“Soul of the Sword” by Julie Kagawa #BookReview

Georgia Kostopoulou


I hadn’t binged a book series for a good while and recently I have started doing it to finished some previously started series. And then I thought I should go over those trilogies I have on my shelves for some time now. I usually need a different book in between to give me a different taste and maybe even rekindle my interest for the trilogy or series. This practice was not needed this time. As soon as I finished “Shadow of the Fox” I had to move on to book two, in order to find out what happens next! I was so invested in the story, that I was a bit shocked with how the first book ended and I wasn’t sure if we would be going through a reassessment of the characters in the second book.

“It’s not the spirits that call to us,’ he murmured. “It is our own failures and regrets we see.”
― Julie Kagawa, Soul of the Sword

“Soul of the Sword” starts right after the events of “Shadow of the Fox” following Yumeko and her company on their way to the Steel Feather temple. What they had to face in Satomi’s Castle was not anything they ever expected, Though they had to gathers their strength and move forward, now that they had one more thing to think about, one more danger that they would cross paths again in the future. One that knew exactly where they were heading.

“All souls have a destiny. Some are simply brighter than others.”
― Julie Kagawa, Soul of the Sword

In this second book we get a heads up straight from the beginning. There was some unclarity with respect to the past that was following us in “Shadow of the Fox”. But in the very first chapter Master Jiro gives some insight on what happened the last time the dragon was summoned and the wish that was granted one thousand years ago. How the sword had come to the form we got to know it in the first book. Kamigoroshi was named by the Great Dragon himself and Kamigoroshi means Godslayer. It is a powerful sword. No one can deny that.

“I didn’t think Naganori’s Shadow magic would produce flowers and butterflies, unless they were black butterflies that ate your soul, which didn’t seem healthy at all.”
― Julie Kagawa, Soul of the Sword

Once again the worldbuilding extends in this installment in the series, giving more details, answering questions that may even existed in the first book, while at the same time creating a few more. The fantastic Empire of Iwagoto is brought to life by the fascinating writing skills of Julie Kagawa. Even though this world does not exist or will not ever exist, even if there were no pictures of it or anything to remind of it, apart from the apparent similarity to Japan, I had a very clear picture of everything in my mind, even after both books were finished. I could imagine the scenery, the mountains, the people, the samurai armour and every kind of weaponry that was ever mentioned in the books. Julie Kagawa is such a skilled story teller that pictures are created in the reader’s mind from the first few words they read.

“Is this an ‘I’m sorry I tried to assassinate you’ tea ceremony?”
― Julie Kagawa, Soul of the Sword

The character development was very welcome as well. Yumeko grew from that innocent little girl that had no knowledge of the world, to a very devoted person, one that has a duty and a goal and a very kind heart as well. Kage Tatsumi was the character we saw the least in this book, as expected the way the previous book ended. However, we got to see more of Okame and Daisuke and Reika, as well as Seigetsu, that added to the mystery. There is something still to be revealed and I guess we need to wait to get to the third book in the series to get to know what it is. And guess what!? I’m diving right into it!


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