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The Night Itself (The Name of the Blade #1)

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  871 Ratings  ·  162 Reviews
A breathtaking new urban fantasy trilogy from the critically acclaimed, award winning author of The Swan Kingdom and Shadows on the Moon.

When fifteen year old Mio Yamato furtively sneaks the katana - an ancestral Japanese sword - out of its hiding place in her parent's attic to help liven up her Christmas party costume, she has no idea of the darkness she is about to unlea
Paperback, UK, 368 pages
Published July 4th 2013 by Walker Books (first published June 20th 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Zoë Marriott
Nov 01, 2014 Zoë Marriott rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
First, an apology. I've just had it brought to my attention that at one point in this book, a character describes another character (who is Japanese) as having almond-shaped eyes. Now, when I read this, my reaction was 'That can't be right, surely - I'm well aware that this is a stupid, inaccurate, cliched and borderline racist description. MY eyes are almond-shaped. Asian people's eyes are most emphatically NOT.' And yet, when I went and checked... there the description was. HOW?!? How did this ...more
I'm a huge fan of Zoe Marriott, I absolutely love her writing style and have been waiting to get my hands on The Night Itself since I first heard about it over a year ago. As you can imagine I had high expectations for this novel and I'm happy to say Zoe that absolutely smashed them! This is a fabulous start to her first urban fantasy series - you have strong, independent characters, great supportive friendships, a hot boy, lots of action and sword fights, wonderful use of Japanese mythology and ...more
Jun 04, 2013 Andrew rated it it was amazing
I am very honoured that Walker Books (aka the UK publisher) gave me a VERY early and VERY exclusive ARC of Zoe's latest book. Thank you!

I can't talk about the book (been asked not to) but I was given the OK to say I have read it. NOTHING MORE!

Review will be up nearer the publication date (or when I'm told it's ok!)

EDIT: 3rd June 2013

I CAN TALK TO YOU GUYS ABOUT THIS BOOK NOW! (aka Particular Review Taken From The Pewter Wolf)

When Mio steals her late grandfather's katana - a priceless sword that
When I first opened The Night Itself, I was in the middle of another book with a waiting list at the library, so I thought I would read just the first couple pages for a taste. Well, ha. I was sucked in from the opening line, and the next thing I knew, I'd finished this book and not the one I'd intended to.

The characters are great. Mio is completely engaging with her combination of cute and snarky; and wise-cracking Jack is more of an equal team member than a "sidekick." I loved the way Mio and
Howdy YAL
To see complete review with gifs click here.

YA and Asian mythology do not mix. I’ve never seen it done correctly. All of the books I’ve read, have all been over hyped and then essentially Twilight in Asia.

And The Twilight Saga is over ten years now. That’s how stale these tropes are.

So, why use those with an Asian inspired paranormal, I ask?

Like The Name of the Blade. It could’ve been interesting. I could’ve finished it very easily if it didn’t rely so heavily on these tropes.

The interesting thi
I'm really not sure how to feel about The Night Itself. I'm kind of stuck right smack in the middle of "I enjoyed it" and "it was just okay." Because when I was reading it, I did enjoy it well enough. But when I put it down, I found myself finding other things to do with my time. For context, I should have finished a book this size in a week, at the most. But instead it took me two weeks.

Really, the most interesting concept here is the world building surrounding Japanese mythology, but that's pr
3.5 stars

Bleach meets Ruroni Kenshin meets Inuyasha meets Blood+

Sounds like an otaku/YA reader ultimate fantasy, doesn't it?

The Night itself is definitely entertaining, full of action in a rapid face and with a lot of Japanese mythology that will sure speak to fans of anime. Actually, this book is exactly like an anime, and it probably would've worked a whole lot better in that format. I'm not saying the book is bad, but the execution of the concept left me a bit unsatisfied. Last year I read Sh
Silvia Rodríguez Conejo
Jan 29, 2012 Silvia Rodríguez Conejo marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2013xx
I just finished a couple of weeks ago Shadows on the Moon and love it, and now I find out about this book. I had the luck to be able to read the book while traveling around Japan and I kept remembering the book as I walked through Kyoto streets.

Being myself a lover of Asian culture, secially Japanese and Korean, I really enjoyed reading Shadows on the Moon and I fell in love with the writing and the world Zoë created.It's not easy to find good YA books with a Japanese theme (or at least for me)
Jun 28, 2013 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

I have been a faithful follower of Zoë Marriott’s blog since she started it in 2010, and have been a fan of her books even before then, so needless today I was VERY excited for the release of The Night Itself. So, after checking Amazon pretty much every day just in case the release date had been moved forward, I was pretty much ecstatic when I found out that the Kindle edition has been released a whole week early! So my expectations were incredibly high.

And it didn’t disappoint.

Mio’s un
Jul 31, 2013 Isabel rated it it was amazing
Initial Thoughts:
Wowee. Zoe Marriott never disappoints, and this book just blew me away as always! Review/fangirly rant to come once I'm feeling more articulate!

In the meantime, go do yourself a huge favor, if you haven't already, and buy this book. Like, right now.

It's always hard for me to write reviews of books I love this much, because no matter how much I write I can never seem to do them justice. But here goes anyway!

The Night Itself is very different from Zoe's past books, and when
This was an enjoyable read for me, primarily because of originality. I enjoy urban fantasy, although I haven't read many titles in the genre, and I was pleased to find Japanese folklore incorporated into the story rather than the currently much more common Greek, Roman, Norse, or British mythology/folklore.

That being said, I think the book was written for the younger side of it's target audience and would probably appeal most strongly to early teens, maybe even tweens; upper middle school stude
*breathes in* OH MY GOD!


This book was so amazing. I cried. A tear fell down my face like in an anime series.

The world Zoe has created was simple, but beautiful. The Kitsune's morals alone were intriguing and awesome.

I loved the last thirty pages. One word: Epic.

The main character, Mio, is one of the strongest female leads since Katniss Everdeen, and of course her very own Suzume.

Read this book. I wanted the sequel yesterday!! No. Joke.
Randy Daugherty
Apr 11, 2015 Randy Daugherty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mio just needs one more item to complete her party costume, a Katana, and she knows where to find it.Hidden in the attic a gift for her 16th birthday to be kept, hidden and protected, well she was almost 16 and her grandfather had given it to her, his last gift before passing due to a stroke, passing before he could tell her of the swords secret and power.
Little did Mio know that taking the sword she would unleash an ancient evil, an evil bent on killing and having the sword.
So many strange thin
Apparently, this book has a Bleach reference.

 photo iapprove_zps3fbe4656.gif

I approve. Thanks for the heads up, Kuree. :DDD
Laura Lam
Rolicking good fun. Different from the other Marriott books I've read in that it has a more modern tone, as you'd expect in a modern non-secondary world fantasy. Lovers of anime, manga, strong heroines, and humour will be in for a treat. Look forward to the sequel!
Joyce Lee
Aug 03, 2013 Joyce Lee rated it really liked it
This book reads EXACTLY like an anime. The characters and how they behave as well as how the plot ubfolds. Some of it made me laugh out loud (snorted, actually!). Also, no hello kitty underwear. Ever!!
May 24, 2016 Shanny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF 50%

I hate doing this with books I really do but this one just annoyed me. I felt anger when thinking about having to read it, that's when I knew it was time to stop.

I honestly thought this book had potential to be something that sucked me in and made me crave more, the cover is amazing and the blurb at the back is really interesting but this book just wasn't for me.

I found this book hard to read from the start I didn't like the main character and soon I was only reading to find out more abo
Jan 30, 2015 avidreader81 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody I liked
This book gets two stars just because the writing wasn't terribly awful. Other than that, however, I have little good to say about this book. In fact, The Night Itself is the perfect example of how desperate readers can get when that don't have anything else available to read. Case in point:
Readers are willing to overlook a romance in which the couple fall in love in less than 24 hours. If you think I'm lying, read the book yourself: the lead girl (Mio) was the one you admitted it. But no, if th
Aug 31, 2015 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-ya, fantasy, ya
I bought this after reading Zoë's blog because I liked her posts so much and read it alongside After by Anna Todd. It was like a breath of fresh air after that horrific 1D fanfiction. The writing was simple and clean, no weird sentences and was so nice to read something with obvious care gone into it.

I loved the main character Mio; she had some dark thoughts at some stage and it was refreshing to read someone who felt so human and so real. I also loved reading about the foxes of London
This book moved very quickly. I don't know what the reading level was, but it was very much "this thing is happening and oh hey foxes and oh hey let's fight BAM book is over." So it was a quick read, but a little too quick for my taste.


Non-white girl as the main character, which was great.
The stories we learn about aren't western fairy tales.


Ugh, stupid lov
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
When Mio sneaks the family's katana -- a priceless ancestral sword -- from her parents' attic, she just wants to spice up a costume. But the katana is much more than a dusty antique. Awakening the power within the sword unleashes a terrible, ancient evil onto the streets of unsuspecting London. But it also releases Shinobu, a fearless warrior boy, from the depths of time. He helps to protect Mio -- and steals her heart. With creatures straight out of Japanese myths stalking her and her friends, ...more
Ms. Yingling
Mio needs a sword for her costume as an anime character, so borrows the 500 year old katana that her grandfather told her not to touch until she was 16. Odd things happen (lights going out, attacks) when she has the katana, and she eventually figures out that her late grandfather was very wise but died before he could give her all of the details. Mio's parents are on their second honeymoon, and Mio is conveniently staying with her friend Jack's family, so the two girls are able to deal with the ...more
Emma Adams

I love unique urban fantasy and I love Japanese mythology, so I jumped at the chance to read Zoe Marriott’s first YA fantasy which takes place in our own world. Set in modern-day London, The Night Itself follows fifteen-year-old Mio Yamato, whose decision to borrow the ancestral sword that once belonged to her grandfather to liven up her costume for her birthday party has unexpected consequences. The katana was meant to stay hidden for a reason, and now an ancient evil is unleashed on London.

I a
Serendipity Reviews
Jun 13, 2013 Serendipity Reviews rated it really liked it
Originally posted on
There’s no doubt that Zoe Marriott’s books are original and a little bit special. After wowing us with high fantasy novels such as Frost Fire and Shadows On The Moon, the author has moved in a more urban fantasy setting presenting an excellent book in her first trilogy. From the very first sentence, you’re aware that this will take you on a very different journey from any other trilogy you’ve read. I can’t compare it to any other trilogy, because
Big Book Little Book
Jun 04, 2013 Big Book Little Book rated it really liked it
Caroline for
Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

I don’t travel well. If my mode of transportation doesn’t consist of my own two feet, or a vehicle I am steering then there is a good chance it will inspire nausea. In the case of flying it will also inspire a racing pulse, breathlessness, fidgeting and sweaty palms. It’s not that I have an irrational fear of flying (well, not really) it’s just that I take no pleasure from spending hours in an uncomf
Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
This review was originally published at Fluttering Butterflies

Zoe Marriott is one of my favourite authors. Two of her books (Shadows on the Moon and Frostfire) are amongst my favourite books ever so I was thrilled to hear that she was writing a new trilogy starting with The Night Itself being published by Walker in July. I was very lucky to receive an early copy of the book and while this book's setting is very different to Zoe Marriott's previous books, there was still all the things that I exp
Jan 11, 2014 Zoe rated it it was amazing

I met the author in 2011 in my local Waterstones when she released her novel, Shadows on the Moon. Since then we've spoken on Facebook, on her blog posts and mainly on Twitter. She is an avid user of the popular social network and her Tweets are often hilarious (personal favourites are her "live snarking" of television programmes).

Now, I knew the lovely author had her book out and I'd kept meaning to get it out the library, but as life goes on, the more you seem to have to do. I found it on my l
Oct 24, 2015 Luna rated it it was amazing
I could try and write a coherent review explaining how amazing this book is but let’s be honest – when it comes to me and Zöe Marriott books all I really do is gush for ages and try to find as many words meaning ‘wonderful’ as possible.

Here are some examples: amazing, awe-inspiring, awesome, brilliant, cool, excellent, fabulous, fantastic, incredible, magnificent, marvellous, outstanding, beautiful and so on…

In the spirit of total honesty I will say that I was worried about reading The Night Its
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
**I received this book for free from Candlewick in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Genre* Urban Fantasy
*Rating* 4.0

*My Thoughts*

15 going on 16-year old Mio Yamato wants to spice up her Christmas costume to make her stick out. She has the perfect thing. Mio takes the family's ancestral Japanese Katana out of its hiding place and in the process, unleashes a powerful and deadly evil onto London streets. Her action
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Pre-book release thoughts. 2 16 Apr 19, 2013 03:31PM  
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I've known that I wanted to be a writer since I finished reading my first book; 'The Magic Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton. I think I was about eight, but I've never changed my mind in all the years since then.

I got my first publishing contract when I was twenty-two, but had to wait until I was twenty-four to see that book published (it was The Swan Kingdom).

I live in a little house in a town by the
More about Zoë Marriott...

Other Books in the Series

The Name of the Blade (3 books)
  • Darkness Hidden (The Name of the Blade, #2)
  • Frail Human Heart (The Name of the Blade, #3)

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