**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. There are spoilers ahead if you have not read the first book in this series, Shadow of the Fox.**
Title Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2)
Author Julie Kagawa
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.
I was so excited to read this book. I preordered it basically the minute I finished Shadow of the Fox because I loved the story so much. And, since that book ended on a cliffhanger, I was pretty desperate to see where Julie Kagawa was going to take the story.
Luckily, I was chosen on NetGalley a few weeks before this book was published so I started before my physical copy arrived at my house.
I love the alternating POV style that Julie Kagawa uses for this series. In Shadow of the Fox, the main narrators were Yumeko and Tatsumi. So, I like the change of pace for Soul of the Sword. In this book, we have more chapters told from random POVs from minor characters as well as Hakaimono’s viewpoint has replaced Tatsumi’s as the second main POV.
Some Things I Liked
- The scene with the discussion about epic poems — I love how profound the characters are. They think about such interesting things. I loved the scene where they discuss the epic-ness of the poems that will be written about them if the succeed or fail.
- Hakaimono — he really grew on me. Yes, I know, he’s a murderous monster. But, I like his character. He’s comic relief in many scenes and his bratty attitude is hilarious. I also think, despite what he wants to admit, he doesn’t want anything to happen to Tatsumi. He’s my Darth Vader in this series.
- Dreamwalking — I loved the dream walking scenes. There are so many subtle hints and clues hidden during those scenes and I thought they were fantastically done.
- Daisuke and Okame — I feel like I don’t need to go on. Their relationship is perfect and I love how they think nobody knows. Also, I love that Yumeko actually doesn’t know.
Something I Wasn’t Crazy About
- This is entirely a personal preference, but, the slow burn between Tatsumi and Yumeko is too much! Just admit you like each other already! It pains me to watch them tiptoe around the subject so much.
This book had a slow start for me (it took me almost 2 weeks to finish the first part while I read the other two in one day). But, overall, I love the direction the story took. There is a nice sense of conclusion in both Shadow of the Fox and Soul of the Sword that leaves you satisfied that this leg of the journey is over. I am very excited to read the final installment coming out in March 2020, Night of the Dragon.
Hopes for Night of the Dragon
An “admit your feelings” conversation between Tatsumi and Yumeko — that’s like #1 for me.
More about Seigetsu and Suki — what’s his endgame? I need to know more. SPOILER ALERT, I think he might be the white fox. Something about the way the last chapter said he “reached for his blue ball of light and it wasn’t there” made me think of how the white fox gave his blue light ball of power to Yumeko. Now, bear in mind, I could be totally off base here. But, I think Seigetsu is more than he seems at the very least.
A happy ending for Reika. She deserves it. She’s all alone now and everyone else has someone. I hope we get a new character for her to pal around with.
Night of the Dragon will be released on April 7, 2020
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean – this is another Japanese inspired story of romance, oni, and yokai. If you like one, you will defintely like the other.
- Talon, Rogue, Soldier, Legion, and Inferno by Julie Kagawa – I love Julie Kagawa’s writing style (and dragons) so if you do too, check out the 5 book Talon Series.
- Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton – this one is not dragons or Asian inspired, but it captures themes of supernatural elements and ghosts and has been one of my favorite reads of 2019 so far so give this one a chance if you like supernatural books.