Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa

GoodReads Summary:
Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has given up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers in order to save everyone she loves from imminent death. Now she and her ragtag band of companions must journey to the wild sea cliffs of Iwagoto in a desperate last-chance effort to stop the Master of Demons from calling upon the Great Kami dragon and making the wish that will plunge the empire into destruction and darkness.
Shadow clan assassin Kage Tatsumi has regained control of his body and agreed to a true deal with the devil—the demon inside him, Hakaimono. They will share his body and work with Yumeko and their companions to stop a madman and separate Hakaimono from Tatsumi and the cursed sword that had trapped the demon for nearly a millennium.
But even with their combined skills and powers, this most unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of evil may be impossible to overcome. And there is another player in the battle for the scroll, a player who has been watching, waiting for the right moment to pull strings that no one even realized existed…until now.
Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox, #3)Review:
I was beyond excited when I approved for an ARC of this book, so to start, big thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This was a wonderful finale for this trilogy. I had a hard time getting into it at first, but that was my own issue with fantasy at the moment. I pushed through and once the gang made it about halfway through the book (to the location where the big battle was going down) I was hooked. Julie Kagawa has created such lovable and well-developed characters. I just adored them all. Their relationship as a whole group was so heartwarming. They’ve been through so much together and it was absolutely devastating to see the end result for these characters. (Julie Kagawa takes “kill your babies” VERY seriously.) There is a wonderfully done male/male romance. And I would die for both of them. I’m purposefully not naming any names because I cannot spell any of them to save my life and I’m writing this on my phone because this review will never get written otherwise.
Overall, I really thought this was an excellent ending to a great series. I really loved the ending even though parts totally broke my little heart. I love this world and there were so many little details that just made the story that much better. Sorry if this review is a bit vague, but it’s the third and final book and I don’t want to spoil anything. But please read this series. It’s diverse and wonderful and everyone needs to love it.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa

fullsizeoutput_20a2

GoodReads Summary:
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.
Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox, #2)Review:
I found this sequel to be much slower than the first. I had to convince myself to pick it up and finish. The final one hundred pages or so was all action and I loved it. Despite it being a slow story, the world was fascinating. I love what Kagawa has done with Asian mythology. I loved all the different aspects of the world. I especially loved the Kitsune magic and seeing Yumeko learn more about it and herself.
This squad of unlikely friends gives me life. I love the way they bicker and argue. I loved the dynamics between them. There was a bit of male/male romance going on and I’m not sure how it will end but I’m so here for it. I don’t want to get into too much detail, but this group of friends is loyal and determined to beat the odds, to do what is right even if it leads to their deaths.
I definitely enjoyed the first book better, but I think that’s more because of my relationship with the fantasy genre is a little wobbly right now. I made myself read this rather than waiting until I was in the mood for it and that might have had en effect on how much I liked it. I definitely suggest it for anyone looking for fantasy that isn’t European based. It’s full of characters you can’t help but love, fascinating world-building, and myth and folklore that I’d never known anything about previously.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Shadowglass by Rin Chupeco

Summary:
In the Eight Kingdoms, none have greater strength or influence than the asha, who hold elemental magic. But only a bone witch has the power to raise the dead. Tea has used this dark magic to breathe life into those she has loved and lost…and those who would join her army against the deceitful royals. But Tea’s quest to conjure a shadowglass, to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world, threatens to consume her.
In this dramatic conclusion to Tea’s journey, her heartglass only grows darker with each new betrayal. She is haunted by blackouts and strange visions, and when she wakes with blood on her hands, Tea must answer to a power greater than she’s ever known. Tea’s life-and the fate of the kingdoms-hangs in the balance.
The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch, #3)Review:
The relationship I have with this series is complex and resembles a roller coaster. I didn’t really care for the first book. The Bone Witch (reviewed here) was a confusing introduction to this world. The Heart Forger (reviewed here) was the book that pulled me in. It helped me understand what was actually going on. Then I had to wait almost a year for this finale to be released. I remembered enough that I didn’t think I needed to reread the first two again before getting to The Shadowglass.
I started off a fair bit confused. I didn’t remember all the important details and I was a little disoriented. There wasn’t really any recap of the previous books and the large cast of characters had me a bit lost.
Despite all of this, I still really enjoyed this conclusion. I was immediately drawn into the world and the story. I was so excited to finally get all the answers to the pile of questions I had from the first two books. I adored the world. The magic and the world itself were so complex and interesting. This world was so different from most of the other fantasy stories I’ve read.
The characters were still interesting, though I think I didn’t care about them as much as I would have had I reread the first two books. I think when I do reread this series it will be SUCH an experience. I really liked the diversity of the characters. There were so many characters and so many different relationships. This was kind of where I struggled with not remembering things from the first two books.
It was really nice to be able to see how this story comes to a close. This conclusion was good. I thought that everything was pretty nicely wrapped up. Though I finished this book about a week ago, so I’m already a little fuzzy on some of the ending details. I don’t do that well with the flashback storytelling method. I get confused between the characters and the past and present. Regardless, Rin Chupeco is an incredible author and I cannot wait to read the other books she’s coming out with this year.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.