An eARC of this book was provided to me by the publisher at my request. My thoughts and opinions on this book are completely my own and not influenced in any way. Thank you to Inkyard Press for the opportunity to read this book early.
Please note, Soul of the Sword is book 2 in the Shadow of the Fox series. As such, there are spoilers for Shadow of the Fox in the synopsis and in this review. The review is spoiler free for the events in Soul of the Sword.
Soul of the Sword
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: June 18, 2019
Synopsis: 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.
Rating: Kagawa continues the atmospheric story of Yumeko and Kage Tatsumi with a new journey filled with adventure, action, and all the feels!
Soul of the Sword starts off not long after the events of Shadow of the Fox. Half-kitsune, Yumeko, and her rag tag group of companions have escaped the battle with Yaburama, but they are one party member short: Tatsumi has been possessed by Hakaimono, who has separated from the group to pursue his own nefarious plans. With their portion of the powerful dragon scroll still in danger, Yumeko and crew must decide between bringing the scroll to the Steel Feather temple as planned or attempting to rescue Tatsumi.
Kagawa once again crafts an exquisite story, filled with Japanese mythology and beautifully described settings (though some settings are a bit terrifying!). As in the Shadow of the Fox, we are introduced to numerous mythological creatures, all of which bring a layer of dark whimsy to the story. This is one of my favorite elements to the story because just around every corner there is something new, and sometimes frightening, to discover.
The character development is fantastic in this story. We see Yumeko struggle with guilt over Tatsumi and her continued acceptance of her half-kitsune side. Though it is something we’ve before, the internal battle between Tatsumi and Hakaimono is particularly intriguing. There are some other developments within the group that I was extremely pleased with, but I don’t want to go into detail since it was a very pleasant surprise.
Soul of the Sword is a prime example of a sequel done right. The world gets deeper, the stakes are higher, and the characters continue to grow. I didn’t think I would love this book more than its predecessor, but I do. If you loved Shadow of the Fox, you will love Soul of the Sword. And if you haven’t read Shadow of the Fox, then I highly suggest you go pick it up.
Soul of the Sword releases on June 18th, 2019.