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.
I received this book from the Publisher Via Netgalley for an honest review.
Shadow of the Fox was one of my top reads last year, so when I saw Soul of the Sword for request on Netgalley I jumped at the chance to grab an early review copy. I had super high expectations after the awesomeness of the first book and let me tell you, this met every single one of them.
The story starts not long after the Shadow of the Fox ended. Yumeko and the gang of misfits are deciding what to do after Kage Tatsumi was taken over by Hakaimono the demon that was trapped in his sword. Torn between wanting to rescue their friend and the need to make sure Yumeko’s part of the dragon scroll doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, they devise a plan which is quickly upended when the Daimo of the Kage requests Yumeko’s presence at the home of the Shadow Clan.
This book was simply put epic! The world building is immense and I simply love Kagawa’s writing style. She draws you into the story so completely with her descriptions and characters, that you almost feel like you are on the journey with them.
Yumeko is a fantastic character. Part Yokai, she has ‘illusion magic’ which enables her to make people see things that are not really there. This leads to some hilariously funny parts of the book that had me laughing out loud. She is also such an honest and honourable character, which is how she gained the unwavering loyalty of her group of unlikely friends, a Ronin, Samurai, Shrine Maiden and Priest. She is not afraid of putting herself in danger, and through the growth of her power, is determined that there must be a way for her to save Kage Tatsumi and put Hakaimono back into the sword for good.
I was so happy we got more Suki in this book as well. We got treated to whole chapters from her POV and she became the a massive part of the plot. Her character ARC is one of the more interesting, simply because since she died, she isn’t quite sure why she still lives on this realm, and its only towards the end of the book that her true purpose comes to light.
Although I love all the characters I definitely have a soft spot for Okame. Though he’s a Ronin – a disgraced Samurai- he is one of Yumeko’s strongest and loyal protectors, and they have a fantastic relationship, almost that of brother and sister. When Yumeko is using her fox magic for mischief you can always be sure that Okame will not be far away.
I loved the twists and turns throughout this book, Kagawa manages to keep you guessing right until the end, and that ending! I definitely did not see that coming. There is also a beautiful love story woven through this, and though not a main part of the plot, I adored reading the characters interaction’s, and seeing their bond grow throughout the book.
Yet another 5 star read. I cannot wait for the third instalment, especially after the cliff-hanger ending we were left with. I will simply have to bide my time digging into some more of Julie’s books as I’m sure I will enjoy them as much as these.