Release date – 5th June 2018
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I went into this book only really remembering that Flame in the Mist was a Mulan retelling, and that it was good. I could vaguely remember that Mariko and Okami were taken to the capital city, but that was about it. Hell, I couldn’t even remember who some of the names belonged to.
(Thankfully, Book Series Recaps exists, and it’s truly a blessing.)
I came out of this book, however, as complete Trash™️ for Mariko and Okami.
Truly, they are the ultimate power couple, and I love them insane amounts.
Now, I love court-based stories. Done well, the mind games of court can literally blow my mind, and Smoke in the Sun is definitely done right. Mariko needs to go back to her childhood lessons, needs to adopt once again her flawless manners and lowered eyes, needs to once again take orders from men; specifically, the Emperor, and his brother, Mariko’s soon-to-be husband, Raiden. With her wedding looming, Mariko must also devise a way to help Okami escape from the castle dungeon before his execution is announced.
Mariko’s intelligence continues to shine through in everything from her speech to her inventions. Often, authors seem think that strong female leads must sass people like there’s no tomorrow and then kick them in the face; and while I’m sure Mariko can do that, that’s not all she is. She uses her mind to get her where she wants, and she knows her own worth; she knows that she’s worth just as much as any man, and can scheme and plot as well as any of them.
She’s a full-on riot. I love her.
I also loved Okami, and their moments together when Mariko was trying to break him out of his prison were pure gold; I lived for their exchanges. Their love of each other was so obvious, without either of them having to say it. But when they did manage to say it? I melted.
I’m so, so pleased that I was able to review an early copy of this book. Renee’s writing is enchanting, simply superb, her romance is swoon worthy but not overpowering, and her characters are fire. I can’t wait until I can start The Wrath and the Dawn because I think I’m probably the only person in the YA world who hasn’t read it.
*I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*