‘Flame in the Mist,’ very little fantasy, very much instalove

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‘Flame in the Mist,’ very little fantasy, very much instaloveFlame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)
three-starsWritten by Renee Ahdieh
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Published on May 16th 2017
Pages: 393

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.

A Mulan-inspired book written by a woman of colour? Flame in the Mist was an instant read for me!

three-stars
BOOK REVIEW: 'Alex and Eliza' by Melissa de la Cruz, or how to blatantly (and badly) make money out of Hamilton: An American Musical

‘Alex and Eliza,’ or how to blatantly (and badly) make money out of Hamilton

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‘Alex and Eliza,’ or how to blatantly (and badly) make money out of HamiltonAlex and Eliza
zero-starsWritten by Melissa de la Cruz
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Published on April 11th 2017
Genres: Historical fiction
Pages: 368
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Their romance shaped a nation. The rest was history.

1777. Albany, New York.

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

Have you ever seen something that you know was only created to use something else’s fame to make easy money? Because that’s exactly what Melissa de la Cruz’s Alex and Eliza is all about.

zero-stars