Thursday 4 July 2019

#BlogTour Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa. It's YA fantasy embedded with a deep sense of culture, identity and mythology.

About the Author
Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey, Blood of Eden, Talon, and Shadow of the Fox series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.

When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time, but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dogtrainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.

Julie now lives in North Carolina with her husband, two obnoxious cats, and a pair of Australian Shepherds that have more Instagram followers than she does.

Follow @Jkagawa on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit
Buy Soul of the Sword

About the book
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.

What the Talon series lacks in complexity and world-building the Shadow of the Fox series makes up for it tenfold. It's quite interesting how Kagawa manages to divide the YA category into sub-categories. She can write books that appeal the readers looking for a less mind-boggling and intricate fantasy read, and then turn around and create the kind of read that appeals for those who like their fantasy hardcore complex.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko more or less the holds the key to peace or war and destruction. Her small piece of the powerful and very dangerous scroll has to be transported to the Steel Feather temple in order to avoid the worst possible scenario. Obviously there are other forces also seeking the ability to summon the Kami Dragon, so it isn't just plain sailing for her.

For one, the demon Hakaimono has possessed Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan, someone Yumeko thought would always be there to protect and support her. Now he has inadvertently become her biggest enemy or rather the one to be the most wary of.

The author uses strong emotional ties and relationships to help drive the plot. This is especially the case with Reika, Okame and Daisuke when it comes to supporting the quest and Yumeko. The flip side of that plays out between Yumeko and Tatsumi. The struggle to reconcile with the fact her friend is in there somewhere, but powerless and at the mercy of Hakaimono. The belief she can save Tatsumi may put her in a precarious situation.

This is without a doubt the kind of series I am wont to follow. It's YA fantasy embedded with a deep sense of culture, identity and mythology. Kagawa creates her own mythology to weave throughout and strengthen the story, albeit one that is based on the sinuous and intriguing mythology of Japan. It's an incredibly intense read.

Buy Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Young Adult; pub date 27 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my reviews of Soldier, The Iron Warrior and The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa.

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