Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.
What book am I eagerly anticipating at this moment? Why it just so happens to be…
Flame in the Mist
by Renee Ahdieh
Releases May 16th, 2017 from G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR
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 ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.
Asian setting! Specifically Japan. Which means samurai. And there’s a girl pretending to be a boy. Which will definitely confuse the heck out of her two love interests — I’m assuming it’ll be a love triangle, since both boys were mentioned in the blurb. I’m okay with that, if it’s done well. But the best part of all… apparently this is a Mulan retelling???!!!!! Except… Mulan is a Chinese legend, and this story is set in Japan??? Like, why? Why can’t you set a Mulan retelling in China? Well, apparently this is ALSO a 47 Ronin retelling, so a mash-up of two stories, and 47 Ronin is set in Japan. So I guess that’s why Renee Ahdieh chose to set her story in Japan, perhaps the 47 Ronin elements are more prevalent than the Mulan elements. But still… as a Chinese American always looking for protagonists who are of Chinese heritage, this disappoints me a bit. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to Flame in the Mist. I’ve never read a Mulan retelling of any kind, so this should be interesting.
Are you looking forward to reading Flame in the Mist?
What can’t you wait to read right now?