RELEASE DATE: June 27th 2019
AUTHOR: Julie Kagawa
GENRE: Young-Adult, fantasy, Mythology, Adventure.
PUBLISHER: HQ YOUNG ADULT
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.
Soul of the Sword is the second installment in the Shadow of The Fox trilogy. I loved the first book in this series and I’ve been eagerly looking forward to this sequel and I wasn’t disappointed. It was really a good sequel but I wouldn’t say it was as amazing as the first one mostly because of the lack of one of the prominent characters in the series. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the entire journey and Yumeko’s quest to free Tatsumi. The major highlight of this book was the Hakaimono, the demon lord who thirsts for revenge on the entire Kage Clan.
The story continues from where it was left in the Shadow Of The Fox. After learning Yumeko’s Yokai nature, Tatsumi finally succumbs to the demon sword and Hakaimono takes control of his body. Yumeko feels guilty that she’s the one responsible for him losing control, so she’s determined to free his soul, but first she needs to bring the dragon scroll to the steel feather temple which is not an easy task with demons on their trail. Meanwhile Hakaimono brings chaos into the world and he’ll not stop until he kills the entire Kage Clan who’re responsible for his captivity in the sword. Can Yumeko and her friends save Tatsumi before it’s too late?
I just love Yumeko! She grew even more strong and mature. I’m glad that she finally exhibited her true Kitsune powers because I was really anticipating for that to happen. I really missed Tatsumi in this book. He’s one of my favorite character. He was barely there in the plot but we finally get to know his backstory which I really loved. We also learn a little bit about our side characters Okame and Daisuke. The new relationship between them, well boy I didn’t see that coming, but I’m loving it and shipping it. Okame is funny and hilarious, as always. He always brings a smile on my face. The noble Daisuke is a total gentleman and loyal. The priestess Reiko tries to keep them away from getting into any trouble but she always fails. I honestly loved the friendship and the banters between them. I also liked the new characters in the plot. They brought more intrigue and mystery. The slow burn romance between Yumeko and Tatsumi was good but not that great. I wanted more interactions between them.
The plot was engaging but has a slow start. Yumeko and her friends continue their quest to find Steel Feather Temple, but this time Tatsumi is not with them because Hakaimono possessed his body. Despite that, the entire road trip was a fun ride. I predicted some of the major plot twists in the first book but this one really surprised me. The ending was totally unpredictable. I can’t wait to know what the author has in store for us next. The writing was captivating. The actions scenes are well executed. Loved the blood, and the gore. It was very animatic! The book was told in multiple POV’s and I’m glad that we got Hakaimono’s POV. I really enjoyed his perspective. Coming to the setting, I loved the Japanese backdrop, myths, and the magic. The author didn’t get much deep into them but overall loved the setting. I liked the idea of paths of Shadows. It was fascinating yet somewhat creepy.
Despite flaws, I think overall this was a good sequel! I can’t wait to know what happens next. There are still so many questions that was left unanswered.
I highly recommend this series if you like action packed YA fantasy with Japanese setting.