“Soul of the Sword” by Julie Kagawa

Thanks to HQ Young Adult and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Soul of the Sword pretty much picks up where Shadow of the Fox finished off. I really enjoyed the previous book in this series so was chuffed to bits to be approved for this sequel.

As before, the hands down coolest thing about this story are all of the different Yokai. For those who aren’t familiar with Yokai, they are basically the supernatural creatures from Japanese myth and legend. In typical Japanese fashion they are really fascinating and creepy and all of the coolest Yokai make an appearance in this story.

Kagawa isn’t afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to the creepiness factor and it is GLORIOUS. The journey through Meido, the Forest of a Thousand Eyes and the palace of the Kage clan were so fun to read. I guess that’s the sense I get reading this series, despite being a solid story with interesting characters it’s just really, REALLY fun to read.

I also really liked that one of the main points of view was that of the big bad, Hakaimono. It’s not often that you get such an insight into the mind of a story’s main antagonist, but I couldn’t help but love him. He’s just so unapologetically awful and I got a kick out of his perspective.

The only small issues I had were the same issues I had with the first book. I liked the characters overall, but they can feel a little Anime/JRPG-y. The bishounen prince, the gruff ronin, the earnest priestess etc. The sheer amount of Yokai also felt a bit much sometimes, if you were playing Yokai Pokemon you’d definitely catch ’em all.

There’s also some LGBT representation in this one. Not going to elaborate further than that for spoiler reasons but I preferred this romance to the ‘main’ one.

Overall, a really enjoyable read and I can’t wait for the conclusion of the story in the next book. This is definitely a series worth checking out.

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