Renee Ahdieh’s new duology takes on Asian folklore with the backdrop of warring Japan and Japanese culture.
The Wrath and the Dawn author Renee Ahdieh is still experience the success of her debut duology, with the sequel The Rose and the Dagger released earlier this year. But that hasn’t stopped her from writing, as she just announced a new duology!
The title of the first book of the duology is Flame in the Mist where she takes on Asian folklore with the backdrop of Japan.
Bustle had a chance to talk to her about the upcoming book and what it’s about:
Bustle: Flame in the Mist is set against the backdrop of feudal Japan. What drew you to this setting for a new story?
Renee Ahdieh: My mother is of East Asian descent, and I grew up in South Korea. Stories drawn from Asian folklore have always been much beloved by my family, and my passion for these tales quickly grew into a fervent love for martial arts films of all sorts.
The literature and the history from this region of the world spans millennia; as a child, I read tales from The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and the story of a girl warrior who fights in disguise was always a personal favorite. Not to mention that Mulan is — in my humble opinion — the best Disney heroine to date!
When it comes to Japanese history, the era of the samurai captivated my attention early on, and I soon recognized the parallel between the Western ideal of a knight. This story is basically all the things I loved about my childhood, rolled into one!
Readers were such huge fans of Shazi from The Wrath and the Dawn. What can you tell everyone about your new hero or heroine from this new duology?
Shazi will always be near and dear to my heart! Mariko, the heroine of Flame in the Mist, is definitely different from Shazi, and yet still espouses a strength and a will all her own. I really feel as though Shazi would be great friends with Mariko in time.
Mariko is calculating and intelligent — an inventor and an innovator. Where Shazi would throw herself into the fray without hesitation, Mariko would be the type to carefully pick out a weakness and exploit it, all before making a single move. Let’s just say I would not want to challenge Hattori Mariko to a game of chess!
What was your favorite part of writing Flame in the Mist?
I love this question! For me, my favorite part of writing any story is falling in love with my characters. It’s that moment when I really feel as though I understand their histories and can’t wait to put their perspectives on the page.
But honestly, I love writing fighting scenes and kissing scenes the most. Luckily I got to do a lot of that with The Flame in the Mist.
You can read the rest of the interview on Bustle.