Number of pages: 393
Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1
Rating (out of five stars): 1.5
I wanted to love Flame in the Mist. Maybe A Court of Wings and Ruin was disappointing, but Flame in the Mist was sure to be my five star read for May, right? I’m just tired of being disappointed.
The first thing that didn’t really work was the writing. While flowery, metaphor filled writing works really well for a romance novel, it does not work for an action book. The writing slows the progression of the plot. Frankly, the first 250 pages were really boring. There was a point in time where I didn’t even notice I had been staring out my window at a tree for ten minutes instead of reading. It’s just the wrong writing style for this type of story.
Mariko is really similar to Shazi. In fact, the whole romance plot is really similar to The Wrath and the Dawn. Boy is dark and mysterious, the “villains” are really the good guys, and then there is the heroine. Maybe it’s frustration with Feyre, but I’m becoming really sick of these heroines who are perfect in every way. Raised well, incredibly “intelligent”, and strong in every sense of the word. All these perfect, strong women are fine in principle, but they are starting to grate on me. I want my legitimately flawed heroines back. I want to see quiet, weaker heroines more often, because we exist.
There are so many other things I had problems with in Flame in the Mist. The magic didn’t really make sense, there was hardly any action, and this really wasn’t a Mulan retelling. In fact, I’m really sick of publishers pushing books as something they are not. A Mulan retelling is not the same thing as a girl cutting her hair and carrying logs for a secret society. A Mulan retelling is not the same thing as including a play on the whole “swift as a coursing river…” line from I’ll Make a Man Out of You.
The ending also didn’t really work. It would have been better if it had ended at the second last chapter, rather than where it did. The final chapter feels so out of place. I get that the information had to be conveyed, but it made me even less eager to read the sequel.
Overall, Flame in the Mist was disappointing, ultimately earning 1.5 stars out of 5. I do urge you to give it a try, however, because maybe I’ve gone insane at this point.