Shadow of The Fox was pretty much my favorite book of 2018 (see my review of it here) I was VERY eagerly anticipating Soul of the Sword, so was over the moon when I got approved for an eARC. This was easily my most anticipated book of the year.
First things first, Soul of the Sword pretty much picks up where Shadow of the Fox left off and has the same anime like feel. Many scenes felt like they were a transcript of an anime and it was amazing. In this way the book was very similar to Shadow of the Fox. While there are a few new characters thrown in, it is mostly the same cast of characters. The overall character development and building of relationships in this book were top notch and I’ll admit, makes me worry a bit about what is going to happen in the third book and how much Julie Kagawa is going to break my heart.
In this installment the POVs are Yumeko, Hakaimono/Tatsumi and Suki. Kagawa has a way of writing the different character arcs and their journeys that it is seamless when they all come together. I love how if you read carefully there are little hints here and there regarding character’s motivations/intentions. She also made sure that more of the history of the dragon scroll and the wishes bestowed was revealed without it being too much of an info dump.
I absolutely loved how she wove in Japanese mythology and legends, she made the world and culture that she wrote feel absolutely real. Sure there may have been some character traits or actions by characters that I didn’t love, but those things weren’t out of character for the people she had written. Besides the slight slowness of the first half there wasn’t anything I actually disliked about the book.
I did feel that this story suffered a little from 2nd book syndrome and the first half was a bit slow, which is understandable considering all the set up that was happening but the rich settings, characters and characters more than make up for the slowness. This book had to be a bit of a bridge just so we can get to what I’m sure if going to be an amazing conclusion. The last 20% was a thrilling journey where the action was non-stop and had me on the edge of my seat.
It will be very interesting to see where the final book goes as so many loose ends are going to need to be tied up. It’s definitely going to be a long wait until it’s available!
Soul of the Sword is out now! Make sure to pick up a copy of this book and its predecessor Shadow of the Fox if you’re interested in a thrilling adventure full of Japanese mythology.