Yumeko is a kitsune shapeshifter who has been entrusted with a sacred scroll. Her mission is to take this scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the great Kami Dragon from being summoned. The dragon is the Harbinger of change, and it will grant one wish to whomever summons it. Hakaimono is a demon that has just been released from a sword called Kamigoroshi after being trapped in it for hundreds of years. He is still wearing the human body of Tatsumi, the Kage demon slayer who had been escorting Yumeko to the temple before the demon broke free. Hakaimono wants to destroy the sword so he can never be put back in it. He has teamed up with he Master of Demons and has promised to get him the scrolls in exchange for destroying the sword. The story ensues as the paths of Yumeko and Hakaimono cross once again, and the fate of the empire hangs in the balance.
True beauty is rare, hidden and often overlooked by others. And it can appear at the strangest times.”Daisuke
Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa transported me to a warm campfire under a starry night, while a bearded old man told this mythical tale in between puffs of smoke from his old wooden pipe. Suddenly, I was in a world in which emotions like grief and despair had smells, and everything from the scenery to the food was described in poetic detail. I particularly found the Forest of a Thousand Eyes terrifying, even when described from Hakaimono’s demon perspective, who tried to make everything sound amusing.
Around them, the shadowy forest stood frozen, tall shaggy pines drooping under the weight of snow and ice. It was an oppressive weight…cold and domineering, as if the snow was a cruel master, demanding silence and respect from everything it touched.”SUKI
I liked the different points of views in each Chapter, and the fact we had a glimpse into the mind of the demon Hakaimono. We got to see what the human condition is like from a demon’s perspective, and how living inside humans for hundreds of years has changed him. The demon catches himself missing his “home” in Jigoku (a version of the underworld or hell), and wondering if his fellow demons have missed him as well.
I had spent too much time in the heads of these weak-willed humans.”Hakaimono
I really enjoyed Yumeko’s humor and wit, but I especially loved her determination to complete her quest and to offer a helping hand to all who needed it along the way. As always, Yumeko’s point of view was full of mischief, true to her fox or “kitsune” nature. The dialogue between Yumeko and the band of misfits she has acquired in her journey was very entertaining. One of my favorite side characters continues to be Okame, who despite being a ronin, or disgraced samurai, has shown to be a very honest and loyal companion to Yumeko on her journey.
A small group who stand against insurmountable odds, who give their lives for the glory of the empire? It is what Bushido is built on.”Daisuke
The story had a nice feeling of adventure, as our group of unlikely heroes, each with their own special skills, are taken from one predicament into the next. The plot was action packed, and the characters were all spurred into action by a single unifying quest to save the empire from certain doom. I adored the first book in this series, Shadow of the Fox, and this second installment was no exception. I recommend this story to all YA/Fantasy fans, and to all those who enjoy adventure and quest driven tales.
Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for the opportunity to review this title in exchange for my honest opinion
Have you guys read Soul of the Sword? What did you think?