eARC Review – Soul of the Sword (spoilers)

Title: Soul of the Sword

Author: Julie Kagawa

Publisher: Harlequin Teen/Inkyard Press

Publication date: June 18th, 2019

304 pages

4.25/5

Goodreads Synopsis

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.

Review

Is this an ‘I’m sorry I tried to assassinate you’ tea ceremony?

julie kagawa, soul of the sword

First off, HUGE thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for providing me an eARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. The following opinions are mine alone. This was my first time having the opportunity to read and review a book that has yet to be officially released, and I will be forever grateful.

Now, onto the review. My babies Yumeko, Daisuke, and Okame are back and still getting into trouble. Now, they are tasked with saving Tatsumi from Hakaimono and ya know, saving the empire from the Master of Demons.

I enjoyed Soul a lot more than I did Shadow. I think I got more comfortable with the Japanese terms and language – along with what it means for the story line. On the flip side, the author added even more terms to this book than Shadow, which was a lot. She added at like 10 more types of demons/ghosts/undead spirits. My head was spinning trying to keep them straight.

Soul went the usual path I feel trilogies take, much of the plot line was spent setting up the third book. This can generally lead to a more boring book, but I felt that Soul traversed this ground well and never felt boring. She managed to set up the final book while also providing enough action and drama to keep you hooked through the book.

It crushed my heart that Tatsumi was so sad during this book! He just wanted to save Yumeko after she managed to elicit emotions in him for the first time in years – but he was powerless to help her through 99% of the book! And poor Yumeko had no concept that he had feelings for her (or that she had feelings for him) because she had no experience with this.

My favorite part? We have an LGBTQIA relationship sighting!! It took me COMPLETELY by surprise but I absolutely love it. Especially in a culture that is traditionally non supportive of such relationships and when one half of the couple is part of the noble, ruling family. But Daisuke was very forward thinking in pursuing the relationship and going for what he wants – regardless of their culture and the expectations of him. The romance melted my heart and I will ship Daisuke and Okame forever.

The few tiny aspects that took Soul below a 5 star read for me was the final fight scene, cliffhanger at the end, and the mysteriousness of Seigetsu. The final fight scene was very anticlimactic (though props to Yumeko for that fake out) and had me wanting more. I am just not too happy with how the book ended, and am hopeful that it is all sorted out in the final book. And who is this Seigetsu person acting like the puppet master? It’s starting to irritate me, because I can’t tell if he is a “good” or “bad” character. For these reasons, I couldn’t give it a whole 5 stars.

Soul of the Sword will be released tomorrow, June 18th so if you loved Shadow of the Fox, you should definitely go check it out!

Thanks for reading, friends 🙂

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