This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using that link, a small commission is made from the sale. There are no additional costs to you. Thank you for your support!Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa
Shadow of the Fox #2
Other Books: The Lost Prince, Talon
Published by Inkyard Press on June 25, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Young Adult
Format: ARC, eBook
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.
Julie Kagawa took my poorly shredded heart in Shadow of the Fox and shredded it some more because that Ending was God Awful™ and I needed more (because I need answers!) but I had to wait for Soul of the Sword.
It was a sad day for this bookwyrm. But then we got our claws on book two! 💃💃💃
Yumeko and her friends continue their journey…
With a few more pressures, no big deal. In the first book, Yumeko is tasked to bring a piece of the dragon scroll to the Steel Feather Temple and she acquires a few companions who later become her friends. They continue with the journey, but in addition to delivering the scroll safely, they’re now tracking down Hakaimono, who has possessed Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.
But Soul of the Sword was a struggle.
I don’t know if I’m disappointed in the sequel because I was excited to dive into Soul of the Sword. My body was ready for whatever Kagawa threw at me as Yumeko and her friends continue on their journey. This part of the journey is a lot darker and bloodier; Hakaimono joins forces with the Master of Demons to break free from his curse, leaving bloody paths behind him.
But I struggled a lot with the second book to Shadow of the Fox, and I don’t think my on and off reading slump helped matters. (Conveniently right when I start the book, too. Who asked you to stick your head in, slump?) Neither did my high expectations set after the first book, which kind of got shot a little into the deep end. 😔
While the first book is exciting and full of nonstop, page-turning adventure, Soul of the Sword is a far cry from that. But not exactly in a bad way, because I still enjoyed the story overall, and personally, I feel that matters more.
More focus on backstory and characters.
As much as I love an exciting book, I appreciate a book that focuses a lot on the characters. In Soul of the Sword, Kagawa focuses a lot of time on the history and the development of the characters. Most of the key characters – Yumeko, Tatsumi, Reika, Okame, Daisuke – who will be playing an important role in the final book are fleshed out throughout the sequel with a deeper story and background.
This gives us the chance to know their emotions, motives, and past experiences that will no doubt play a huge part in whatever Kagawa throws at us. While I struggled reading through this, I think it’s well worth the suffer to prepare myself for Night of the Dragon.
Soul of the Sword isn’t as exciting as Shadow of the Fox, but I’m planning on reading the third book for closure and knowing full well from Kagawa’s previous works that I will be put through agony.