Renée Ahdieh took the book world by storm with her stunning debut duology, The Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger. Now she’s back with her newest book, Flame in the Mist, and as part of the blog tour, we’ve got a guest post from Renée on some of the research she did while writing:
Research is one of my favorite things to do in preparation for writing a book. I often spend at least an entire month immersing myself in several different aspect of a culture and a time period. To begin with, I love reading poetry and philosophy from that respective world. For FLAME IN THE MIST, I fell in love with Miyamoto Musashi’s THE FIVE RINGS. I also watched films by one of my favorite directors, Akira Kurosawa. And then for weaponry, there was this amazing documentary on samurai swords–I think it was done by the BBC!–that I watched over and over again.
Of course traveling to a country is something I love to do, if at all possible. You’re able to be a part of the way a country’s people move throughout their daily lives and start to grasp how even subtle differences weave through their culture.
Lastly, one of my favorite aspect of research often involves the cuisine. I feel as though you can learn a lot about a people by how they eat, so it’s important for me to cook any dish I describe in any of my books. My favorite thing I learned how to make for FLAME was ponzu!
About Flame in the Mist:
The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.
About Renée Ahdieh:
Renée Ahdieh is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Wrath and the Dawn and The Rose and the Dagger. 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 Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog.
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Check out the rest of the blog tour: