Flame in the Mist had so much potential, but I think between a plot that didn't engross me until the final third and a handful of bland characters (they aren't food, Joel), it failed to meet my hopes for the story.
It was still a good read though, don't get me wrong. Ahdieh's descriptive prose painted wonderful pictures in my mind of the beautiful forests in Feudal Japan and I loved some of the characters. But, I definitely believe that Flame in the Mist could've been better.
Also, I believe that this book was wrongly advertised as a Mulan retelling as the only similarities that Mariko and Mulan have is that they both dressed as men for a short while, their motivations were also about family but for completely different reasons. For Mariko, it was about honour but for Mulan, it was protecting her ill father from going to war. However, you can definitely tell it was inspired by Mulan. Mulan is my favourite disney film and I was so excited to read Flame in the Mist, but it just didn't work out for us in the end.
Crooked Kingdom took my heart and ripped it to shreds. I wasn't prepared, although I don't think you ever be prepared for the events that occurred in Crooked Kingdom. Leigh Bardugo's writing was on point, her characters were on point and the story was just asdfghjkl. There's just something about the way that Bardugo writes that has me so engrossed within the world she creates.
Seeing the many choices each of the characters had to face was interesting, it definitely exposed some of their underlying issues and the problems they still had to face. This further emphasized many of the obstacles they still had to face, that Six of Crows wasn't the end of their problems. For some of them, it was merely the beginning.
As writers, creativity is our natural fuel in which we use to craft our stories and characters. The worlds we create with our minds are so extended and full of imagination, it takes a lot to come up with them.
Hence, this well can run dry and we encounter something called Writer's Block or a Creativity Block. We can sometimes work our way through it but other times, we stress ourselves to no end coming up with a solution for our stories.
However, we're putting so much care into our stories, we've forgotten to care for ourselves.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is one of my favorite reads of this year. From the outstanding diversity of the characters to the sensational world building and magic that goes into this world, I will forever have Ketterdam and The Dregs in my heart. While this was a book that I've wanted to read for a while, this was also a book that I needed in my life.
Kaz Brekker. Inej Ghafa. Jesper Fahey. Wylan Van Eck. Nina Zenik. Matthias Helvar.
I've completely fallen in love with the way that Bardugo writes, her prose keeps me attached and drawn into the world that she creates. Six of Crows held me and didn't let me go until my emotions were destroyed and I needed to know what happened next. Luckily for me, I had the sequel in hand so I could hop right over straight away.
Hey friends! I’m Joel, the main writer here at Fictional Fates. I’m a reader and writer who advocates for more diversity in literature.
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