The Smoke and the Flame (The Flame and Fire Series Book 1)

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  1. Fire Types
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Two characters admit they aren't virgins and recall her first time having sex but in a vague, detached way. Three characters discuss a geiko teahouse and whether a young recruit is "untried. There's one love scene, but it's written appropriately for teens suggestive but not graphic.

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A few scenes of characters drinking sake and other Japanese liquor. Characters drug or poison other characters with their tea or alcohol. Set in feudal Japan, it's a twist on the Mulan tale popularized by the Disney movie. But Mariko's reasons for passing herself off as male are as much about uncovering the truth and self-protection as they are about helping her family.

As in Mulan , there's a romance that blossoms from a banter-filled friendship. The romance is slow-building, given the circumstances, but once Mariko's truth is revealed, it's rather fast and furious neither character is a "maid," and there is one love scene.

Readers ready to immerse themselves in the story will learn a great deal about ancient Japan, the samurai system, and the rules of living under the emperor. Add your rating. Add your rating See all 1 kid review. On her way to meet her betrothed, the convoy of the emperor's "second" son by his beloved consort , wealthy protagonist Hattori Mariko, is brutally attacked, making everyone believe she's dead. The sole survivor and intended target of the assassination attempt, Mariko realizes she must disguise herself as a young man, Sanada Takeo, to evade her would-be killers.

But Mariko also plans to ingratiate herself with the Black Clan, the rogue group of mostly young ronin masterless samurai rebels she believes are responsible for her "death.

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Mariko is strong-willed, curious, opinionated, and liberated far beyond what's expected of an upper-class girl engaged to royalty. But she's also sheltered and unaware of just how oppressive the emperor's reign is for the poor villagers who do everything for their lords. It's a pleasure to see her slowly question what she's held true -- particularly about the Black Clan and their intentions.

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The suitor is easily identifiable early on, but readers have to get through dozens of chapters of him verbally sparring with "Lord Lackbeard" what the Black Clan members call clean-shaven, small "Takeo" for sparks to finally fly. Fantasy fans should note that those elements are limited to some shape-shifting and supernatural gifts that characters possess.

Most of the story is rooted in an alternate but realistic version of the times of the samurai. Readers who love rich, descriptive language, historical details, and feminist heroines will find themselves immersed in this Mulan -meets- Princess Bride title. Families can talk about what characters you consider role models in Flame in the Mist. Why is their courage , teamwork , and empathy noteworthy?

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What do you think about the violence in the book? Does realistic violence affect you differently from fantasy violence? How does this book address themes of historical sexism and caste discrimination?

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Do you consider Mariko a feminist heroine? Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners. See how we rate.

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Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support. Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential. Learn how we rate. We are experiencing technical difficulties.

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  7. Please try again later. Read an Excerpt. Smoke in the Sun. The highly anticipated sequel to New York Times bestselling Flame in the Mist—an addictive, sumptuous finale that will leave readers breathless from the bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn.

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    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. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF. Skip to main content. Advertisement Hide. Flame retardants: inorganic oxide and hydroxide systems. Authors Authors and affiliations S. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Evans, K.