**Disclaimer: There are spoilers ahead if you have not read the first book in this series, Shadow of the Fox.**
Title Soul of the Sword
Author Julie Kagawa
Section Covered Part II (Chapters 13-22)
One thousand years ago, a wish was made and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. A weapon powerful enough to seal away the formidable demon Hakaimono.
Now he has broken free.
Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful Scroll of a Thousand Prayers 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. But she has a new enemy now, more dangerous than any she has yet faced. The demon Hakaimono is free at last, and he has possessed the very person Yumeko trusted to protect her from the evil at her heels, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.
Hakaimono has only one goal: to break the curse of the sword and set himself free to rain chaos and destruction over the land forevermore. To do so, he will need the scroll. And Yumeko is the only one standing in his way.
Part I was a bit a of a slow read for me, taking me over 2 weeks to get through it. While I love this story, it was difficult for me to get back into it. Part I was a slow build and I really wanted to see thing ramp up in Part II.
Reika — the sassy shrine maiden with all the answers. Nothing gets passed her and I love that. Yumeko is blissfully ignorant of so many of the things happening around her but Reika sees everything. I do think we need a new character to be a companion of sorts for Reika. Everyone else in the gang has someone and now that Master Jiro is gone, Reika is pretty much alone. She’s far to interesting to be alone.
Some Things I Liked
- I finally got some romance! While it wasn’t the couple I was expecting, I’m glad that things are working out for Okame and Daisuke.
- The scene on the path through the land of the dead. I loved the discussion about what kinds of epic poems would be written about our characters if they survive/don’t survive their fight with Hakaimono. It’s such an interesting idea to think about the type of stories people will tell about you if you’re a hero or a failure. I loved it.
- Tatsumi and Yumeko’s dream reunion! I loved that scene. As frustrating as the slow burn of their romance is, I really liked that scene.
Some Things I Wasn’t Crazy About
- We didn’t get any more from the White Fox — I wanted more back story. Fingers crossed that I will get it in Part III.
- Lack of Tatsumi narrated chapters — I just want to hear from him more often. I could do with less of Suki and more of Tatsumi.
Hopes for Part III
I really really really want to see an epic battle at the Steel Feather Temple for Tatsumi’s soul. I mean this whole book is called Soul of the Sword so I want to see something awesome in Part III.
Again, more back story. This setting is so rich with history, I want to see more of it. I still feel like there is so much I don’t know about the other clans, the Dragon Scroll, even Yumeko’s kitsune powers. Give me more information!