Tag Archives: Renee Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) – Renee Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) – Renee AhdiehTitle: Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renee Ahdieh
Publishing Info: May 16, 2017 by Penguin
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes, Audible
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: May 27, 2017
Related Posts: The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt 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.

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Welp. The hype got this one for me. I actually went in with an open mind because I had no idea what to expect and despite not totally loving THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, I wanted to go into a new series with no reservations. I still ended up hitting some of the same issues that I encountered with WRATH though without even realizing it until I was done with the book.

FLAME IN THE MIST turned out to be a much slower-paced fantasy than I thought. I don’t mind slower pace BUT I didn’t feel like there was enough character development to create that sense of a character-driven novel when plot isn’t action-packed. The story was moving forward and things were happening but it wasn’t a whole lot to actually continuously keep the plot engaging. I don’t need all action, all the time, to enjoy a book but when action slows down, that’s where characters shine and it didn’t feel like there was a lot of dialogue to really get to know the characters or interact with them.

Most of the book took place in the first chapter and the last 25%. I feel like I barely got to know the main characters at all and most of the things I knew about them, I was told instead of actually seeing. The relationships were confusing until the romance was clearly outlined because there was a little tension with a few people until the romance finally started developing into what it was. The plot could have used some cleaning up and there wasn’t a really clear focus for a while. Aside from Mariko surviving the attack in the first few chapters (not a spoiler – it’s literally in the synopsis and happens in the first chapter), I wasn’t sure what her motivation was or what the point of the book was. Revenge? That’s it? Which is fine, but the reader can tell that more political motivations will also be involved, being the daughter of an important family, and I just wanted to explore more of that right off the bat. Instead of something being introduced and working it into the story throughout the book, it seemed like a concept was introduced and had to be expanded upon right away instead of letting the story naturally unfold over time.

The whole book felt a little too… open. Like I always say, I don’t need things clearly spelled out for me but I would like a better feel of what the book is, where it’s going, and who these characters are. I just didn’t feel like enough was developed. I got bored waiting for something to catch me and this just didn’t do it for me. Who else is not surprised I’m a black sheep on this book? Sigh.

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Kept Me Hooked On: Non-European fantasy. So many high fantasy novels are based on European concepts or settings and I really enjoyed the Japanese influence in this book! I can’t really judge how well it was done since I don’t know much about the culture in specific there but it was refreshing to take a fantasy somewhere else.
Left Me Wanting More: Development. I love character-driven novels and I don’t always need jam-packed plots to keep me interested but I felt like neither the plot nor the characters were really developed enough to hook me into this world.

Addiction Rating
Get a second opinion

I know I personally won’t be continuing this series. Maybe I just don’t click with Renee Ahdieh’s writing? I had a hard time with THE WRATH AND THE DAWN taking a while to get somewhere and then BAM it finally did, a little similar to FLAME IN THE MIST, so maybe it’s just a me thing! I know many people who have loved both series so far but I just don’t appear to be one of them.

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BOOKS LIKE FLAME IN THE MIST

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    THE STORY SPINNER

Redesign Reactions [8]: The Wrath and the Dawn Duology by Renee Ahdieh

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Welcome to Redesign Reactions, where we talk about books, covers, and what happens when new cover designs take over a series!

On this edition of Redesign Reactions, let’s talk about
The Wrath and the Dawn Duology by Renee Ahdieh

If you’ve been keeping up with the bookish happenings lately, you’ve seen the announcement for the new covers for Renee Ahdieh’s Wrath and the Dawn duet! I was totally taken by surprise because I didn’t even know this was in the works, especially since WRATH was already out in paperback, but it’s a fan-favorite with so many people that the internet was all abuzz with the changes! The design is quite different than the original so let’s take a look at them!

wrath and the dawn old covers

wrath and the dawn new covers

OLD COVERS: I really loved these when the books first came out! I enjoyed the WRATH cover more because I really liked that rich pink/red and the shape of the cut-outs on the cover. The merch that was offered with it (like the scarf) was just so stunning and I loved the design! Plus it was fun to see the full image of Shazi on the side cover. I wasn’t as excited for the ROSE cover. Blue is my favorite color but I think I was looking for another rich and exciting cover versus a light, powdery blue. I also didn’t like these cut-out shapes as much.

NEW COVERS: When the announcement happened and I caught a snippet of the full image, I actually wasn’t impressed with the new covers. Once I went to go see the full covers, especially side-by-side, I think I actually do like them so much more! At first I didn’t like the font because it felt a bit outdated but then I thought about how the overall feel really gives it a sort of antique vibe and how the new font, images, and color scheme sort of open the appeal up to such a variety of audiences.

Which do I like better? The original covers scream YA, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s clearly a young girl with her hand on her hip, looking a little sassy, which Shazi is but that’s not really capturing the tone of the novels well. The new covers bring some new to the table, appealing to an adult audience (in my opinion) and conveying a darker tone with the color scheme and selected images. It’s a much more stoic image of Shazi and the facial expression better conveys a girl who has been essentially sentenced to death instead of a sassy girl who’s up for some clever YA banter (not that I have anything against that. Banter is the best). I think the new covers are the winner for me and I’d actually like to own these books in the new covers instead of the originals!

So tell me! Which design do you like better? Take the poll below and let me know in the comments which you prefer and why! I’d love to hear your reactions!

[bctt tweet=”Which covers for The Wrath and the Dawn do you like better: Original or redesign? Take the poll at @bookaddictguide!” via=”no”]

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) – Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) – Renee AhdiehTitle: The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh
Publishing Info: May 12, 2015 by Penguin
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: April 11, 2015
Related Posts: Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1)

    Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.  

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THE WRATH AND THE DAWN was our selection for April to read together for our On the Same Page monthly read along. I have to admit… I was a bit intimidated by this book before I even began. I heard SO many amazing reviews and reactions for this book that I was already afraid the hype would get to me before I even started. And then I started the book. I’m not going to lie to you guys — the beginning was rough for me. As in, I probably would have DNFed it if I wasn’t reading with my best friends. Thankfully the great thing about being a part of this book blogging and reading community is that along with my BFFs, I had great support to encourage me to keep reading. See, when I had heard all of this hype, I hadn’t heard anyone who had struggled with the beginning so I was wondering if it was just me. Thankfully, we all read on and with reassurances from Alyssa and Amy (who were ahead of me) and pretty much everyone who saw my reading updates on Goodreads, I continued reading and they were all right. It got MUCH better.

I kind of had a hard time shaking off that rough start. I felt a bit dropped in the middle of an unfamiliar setting with a head-strong female lead. Head-strong and willful isn’t a bad thing but characters like Shazi do take some time for me to get to know sometimes. Once I know them, I’m usually all about the determination and ferocity, but I usually need to explore the setting and the plot (you know, make sure I should be on board with their cause) before I start to love them so that was something that took me a while to appreciate. Once I did get to know Shazi though (make that all of the characters), I really did love them and I’m so glad I got to know their stories.

I had a lot of fun once I really started to get into the thick of things. The world-building was quite fascinating, full of rich descriptions, interesting magical elements, and just had a great overall feel. All of the characters really started to shine and I really loved every single one of them — well aside from the baddies, of course — but even the antagonists were incredibly interesting. It took a little time for things to develop but I like how natural it felt to let these things unfold, especially in the case of the romantic elements. Renee Ahdieh’s writing was quite beautiful and it was just lovely to let myself really feel out this world and sort of develop around me.

THE WRATH AND THE DAWN concludes with punch after punch and it turned out to be just as thrilling as everyone had promised! Lives on the line, relationships in jeopardy, kingdoms at stake, and really everything reaching its pinnacle all at the right moments. It definitely had me wanting more which is both good and bad since I really enjoyed the conclusion but now I have to wait for book two (which is a ways out considering I read this book even before its publication date). All-in-all, I really enjoyed THE WRATH AND THE DAWN and how Renee Ahdieh adapted 1001 Nights into the storyline. It was a great original story with a hint of that something familiar (even reminded me of Aladdin in a specific marketplace scene!) and although I had a bit of a tough time in the beginning, I do think it’s quite worth the read and recommendation!

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“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Shazi // Character Obsessions: Revenge, freedom, love, justice.
I had a bit of a hard time with Shazi at first. Not because I disliked her but sometimes it’s hard for me to jump right in with characters and she happened to be one of them. Since she’s our main character, I figured her reasons and actions were justified but it took a while for me to warm up to her before I really started appreciating her. I think it’s hard for me to meet a character at a point in their life where they’re just angry, even if their reasons are justified so yes, I did end up loving Shazi but it took me just a little bit!
Khalid // Character Obsessions: Honor, ruling, protection, survival.
Khalid is my favorite character of this book… and it so did not start that way. I really ended up loving his character, appreciating his conflicts and struggles, and really sympathizing with him. I just loved getting to know him and finally understanding all of his interactions with Shazi. I can’t wait to read more about him!!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Middle Eastern influences. I actually don’t think I’ve ever read anything taking place in this region/with these influences! (Have I? Nothing comes to mind right away.) I really enjoyed it! I hadn’t written it off or anything but the region and culture are just so unfamiliar to me that it’s not something I normally gravitate towards. I’m really glad that I enjoyed it so much and Renee Ahdieh really did a fantastic job with all of the world building and lush descriptions of scenery, food, characters — everything. I was totally entranced.
Left Me Wanting More: Interest in the beginning. It wasn’t just that it was a slow start for me. There was something that was actively turning me off when I started the book. I mean, I’m definitely glad that I kept reading and once I understood the plot and why the book started where it did, I was totally okay with it but for some reason it was really hard for me to read with the book starting at that point in the characters’ stories.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

This book was really good! I’m definitely anxious for book two. If you struggle with the beginning, I really hope you have a situation like I did where it really picks up shortly after that. I ended up really liking the book a lot!

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BOOKS LIKE THE WRATH AND THE DAWN

(Click the cover to see my review!)

THE WINNER'S CURSE     THE KISS OF DECEPTION


OtSPcirclebanner250I read THE WRATH AND THE DAWN for the On the Same Page monthly read along with my two friends Alyssa & Amy! They have great posts ready for you today to so be sure to check out both of these, especially if you’re excited for the book!

Alyssa (Books Take You Places): The Wrath and the Dawn Quotes
Amy (Tripping Over Books): The Wrath and the Dawn inspired Pinterest board