Smoke in the Sun
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Published on: 5 June 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
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After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, Mariko has no choice–to rescue him, she must return to Inako and face the dangers that have been waiting for her in the Heian Castle. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor’s ranks and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead.
With the wedding plans already underway, Mariko pretends to be consumed with her upcoming nuptials, all the while using her royal standing to peel back the layers of lies and deception surrounding the imperial court. But each secret she unfurls gives way to the next, ensnaring Mariko and Okami in a political scheme that threatens their honor, their love and the very safety of the empire.
I’ve been wanting to get my hands on this novel once I finished ‘Flame in the Mist’ but I was unable to do so, for obvious reasons. If you have yet to read my book review on the 1st novel in this duology, you will be able to do so here. ‘Smoke in the Sun’ is the 2nd and final novel in this duology.
I have to complement Renee Ahdieh’s writing. She has always been an excellent story teller. Every single novel which I’ve read, which is written by her, has excellent plot, characters, world, and ‘Smoke in the Sun’ is not an exception. The extraordinary aspect about Renee’s writing is that she woven and knit the bits and pieces of a jigsaw puzzle so intricately that readers can’t really find holes in her writing. I have to warn readers out there whom have yet to read one of Renee Ahdieh works that they might get confused initially. But, once they get the hang of it, they will be able to see the beautiful masterpiece presented in front of them.
The characters development is astounding. Mariko has definitely grown to become a warrior instead of the lady whom many of us are aware of in ‘Flame in the Mist’. She becomes more resilient and quick-witted instead of continuing to be the spoiled, timid lady she once was. It is definitely a thrill to follow Mariko’s perspective on how she outwit the royals in court and control her fiery temper.
It is almost heart wrenching to follow Okashi’s perspective in the novel. He lost his resolve a long time ago when he lost both his parents and is desperate and afraid to lose another person whom he truly cares for. That is until when Mariko comes along and start to break down his walls. I’m glad Okashi finally managed to leave the past behind and concentrate on the present and future in ‘Smoke in the Sun’. On the side note, he loves Mariko so deeply that he is probably willing to give up his life for her. Actually, both of their love runs so deep that I can’t help but swoon when they are together and get heartbroken when Okashi is held as a prisoner in the castle.
‘Smoke in the Sun’ is definitely a perfect novel to end this duology. I couldn’t ask for a better one. Actually, I learned much from this novel. This novel will definitely have a place in my heart.