Expected publication: May 2nd, 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers.
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. (Goodreads)
#1. Author. I absolutely loved Ahdieh’s debut The Wrath and the Dawn.
#2. The writing. I am not huge into fantasy but Ahdieh had a way to keep me hooked, give enough description, while not being overly descriptive or flowery.
#3. Diverse characters. Need I say more?
#4. Reminiscent of Mulan.
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine & spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.