Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Released: 18th of May 2017
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.
What I Have to Say
I didn't realise this book was missing from my life, but it really was. It is exactly to my tastes as well as being so beautifully written and with some really real and very mysterious characters. There was so much going on, so many lies told, so many secrets hidden and I cannot wait to find out more. I'm so happy that there are going to be other books. I can't wait to find more what will happen.
It's all about ninjas and feminism, what could be better? This is a book that really looks at a women's place in the world, a place where Mariko's only option is to be married or bring dishonour to her family. It's about how women can take power in whatever way they can.
I loved how much the way of Bushido was compared with the way the ninja operate. I always love the comparisons with Samurai and Ninja because they are so routed in the same code but they differ so much in a lot of ways. It's fascinating.
I think I could read this series forever. It's definitely a new favourite. I can't wait for the next book!
My thanks go to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for providing me with this copy for review.