richly imagined, action-packed adventure, featuring a feisty heroine and set in feudal Japan, comes from the acclaimed author of The Wrath & The Dawn and The Rose & The Dagger. . . . Ahdieh is a superb craftsman, and this engaging tale of betrayal and revenge ends on a cliffhanger, leaving the reader eagerly awaiting the next book.”—Buffalo News   “Rich world-building in feudal-era Japan and plenty of intrigue make this page-turning young-adult novel a winning foray into fantasy.”—Austin American Statesman   “[With] Flame in the Mist, Ahdieh has gifted us a new series to obsess over. If you live for books that have lush worlds, swoony romance and non-stop action, you’ll want to read this.”—Paste Magazine   “Even in the long line of fictional females who pose as male to thwart patriarchal restrictions, Mariko stands out. . . . The novel’s surprising, tumultuous ending leaves the reader eagerly anticipating a sequel, impatient to find out what iteration of herself Mariko will invent next.”—Chicago Tribune “Set to marry the emperor’s son, Mariko is attacked by hired bandits en route to meet him. To uncover the truth behind the assassination attempt, Renée Ahdieh’s heroine must infiltrate the assailants’ gang —disguised as a man.”—US Weekly   “From the best-selling author of The Wrath and the Dawn duology, comes a new adventure. Set in Feudal Japan, Mariko has long known that despite her talent and intelligence, her future lies in making an advantageous political marriage. Traveling to the capital city for her marriage, she narrowly escapes an assassination attempt. Determined to get to the bottom of the plot, she dresses as a boy and infiltrates the gang sent to kill her. If you liked Disney’s Mulan, you’ll like this.”—The Newark Advocate   “Anyone who has read Renée Ahdieh's The Wrath and the Dawn duology (and if you haven't — get on it!) will be thrilled that she's releasing a new novel this year, called Flame in the Mist. Set in feudal Japan, this story follows a young woman named Mariko, who is the daughter of a samurai. On the way to be married in order to help her family's political standing, Mariko's group is attacked, and she poses as a boy to escape and infiltrate the clan of her enemies (attention: Mulan-lovers!).”—PopCrush   “Alchemy, samurai, and Renée Ahdieh. Need we say more?”—Culturess   “Beautifully written and masterfully plotted . . . Shades of Mulan and 47 Ronin frame the novel, but the fantasy elements and the vivid characters give the story its own distinct flavor . . . a definite must-read!”—RT Book Reviews “As author Renée Ahdieh did with her debut, The Wrath & the Dawn, Flame in the Mist explores a young woman’s power and strength to effect great change in a patriarchal society. And the realistic stories, fascinating culture and complex relationships of Ahdieh’s fictional characters—explored in actual, historical settings—are completely enrapturing.”—BookPage   “Consider us #blessed to have a new series from Renee Ahdieh, because Flame in the Mist has her signature lush and dangerous romantic adventure vibes we loved so much in The Wrath and the Dawn.”—Bustle   “Swoony dudes, new worlds, and crazy high stakes . . . [Flame in the Mist is] the kind of book that’ll have you staying up late and calling in sick, just so you can finish it in one sitting.”—Brit + Co   “With Flame in the Mist, Renée Ahdieh delivers a vibrant, action-packed historical fantasy that unfurls in Feudal Japan . . . Ahdieh creates characters you long to learn more about. She’s adept at building a world that feels enchanting, hypnotic, real and sensual. Every page shimmers with intrigue and desire.”—USA Today Happy Ever After“The story is full of palace intrigue, disguises, magic, and Mariko’s search to find a place where she can be herself—not a bargaining chip, a daughter, a sister, or a prisoner. . . . Fans of Tamora Pierce and Kristin Cashore will enjoy this magical feudal tale.”—VOYA Praise for The Wrath and the Dawn: #1 New York Times Bestseller #4 on the Summer 2015 Kids' Indie Next List! An Amazon Best Book of the Year for 2015 – Young Adult A New York Public Library Best Book for Teens for 2015  A Seventeen Magazine Best Book of 2015 A YALSA 2016 Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick   “Lushly imagined and powerfully characterized, it’s a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance.”—Publishers Weekly  “This book is a fairy tale, a mystery, and … promises to become a classic tale of its own.”—VOYA ★ “Set against a backdrop of political intrigue and a simmering revolution, this isa carefully constructed narrative of uncertain loyalties, searing romance, and subtle magic in a harsh desert city.”—Booklist, starred review ★ “The rich, Middle Eastern cultural context adds to the author’s adept world building… a surefire hit with teens.”—School Library Journal, starred review ★ “Renée Ahdieh's lush debut novel, The Wrath and the Dawn, is a suspenseful and beautiful reimagining of The Arabian Nights, with an edge.”—Shelf Awareness, starred review  “Dreamily romantic, deliciously angst-y, addictively thrilling.”—Kirkus Reviews “Sumptuous detail … satisfyingly steamy scenes, along with some angsty push and pull moments between the two for optimal romantic tension.”—BCCB “Don’t be surprised if the pages melt away and you find yourself racing through warm, golden sands or drinking spiced wine in cool marble courtyards. This is an intoxicating gem of a story. You will fall in love, just as I did.”—Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series and The Young Elites “In her absorbing debut, Renée Ahdieh spins a tale as mesmerizing as that of her heroine Shahrzad, filled with lush details and brimming with tension. The Wrath and the Dawn is truly an exceptional story, beautifully written.”—Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth “Ahdieh weaves a world that is lush with detail. You will want to hear, taste, and touch everything. But it's not just the world that is vividly alive. The characters are fascinating too: I loved the friendships, romance, and shifts in feeling. A beautifully written book, The Wrath and the Dawn is a story I could not put down.”—Marie Rutkoski, author of The Winner’s Trilogy   Praise for The Rose and the Dagger: #1 New York Times Bestseller ★ “Beautiful, lyrical writing combines with a cohesive plot, richly drawn backdrop, and just the right mix of action and romance to create an undeniable new classic.”—School Library Journal, starred review  “Above all there is the shattering, triumphant catharsis of love… In a story about stories, love is ‘the power to speak without words.’ Thrillingly full of feeling.”—Kirkus Reviews  “Fiery romance, a spirited heroine, shifting loyalties… With more than a few heartrending twists and turns.”—Booklist  “[Ahdieh’s] prose remains lush and evocative, ideal for sand-swept landscapes and racing hearts.”—VOYA