Book Reviews

Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox, #2) by Julie Kagawa

Soul of the SwordTitle: Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox, #2)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Rating: ★★★

One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

Shadow of the Fox: ★★★
Soul of the Sword: ★★★

Soul of the Sword is exactly how the title reads. The story delves into the relationship between the Demonslayer and Hakaimono. We see a different side to these characters. The only problem is…I’m not sure that I like it.

One thing I wish the novel had more of was the supporting characters. Shadow of the Fox left me wanting to know each and every one of their stories. I was just left hanging on some of them.

Soul of the Sword is the picture of loyalty, love, and justice. Some parts even took me for a spin and the next installment is sure to bring some more!

Check out my review for Shadow of the Fox.

Book Reviews

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1) by Julie Kagawa

Shadow of the FoxTitle: Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Rating: ★★★

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

Yumeko: kitsune; half-fox, half human; from the Silent Winds Temple
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Tatsumi: bears the sword Kamigoroshi concealing the great demon Hakaimono; from the Shadow Clan
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Okame: ruthless, greedy, proud…basically a samurai pirate
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Daisuke: royal-born, a legend, never defeated
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Zombie-like ghosts, demons, shapeshifters, magic-wielders, gods, samurais, and blood magic. What more could one ask for? Except, I found it overwhelming. I had trouble keeping everything straight and I wished the worlds were more descriptive, especially the different clans. The world-building could’ve improved.

The novel started out fast-paced and entertaining, but after the gaki, I felt my attention drifting outside of the book. I absolutely loved the gaki scene and found it the most interesting part of the story.

Normally I wouldn’t say this, but I felt like there was too much going on. Between the different creatures, the different clans, and all of the trouble the protagonists seem to find themselves in, I find some similarities between Lord of the Rings. This was an introductory novel in order to find the whole “crew” on the fight for the next villain.

I would’ve loved to learn more about the different clans, and have less action. It just seemed like the author was more interested in introducing the reader to the different creatures instead of building the world first and adding in the creatures. I think it would’ve kept my attention longer that way.

With that being said, I think there is a lot of potential to world build and growth from the characters in Soul of the Sword. Hopefully the story line will be more linear and easier to follow.