Book Review: Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh


Title – Smoke in the Sun

Author – Renee Ahdieh

Publication – June 5th, 2018.

Publisher – G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Genres – Young Adult & Fantasy.

The highly anticipated sequel to Flame in the Mist—an addictive, sumptuous finale that will leave readers breathless from the bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn.

After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, Mariko has no choice—to rescue him, she must return to Inako and face the dangers that have been waiting for her in the Heian Castle. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor’s ranks and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead.

With the wedding plans already underway, Mariko pretends to be consumed with her upcoming nuptials, all the while using her royal standing to peel back the layers of lies and deception surrounding the imperial court. But each secret she unfurls gives way to the next, ensnaring Mariko and Okami in a political scheme that threatens their honor, their love and very the safety of the empire.

Divider 4.5

Renee’s writing is as beautiful and as captivating as ever, the writing style is like verse prose if there’s anything like that. it’s enchanting reading the plight of almost all the major characters in this novel.

The characters, they all have depth to them, woes can be felt, the development is spot on, the changes in them are noticed, you feel the love, the pain and the loyalty and how much strenuous it can be, especially when it seems like all hope is lost.

It’s a tale about family, love, treachery and keeping oaths. There’s so much action going on, the torture, the betrayal, the suffering it’s all highlighted and it makes the tale so much vivid. I felt all the love and I feel Tsuneoki was done dirty, too dirtily by Renee. He deserved more than he got.

The strength of love is an ongoing theme and I loved it. I love how Mariko continue to be a force to reckon with, loved how she kept to her beliefs and knowing right from wrong. Hoe her quiet strength helped set all plans in motion into righting her empire. Behind it all, I feel Mariko was at the centre.

I need to scream and shout and let it all out! Why oh why did Smoke in the Sun end the way it did, I feel completely robbed. ROBBED. I spent all day yesterday reading it and I needed to sleep cause waking up early for work today, but I went no you’re almost done, go on and I wish I slept because that ending left me with so many unanswered questions. The ending was super rushed and completely underdone.

What happened to the surviving members of the Black Clan? No insight into their lives, what about Yumi? Kenshin, Amaya and freaking Tsuneoki! How about the discovery of Kanako outrageous plot? We deserved more than we were giving, I know Okami and Mariko blah blah blah happily ever after. I just wish I knew more, can there be a book 2.5, please.

I feel so brutalized by the way the novel ended, it’s knocked off some stars, because damn it was just so rushed and too many details left out, I’m going to complain because why make it a character driven book, by giving many characters a voice, but only telling us the ending of two characters, who yes are main characters, but the other characters in this book where also giving as much attention for their story not to end properly, I’m getting so annoyed thinking about it again, so I’m ending my review on this note.


Lara Kareem


4 thoughts on “Book Review: Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

  1. I haven’t read the first book yet but I’m hoping to read it soon. Hopefully they’ll be a third book to tie up the loose ends.


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