Title: Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Pub date: June 25, 2019
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
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’ll come right out and say it: No, I don’t think this book was quite as magical as the first. That said, this book is still pretty damn amazing and magical.
The world Kagawa creates with fantasy and Japanese culture just grabs you and pulls you in. I can honestly say that the book never had any moments I would consider dull or lagging—it kept me on the edge of my seat until it ended.
I think what I appreciated even more about this book was that Kagawa wasn’t afraid to depict more dark scenes to really set the tone. Yes, things got a bit messy with the violence at times, but dude, the oni and demons are supposed to be scary! I do think it can be a bit heavy for younger readers but if you read Shadow or the Fox, you already should have gotten an instant primer on that with the very first chapter. Seriously, here be monsters!
My only criticism really (and I’m putting this rather cryptically so I don’t spoil anything) is that the twist at the end of the book was a tiny bit of a let down for me. I didn’t see it coming so it was successful in that aspect, but it set up for the third book a situation that is probably going to drive Tatsumi-Yumeko shippers nuts. I just want them to get together already dangit.
Anyway, go read the book and join us uber-fans, it’s great.