Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2)
Harlequin Young Adult
Published June 25, 2019
About Soul of the Sword
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.
I’m pretty sure that immediately after I finished the last few words of the last chapter of SHADOW OF THE FOX, I rushed to my copy of SOUL OF THE SWORD and started reading. I really needed to know what would happen to Yumeko and Tatsumi and their friends.
Some things took me completely by surprise. There’s one relationship that emerges that I totally did not expect and absolutely adored. Yumeko certainly doesn’t shy away from breaking the rules, which made some of her choices oddly satisfying? It was like she just looked at the situation and instead of doing what she’d been told she SHOULD do, she wasn’t afraid to ask what would help the most or what would be best for the people involved, regardless of what anyone else would think.
Through SOUL OF THE SWORD, Yumeko continues to be a loyal, compassionate girl, but she also begins to understand and explore her own power, which was an awesome thing to be part of as a reader. She begins the series as this quirky girl who finds her own magic fairly useless. Then she joins forces with powerful warriors and feels like the most powerless or useless person in a battle.
Even before she discovers how to use her magic in more powerful ways, she uses her character– her cleverness and compassion– to change the outcome of battles her team encounters. I love that about her. And when she adds magic to her strength of character, look out. She’s truly a force to be reckoned with, and I loved that, too!
I love this series, and definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a story to get lost in. Here are the reviews for the other books in the series:
Shadow of the Fox review
Night of the Dragon review (plus Q&A with Author Julie Kagawa!)
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Characters speak Japanese in this fantasy series inspired by Japanese folklore. Two characters are gay.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Some strong profanity and a few crude references used infrequently, mainly by one character.
Kissing between two boys.
The story is filled with spiritual creatures and traditions. Some characters worship divine beings called Kami. Other magical creatures can shapeshift or possess other magic. One character is a ghost who seeks to help Yumeko’s party. Yumeko has been raised by monks in a temple.
Demons respond to the evil blood magic and cause havoc in the human world. Tatsumi has a sword which contains the soul of a powerful demon. He hears the demon’s thoughts and knows that if he’s not vigilant, the demon can take possession of him.
Some gory battle violence and references to torture and abuse/neglect of a child.
Some characters drink sake. Yumeko gets drunk and regrets it the next day.
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