Synopsis: The first book in a brand-new series set in ancient Japan from New York Times bestselling author Julie Kagawa.
Enter a beautiful and perilous land of shapeshifters and samurai, kami and legends, humans and demons…a world in which Japanese mythology and imagination blend together.
When destiny calls, legends rise.
Every millennium the missing pieces of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers are hunted, for they hold the power to call the great Kami Dragon from the sea and ask for any one wish.
As a temple burns to the ground Yumeko escapes with its greatest treasure – the first piece of the scroll. And when fate thrusts her into the path of a mysterious samurai she knows he seeks what she has. Kage is under order to kill those who stand in his way but will he be able to complete his mission? Will this be the dawn that sees the dragon wake?
Review: If you have read my previous blog posts, you know that this is my second Japanese fantasy read, and ironically Shadow of the Fox has characters that are quite similar to Empress of all Seasons(my first Japanese inspired fantasy).
The story is told from multiple perspectives but mostly from Yumeko and Tatsumi’s. Yumeko is half Kitsune, which means half fox and half human and grew up as an orphan but raised by monks, in a temple. Tatsumi is a brooding Shinobi demon slayer.
This book is about an ancient scroll and the lengths everyone will go to protect it or acquire it. Tatsumi is tasked to find a piece of the scroll which apparently lies with none other than Yumeko.
Before the temple (Yumeko grew up in) goes up in flames, one of the monks entrusts her with the piece of the scroll that the temple was guarding. Yumeko promises to protect the scroll just a minute before all of the monks in the said temple are slaughtered.
While running from her burning childhood home, Yumeko encounters Tatsumi but Tatsumi is unaware of the fact that what he came to get lies with Yumeko. Then, Tatsumi agrees to escort Yumeko to a temple where the entire scroll supposedly lies. Their path to the temple is filled with multiple obstructions : evil witches, and demons . Will Yumeko be able to deliver the piece of the scroll safely to the temple ? Will Tatsumi be able to complete his mission or die trying ?
Let’s talk about the things I loved and didn’t :
- Inspite of having read stories with various narrators before, I had to fumble my way through the book. I could not keep track when I was reading about Yumeko or Tatsumi or Satomi. It would have been helpful if the name of the characters were mentioned at the beginning of each chapter.
- I do not like stories told from the first person(with some exceptions). It is maddening!
- Then, I lost all my bearings when I saw the barrage of supernatural characters and their names.
- Some of the dialogues were quite humorous and I liked the world building .
Besides all its misgivings, I liked the plot, but it wasn’t executed well. I fumbled throughout the book hoping for it to surprise me but it failed.
\\\ I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Verdict: 2½ stars out of 5
Author: You can get in touch with her through her website.
- Publisher: HQ Young Adult
- Publication Date: 1st November 2018
- Paperback: 454 Pages
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