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Flame in the Mist
Cover of Flame in the Mist
Flame in the Mist
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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...
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...
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  • 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.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover 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.
    ...

About the Author-

  • 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; consequently, Renée enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Nancy Wu provides a dramatic characterization of a wealthy young woman who seizes an opportunity to be free of the constraints that feudal Japan imposes on women. When Mariko's caravan is attacked, she begins to masquerade as a boy, a practice she will grow reluctant to give up. Wu is comfortable with the story's Japanese words and names. Her portrayal of Mariko is sensitive to her fears and insecurities, both of which are covered by a veneer of bravado that gradually transforms into confidence and strength. Against a backdrop of the strict social conventions of the period, Wu draws out the tension between appearances and reality. J.E.M. � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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