Title: Soul of the Sword
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Released: June 17, 2019
Genre: Fantasy Fiction, Japanese Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis from book:
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 whoever 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.
My Review: This is the second book in a three-book trilogy about the Shadow of the Fox. We are following the group of adventurers that met in book one as they continue on their journey to stop the evil forces at work.
One of the most important things I want to call out about these books, all of them, is that the story is a unique YA adventure that does include some violent depictions of battle, especially as they get further along in this dark quest of theirs.
This book does include some violent battle depictions of blood and gore that might be difficult to read or understand for the youngest of readers.
There is male on male relationships that develop within this book for those that are not comfortable reading about this.
While their adventure is breath-taking and takes you through so many parts of the Empire of Iwagoto, do not be surprised at how much you might find yourself invested in each and every character. I had a difficult time relating to one of the female characters through book and most of book 2, but then something changed and you start to realize why these people are the way they are. The trials they’ve faced, the horror they’ve witnessed and they all stay strong and keep moving forward to try and save their empire.
There is a variety of character archetypes from our under-dogs, to nobles, to demons and everything in between. They all have forces to overcome within themselves and the forces outside of them that they are facing. This book truly was a gift to my soul as I enjoyed every single word on every page. It was enlightening, enjoyable and intense from start to finish.
I highly recommend this book and this series for any one that enjoys YA Fantasy and those looking to branch out into a more refined segment of Japanese fantasy as well.
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Happy adventures everyone, let me know in the comments below if you’ve read this book, want to read it, or want to talk about how it made you feel!