Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh is the sequel to Flame in the Mist.
We pick up where we left off in book one. Okami has been captured and Mariko allows herself to be “rescued,” tricking her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held hostage by the Black Clan. Now Mariko is playing the part of obedient fiancee and meek woman, all the while seeking to free Okami and bring down the vicious new emperor.
But the inner workings of the court leave Mariko little time to plot and plan, so she begins to look for allies from within. Meanwhile the Black Clan has been busy; recruiting and building their numbers. No longer are they the small force hidden within the Jukai forest. The flames of unrest are heating up and a mysterious plague leave many deranged or dead.
Can Mariko save the man she loves? Can she ever be free from the chains her sex ties her to? Will there ever be peace?
You know a book has it’s problems when your summary of it barely makes any sense! Guys… I don’t like to bash books. I don’t. But this one has some serious flaws. The first book was amazing! There was depth, the world building was great, the characters were diverse and dynamic and, mainly I just wanted to keep reading. Where this one started out slow, then finally picked up and gave me all sorts of breadcrumbs I wanted to explore and then it just ended in a rush, with very sloppily tied up ends. Where were my breadcrumbs! It was like the author either wasn’t invested in this one or she had plans for a third book but decided to nix it.
This really should have been three books. We were given such wonderful hints into our side characters lives–hints that felt very much like promises of whats to come–and they are just ignored. What about Yumi? We get whole chapters from her perspective about how she will not be left behind by her brother and yet all we see is her bolting away on a horse with a disparaging look from her brother. What about Tsukai (sp?) and Okami and the insight we get into Tsukai’s feelings and Hiakru (sp?) and the hints we get there! I mean really there was so much beneath the surface here that was never explored. And this isn’t just me wishing there were more to the book. NO. I felt like I was being promised things that were not delivered.
I also felt like Mariko got a little lost. Yes, we are told she is stronger for what she went through in the forest and we see it but she really didn’t impress me like she did in the first book.
Sigh. I had such high hopes for this one and unfortunately it only gets 2.5 stars from me.
That’s all for now!