Smoke In The Sun is a novel I took my time to read and enjoy it. The novel itself is a bit less diverse as its predecessor had been, but nonetheless thrilling and sensitive written. And the cover *swoon* All the different blue tones, the white and black that gives it a sharp contrast but not too sharp. Love it! It was one reading pleasure to watch the main figure go through all the pain to do what she feels she has to do – great.

Das Herz Aus Eis & Liebe*
by Renée Ahdieh
Flame In The Mist #2
Translation Martina M. Oepping
Original Title Smoke In The Sun
Publisher One on June 28, 2019
Genre Young Adult
Pages 428
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher 

Be water. Move with the stream. The Black Clan has been spotted and Okami has been captured. Mariko knows that she now has no choice: she must follow Prince Raiden to the royal court. From now on, she plays the devoted bride to uncover the intriguer in the palace and finally find out who is behind all the lies and secrets that have cost so many lives. Wisdom and prudence are her strongest weapons. But how is she to succeed in freeing Okami and providing justice when she is under constant observation and conceals the next secret behind each revealed secret? (personally translated by ©Vi at Inkvotary).
Life at the royal court is cruel and filled with intrigues. The emperor rules with an iron fist and his madness become more and more of a threat to everyone living at the imperial palace. Mariko knows that she has to be very careful if she will ever succeed and free Okami. But it is not easy to steal all the things she needs for her plan and when she fails one time after the other, she gets unexpected help from a person she never thought would help her. 

This time, the author shows the world inside the imperial palace and the town around it. The novel is not as adventurous and diverse as in book one, but still, you´ll find it haunting and very entertaining. I wasn´t absolutely happy with the end, for my taste a bit too cheesy and too soon, but maybe that is only my feeling about it. From the beginning, the story is very bloody, brutal, and cruel. The once calm looking emperor now turns into a maniac who sees everywhere and in all around him a threat. Something Mariko knows to use for her plans. It still amazes me, how words can sound like music. Do you know the feeling when silk is gliding over your skin? Soft and like magic? I felt that when I read this story. Even during the cruelest scenes, it was there. No clue how she does it, but Renée Ahdieh knows how to capture and fascinate her readers. 

Mariko stays true to herself. She does what she has to do to free the man she loves without compromising the man she is supposed to marry. How Prince Raiden changes in this second book - I am still amazed. The view you get from him is that of an incredible man who sure needs his time before he starts to understand and see, but then – holy smokes! There is a lot of rage, madness, desperation, and passion in this book. Shown by very well created figures. And they all are combined in a wonderful way that makes you want to get to know them more and better. Except for the emperor maybe. Him, I always pictured as a stubborn little child who jumps or stomps with his feet on the ground every time it didn´t get its will. That was sometimes very amusing, but mostly, considered the plot around it, a bit frightening. 

The final scene was a bit too cheesy for my taste, but all in all this novel is a wonderful written one. The combination of action, intrigues, and passion are good, and you get some answers to questions resolving out of Flame in the Mist. If you haven´t already read it, do it.

Happy reading

Deutsche Rezension

Die Geschichte ist um einiges blutiger, grausamer und gewalttätiger. Und trotzdem klingt jedes Wort wie Musik. Es erstaunt mich immer wieder, wie ein Autor es schafft, die Sätze und Wörter auf dem Papier wie in Seide gekleidete Musik klingen zu lassen. Das hat sich beim Lesen angefühlt, wie kühle Seide, die über nackte Haut gleitet. Herrlich! Der Roman ist nicht ganz so abwechslungsreich und abenteuerlich wie Band eins war, doch das nimmt der Geschichte weder den Unterhaltungswert noch die Faszination. Das Leben am kaiserlichen Hofe ist für Mariko nicht einfach. Da werden Intrigen gesponnen, sie wird jeden Tag aufs Neue getestet und die kaiserlichen Launen machen es auch nicht leichter.

Ein kleines Manko allerdings gibt es. Das Ende kam mir zu schnell und war, für meinen Geschmack, ein bisschen zu kitschig.

Mariko bleibt sich selbst treu. Sie muss oft Rückschläge hinnehmen und lernt, ihr wahres Gesicht zu verstecken. Sie tut, was sie tun muss, um sich, ihre Liebe und den Mann, den sie heiraten soll, nicht zu entehren oder gar zu beleidigen. Wie sich Prinz Raiden verändert hat, das hat mich echt erstaunt. Er gewährt dem Leser Einblicke in sein Inneres, wie er denkt und fühlt, das hab ich so nicht erwartet. Er bildet den perfekten Gegenpol zu seinem Bruder, dem Kaiser. Die Figuren zeigen in diesem Band viel Wahnsinn, Verrücktheit und Leidenschaft. Alles von der Autorin zu einem sehr unterhaltsamen und spannenden Netz verwoben, das die einzelnen Charaktere gut zeigen. Da bekommt man beim Lesen noch mehr Lust, diese noch besser kennenzulernen. Na ja, alle bis auf den Kaiser. Ihn hab ich immer als trotziges Kleinkind vor Augen gehabt.

Die letzte Szene war mir ein bisschen zu kitschig. Aber im Ganzen gesehen war das ein wundervoller Roman, der mich sehr gut unterhalten hat. Die Kombination aus Action, Intrigen und Leidenschaft ist absolut gelungen. Zudem erhält der Leser Antworten auf noch offene Fragen. Absolut empfehlenswert.

*This book was kindly provided to me by One in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

The book was originally published Smoke in the Sun by G.P. Putnam´s Sons on June 5, 2018.

Renée Ahdieh
Renée Ahdieh ©Chuck Eaton Photography

Renée Ahdieh is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; consequently, Renée enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charleston, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog. She is the author of The Wrath and the Dawn. 


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