Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa | Not as exciting as the first

Posted October 22, 2019 by Sophia
8 Comments

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa | Not as exciting as the first

CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNING: This book may be unsuitable for some due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence. There may also be content that could be triggering to some.

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Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa | Not as exciting as the firstSoul 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
Source: Publisher


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.

The author/publisher provided a free copy of the book for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a review copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore do not affect the opinion or content of the review.

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.

soul of the sword julie kagawa pin

Sophia is a socially awkward Communications major who has a GIF for nearly everything and is frequently in a Hogwarts House Crisis. More of her bookish reviews can be found at The Arts STL.

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8 responses to “Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa | Not as exciting as the first

  1. Ooooh! So guess who just totally bought the first book of the series literally right now. I was waiting on the price to drop and your post reminded me of this series so thank you for that!

    I’ve been hearing LOTS about this series and I really want to check it out as well. But I understand what you mean when you say that even if the second book wasn’t all that great, the need for closure has us wanting to read the next book.

    Loved your review!

    • Sophia

      Ahahaha, thanks, Ahana, and no problem. I hope you’ll enjoy Shadow of the Fox and enjoy the sequel more than I have! 🙂

  2. I felt like this sequel was a really sllllloooooowwwww start for me. I didn’t mind the end and how it developed but there was some repetition and really slow and dull moments. I did like the demon’s POV a lot though. That made the lack of our ninja dude’s POV less awful. I am planning to read the final book though!! And I hope for both of our sakes its the best of the bunch. ❤️

    • Sophia

      I hope so as well! I really enjoyed Hakaimono’s POV as well and getting into his head since it was evil and entertaining, but the pacing definitely didn’t help. It kind of just felt like a bridge between the first and third books?

  3. Haley

    Though I loved the adventure in Shadow of the Fox, I really appreciated the change in pace and the backstory, Idk about you but it’s like the wait for the third book is probably gonna kill me

    • Sophia

      It’ll probably kill me; I just want to know what happens to my favorite Shadow clan member, among other characters.