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.
When you have a story you don't want to let go of, it's quite hard to say goodbye to it. This is exactly the impression Heart of Mist had on me.
A world surrounded by a deadly mist which leaves everyone at risk, but the true enemy might be within their boundaries? One world which contains badass female warriors that have a strict system of combat and power? The world where everything is never perfect and each character deals with their own struggles, no matter their age? COUNT ME IN.
I love the journey we took with Bleak and how much she changed throughout the novel and how prevalent the change is. The other point of views (yep, there are multiple and they were all brilliant) all took their own personal journies as well and my favorite perspective was Dash. I have such a theory surrounding Dash and it's making me excited and giddy and I hope it's right. I WILL BE SO SHOCKED IF IT IS RIGHT.
Beautiful People is a writing blog meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further. They post questions at the beginning of the month to do with characters in everyone's current WIP. This month's questions are about characters this time and you'll be hearing from the three main characters in A Mirror of Smoke. Each of them are like my brain children (well they did spawn from my mind) and I can't wait to share their stories with you.
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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