Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist, #2)by Renee Ahdieh Published 05 Jun 2018
|Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist, #2).pdf|
|Publisher||G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers|
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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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renee ahdieh is the queen of duologies. she has mastered the art of giving just enough of the story to satisfy the reader - not too much, and not too little; just the right amount.
it felt like this was the yin to the ‘flame in the mist’ yang. where the first book was very fast paced and daring, this was more calm and calculating. so neat how one whole story can come together with two completely different halves.
and whilst i am more than satisfied with the conclusion of this story, i cant help but feeling i preferred the first book. i think thats because the main characters spent a great majority of the book separated, and i feel like they grabbed my attention more when they were together. i also preferred the feel and style of the first book - this was a tad bit slow for my liking.
but overall, another fantastic series by a wonderful author. cant wait to see what she comes up with next!!
↠ 4.5 stars
THE REVIEW IS POSTED
Flame in the Mist : ★★★★ my review
Smoke in the Sun : ★★★½
"I would rather die for
love than stand by and watch my love perish."
My Opinion Time!
To be honest, I still can't believe that I have finished reading this book because I remember reading the first book months ago and I loved it and after I finished reading the first book, I felt like there was something missing inside of me and the sequel would fill this missing piece in me. So I was really excited and happy when this book arrived at my house and it was like a pure happiness for me. It was like the best day ever in the week ( it probably was ). But sadly, I didn't love it as much as I thought I would. Well, I still liked the book but I didn't love it. It wasn't amazing but it was a pretty good read for me.
The Pacing and Plot
Actually, before reading this book I had already expected that this book would be slow but I did not expect that it would be this slow. It was sooooo slow and I felt like there was too much information. It's not like I didn't need those information but my God, that was too much information for me and honestly I totally would skim reading this book, if it weren't for a certain character and the writing style but I didn't do it and I am so proud of myself for being able to be that patient when the book was soooooooo slow hahahaha.
and now about the plot, well the plot was good enough but oh my God, there were some brutal scenes and it was brutal enough to make me uncomfortable, grimaced, averted my eyes and I kept wanting to skim reading when I read those brutal scenes but I didn't do that because I was afraid I would miss something important and I still remember those scenes in my mind and I want to forget them so badly. I just don't want to remember them. Those make me afraid and uncomfortable.
In my opinion, this book filled with too much actions and not enough romance. There was indeed romance in this book but for me it's not enough. I wanted more romance scenes between two characters I adored and even though, the romance was not much, I still liked it and omg, the romantic bond between Mariko and the love interest was soooooo sweet and fiercely strong and THIS IS MY RELATIONSHIP GOALS.
Their love for each other was so strong and they respected each other and they loved and treated each other equally and it honestly brought tears to my eyes because that was exactly what I wanted to read and this is also what I want in real life. While I was reading this book, I kept wishing and hoping that one day I hopefully would get a man like him. The romantic relationship between Mariko and the love interest was just so beautiful.
"Ours is a love stronger than fear and deeper
than the sea," he said softly.
Mariko was determined, fierce and strong. She's honestly like an inspiration for me and I felt as if there was this connection between me and her. I was just so proud of Mariko and I always agreed with her and nodding along with all of her decisions. She's certainly one of my favorite characters that has inspired me. In this book we also get know more about Yumi and I liked Yumi but not as much as I liked Mariko. I don't know what else to say. I'm speechless.
**END OF SPOILER**
Overall, it was a good read for me and even though the book was slow, the book never bored me and the writing style was so pretty and I loved it so much.
This was what it meant to be truly free. To be herself and
no one else.
To be loved as she was.
I stayed up all night to finish reading it and I honestly regret NOTHING! RTC
I literally screamed and swore when this book arrived at my house. Yes, I was that excited. I AM SO READY TO READ THIS BOOK.
I do wish this series was a trilogy though.
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!!!!!!!