Book Review: Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa (sequel to Shadow of the Fox)
Published: 27th June 2019 by HQ
Keywords: YA, Fantasy, Japan, Anime, Adventure, Demons, Gore, LGBTQ
SPOILER WARNING FOR SHADOW OF THE FOX
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 read my first Murakami book in 2018 and oh boy, this book is now one of my favourites of all time! One of those books I feel everyone should read at least once. I’m not a huge re-reader (ok not a re-reader at all) but I will for sure be reading this book again in 2019, and probably once a year until I die to be honest. Please read it!
Most people who have read this book describe it as being an anime in book form, and that is pretty accurate. What a fun, emotional ride. Being a huge fan of Japanese culture and mythology I enjoyed this SO much. Great cast of diverse characters, good and evil and a giant monstrous centipede. The sequel comes out in 2019 and I can’t wait.
My first V. E. Schwab book and what a great introduction to an author. Self made super villains, switching timelines and great characters. This book challenges morality and the way we perceive what’s wrong or right. Who will you root for?
2018 was also a discovery of my new favourite author and I ended up reading the majority of his English translated work. Sound of waves in particular touched me and gave me all the feels, another one I will end up re-reading. I still have some of his books to read in 2019 but I’m savoring them like the precious gems that they are.
I feel like this was quite a popular book from 2018 and rightly so. It has a lot of trigger warnings for sexual abuse, violence and rape though. It also features a F/F romance and is written really well in my opinion. The sequel is out in 2019 and I will for sure be picking it up, this book leaves on a bit of a cliff hanger and I need to know how this plays out.
Another awesome Japanese author discovery for me, this book is made up of 11 short stories that all inter connect in some way and will leave you feeling CONFUSED, but in a good way. An excellent unique read and another that I would recommend everyone to read at least once.
I recently posted my review for this book but in summary, a VERY dark Alice in wonderland inspired story, set some years after the events of the original story. Trigger warnings for extreme violence and sexual abuse. Revisit all of the old Alice in Wonderland characters with a very evil twist.
Set in the future where all illnesses are cured, humans can live forever, no poverty or hunger issues. So how do they keep the population down? Random people get chosen to become Scythes and they get to pick and choose who dies, for good. Great read aside from the unneccessary romance.
A pleasant surprise, I went in to this thinking it would be more of a children’s book but I was WRONG and it was amazing. A school that children come to after they return from spending years in a different world. Loved the humor, characters and dark themes.
A great author debut from 2018. Multi perspective fantasy adventure trying to reclaim the magic that was taken from them very brutally. There is one character I didn’t really like and some insta love that didn’t make too much sense but over all a fun read. The sequel comes out in 2019.
Mermaids are Real: The Mystiq Prong by Bo Wu
“’Crabs talk?’ asked Benji.
‘Everything in nature speaks. Not everything in nature listens,’ said Octavius nodding Topside.”
A self published YA fantasy novel, Mermaids are Real explores the relationship humans have with the ocean and our general disregard for the damage our lifestyles are doing to it. Benji is just turning 13 when he discovers that he isn’t actually a regular human kid that just happens to be able to talk to animals, he is in fact the last of his kind and belongs in the ocean with the rest of the mermaids. His parents were killed when he was just a baby because of their belief that if they revealed themselves to the humans (topsiders), that humans would stop damaging the ocean. However, not all of the merfolk shared their belief and instead want to punish the topsiders. It is now up to Benji to find the missing mystiq prong and stop them from starting a war with the topsiders. I found this to be a delightful read, these characters (especially the aquatic ones) are so charming and the humor throughout kept me smiling. I was very invested in these characters and wanted desperately to see them all survive and succeed in their mission. The writing style felt really natural and easy to read, the chapters were also nicely paced which is a big plus for me. Some of the book is extremely dark, one part in this book got me tearing up and the underlying message of how destructive our way of life is to our environment is very powerful. Can not wait for the second book!
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars