Title: Soul of the Sword
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Shadow of the Fox #2
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication date: June 18th, 2019
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.
“One man made a wish on the Dragon scroll with hate in his heart and unknowingly invited a demon into his soul.”
After the shocking ending of Shadow of the Fox, I knew I had to pick up Soul of the Sword as soon as I could, so needless to say I went with so high expectations into this one, and I have to say that even though it suffered a bit of second book syndrome, I still think it was such an amazing sequel, and we got to know more about that world and those characters.
Like I said before, even though it was pretty interesting to follow and so fast paced and easy to get into, there were times, especially as we were reaching the middle point of the story, where things happened quite slow, and at times, not much happened at all. I wouldn’t say I was bored out of my mind then, but it’s true that I was expecting to be more engaged. However, the rest of the book was fantastic and totally redeemed those little parts that were slower.
There’s something about Julie Kagawa’s writing that it’s so luring and interesting. I thought I was going to be a bit confused at the beginning of the story, because it’s been a hear I believe ever since I read Shadow of the Fox, but truly, it didn’t take me that long at all to remember most details of the first installment. And again, her writing made the reading experience so much lighter and engaging for the reader, with very interesting and detailed descriptions and a fluid dialogue.
When it comes to the characters, I was so happy to see we got a Hakaimono’s POV. I think the demon was such an interesting addition to the story in the first book, and in Soul of the Sword we got to know more about his personality and pretty much his motives. The only thing that stood out to me a bit weird was that, even though he was supposed to be this mighty and old creature, his inner monologue and thoughts seemed sometimes quite… young? It didn’t affect the story at all, but it was something that was a bit odd to me.
“The scroll wants to be found, Okamesan. That’s why it’s so dangerous. If we destroy it now, it could reappear in the hands of the very people we are trying to keep it away from.”
I also really enjoyed the other two POVs. Yumeko was such an incredible protagonist, and in this installment the author explored more her magical part, which was so cool. Also I really adored her personality and the dynamics between her and the rest of the group. We also got to read more about Suki, and even though her perspective didn’t appear to be that important, I think she’s going to be an important piece in the conclusion of the trilogy.
One of my favorite parts about this trilogy and world in general, was the mythology. Julie Kagawa created such an incredible and frightening magical world, and it was even more complex and present in this second book. There were more introductions of different creatures, and things that made the book so unique and incredible.
And oh, my my, THAT ENDING. Just like the middle half of Soul of the Sword was slow, that ending was pure fire. I was at the edge of my seat the entire time wanting to know what was going to happen and how everything would end, and praying that none of my faves would die, and I think that just because of those 40 pages, the book was entirely worth it. I honestly cannot wait to read the third installment and finally see how everything would sum up, because things went down in this one.
Overall, I was pretty happy with everything in Soul of the Sword. There were certain tiny details that I wasn’t the biggest fan of, but apart from that I think it was such an incredible sequel.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
TW: gore murder descriptions
“Much like your illusions and foxfire, magic itself cannot be evil. It is how you use your powers that determines the intent.”
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