I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Smoke in the Sun by Renée Ahdieh
Series: Flame in the Mist #2
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on June 5, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
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For weeks, seventeen-year-old Mariko pretended to be a boy to infiltrate the notorious Black Clan and bring her would-be murderer to justice. She didn't expect to find a place for herself among the group of fighters—a life of usefulness—and she certainly didn't expect to fall in love. Now she heads to the imperial castle to resume a life she never wanted to save the boy she loves.
Ōkami has been captured, and his execution is a certainty. Mariko will do what she must to ensure his survival—even marry the sovereign's brother, saying goodbye to a life with Ōkami forever.
As Mariko settles into her days at court—making both friends and enemies—and attempting Ōkami's rescue at night, the secrets of the royal court begin to unravel as competing agendas collide. One arrow sets into motion a series of deadly events even the most powerful magic cannot contain. Mariko and Ōkami risk everything to right past wrongs and restore the honor of a kingdom thrown into chaos by a sudden war, hoping against hope that when the dust settles, they will find a way to be together.
Set against the backdrop of feudal Japan, Smoke in the Sun is the breathless, romantic, not-to-be-missed fiery conclusion to a spell-binding adventure.
I adored Flame in the Mist, so as soon as I had my hands on Smoke in the Sun I knew that I was in for a treat.
Renee Ahdieh’s descriptions of feudal Japan are stunning. They drew you in and at once you feel like you are standing by the characters as they battle, scheme and love.
Smoke in the Sun switches it up a little bit and we focus more chapters on the secondary characters.From Kanako, the former Emperor’s scheming consort, to Kenshin, Mariko’s brother and dedicated samurai. Characters who at first appear to be villains turn out to be so much more.
So many twists and turns appeared in this book, that the shocks keep coming. You just get over one reveal and the next suddenly appears. Yet the twists make sense and by the end it is a completely satisfying read.
Smoke in the Sun shows that while the men battle it out, it is the women that actually pull their strings. I also loved Mariko’s friendships with Yumi and Suke, showing that even the smallest gesture can have the most powerful impact.
This is a book that I never wanted to end. I was desperate to find out what was happening but at the time I didn’t want to turn to the last page. This is a book that gave me a book hangover. And it has taken a while to actually pick up my next read.