My Rating: 4 stars!
Cover Rating: 8/10 I’ve always loved this cover! The Phoenix is beautiful. I was immediately drawn to this book because of this gorgeous cover.
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publish Date: May 16th, 2017
Number of Pages: 392 pages
Received: A bookish wish fairy granted me this lovely book!
Synopsis: “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.”
Opening Sentence: “In the beginning, there were two suns and two moons.”
I had a great time reading this book and I’ll love to one day get my hands on book two! It was a wonderful Mulan retelling with a heroine I would never pick a fight with. This book left me wanting so much more.
What I Loved:
The increasing intensity as the book went on. I love a book that smolders and starts catching momentum. The beginning was fun, but as more started happening things spiced up and I couldn’t get enough!
That I’m not sure if I like Kenshin. Sometimes family aren’t always the best people and as some strange things happen with Kenshin I found myself disliking him and thats not necessarily a bad thing. What I don’t like about him intrigued me and I’m not going to spoil it, but what happened made my jaw drop.
At times it made me laugh. I love lighthearted moments in a story and this one had several. Put a smile on my face and joy in my heart. Especially the moment we meet Ōkami. That moment was so great. Had me screaming yes on the inside.
Ōkami. I really enjoyed his character and the banter he had with Mariko. There was such a fun tension between the two from the beginning even as he believed she was a boy. Also, the way he fights is so cool!
The encampment. I rarely have an appreciation for place, but there was something deadly magical about the encampment. The surroundings. Even the flavor of it. I really enjoyed it.
All in all:
This is a really fun retelling that is full of exciting fights, a growing in intensity kind of love, and a story that gets better as it goes along. If you haven’t already check this book out! It’s a book you won’t regret reading.
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.
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