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The Night Itself

(The Name of the Blade #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,197 ratings  ·  199 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, 368 pages
Published 2014 by Walker Books (first published June 20th 2013)
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Zoë Marriott Oops! Sorry I didn't see and answer this before - I don't get notification of questions posted here for some reason.

The answer to this question is tha…more
Oops! Sorry I didn't see and answer this before - I don't get notification of questions posted here for some reason.

The answer to this question is that the barista was very tired (which kind of blurs the barriers of our imaginations) and generally quite a sensitive person, and so, just for an instant, she saw... *something*. This happens to me fairly often - I turn around thinking someone's behind me and no one is there - so I don't imagine it was a very big deal for her. It was just to show that the veil between the real world and the supernatural world can at times be as thin and permeable as mist, while at other times it's more like a brick wall.(less)

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Average rating 3.69  · 
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Zoë Marriott
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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
“Have you ever been hit in the face? Really hit? So your head snapped back and you landed on your rear end wondering what the hell happened? You don’t actually feel it at first. The harder the blow is, the more numb you go. I mean, your face just seems to disappear, and for a minute you think your eyes are going to drop right out of their sockets because they’re the only thing that still seems to be working."

~1.5 stars~

I bet you guys are wondering, "Jeez, Mango, since when you are so cr
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
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Fantasy, monsters, family, history, friendship.

This is my second Zoë Marriott book and I am fast falling in love.

As much as this is an urban-fantasy, it also has a healthy dose of mystery and folklore and history. It's as much about the past as it is the present.

I loved the different relationships within the pages, how Mio interacted with her friends and family, and how that changed as the story progressed. It felt very natural for her feelings and attitude to change in the ways that th
Nasty Lady MJ
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
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 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
Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا
I just started reading this great trilogy; this is the first book and it's epic! If you love old Japanese anime mixed with modern days this is for you! It tells a story of a teenage girl who tries to balance a normal life as a sheltered daughter of a weird upbringing, she is the daughter of one of Japan's most powerful clans, she embarks on a dangerous journey to learn the truth about her family and her own destiny with the Samurai traditions of her ancestors.

Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-2014-read
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
Jan 29, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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)
Farah Cook
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was ok, and takes place in London. The plot sounds more intriguing than what it is, and the character was alright. I still enjoyed he read, fast paced and moves forward.
Jun 28, 2013 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
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Big Book Little Book
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
Serendipity Reviews
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
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
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review by Marianne - Year 9

The main focus of The Night Itself is Japanese myth. It tells the story of how a 15 year old, Mio Yamato, steals a priceless family heirloom for the sole purpose of making a fancy dress costume more exciting. The heirloom just happens to be in the form of a deadly Katana sword. Stealing the sword sets of a chain reaction awakening the blade and threatening to wreak havoc on th unsuspecting streets of London. Mio has to find a way to harness the Katana’s power or it wil
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
*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.
This was a really fun book. I loved the take on Japanese mythology, which I don't know much about, and the friendship, and the setup for the series, though I don't intend to read it anytime soon. I really like the characters. Sure it wasn't hugely developed, but still pretty enjoyable, if not memorable. ...more
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! ...more
Joyce Lee
Aug 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!!
Jennifer (DigiWrit)
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although it wasn't perfect, this was the most fun read I've explored since the last 4 I dudded out or DNF'd. There was enough action to keep me turning the pages, and MC Mio was sensible enough and tough enough for me to respect her. But, alas, as with all works, there were a few things I didn't really like.

I'm going to begin with the good stuff--the stuff I did like:

-A solid, if not totally original, plot that wasn't too hard to follow and interesting enough to keep me wanting to read on.
-Mio w
Diana Braxton
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow! What a wonderful read.

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved reading, and more than any other genre, she loved reading urban/contemporary fantasy. But as she delved deeper into the reading world, she drifted away from urban fantasy as she discovered the hard core high fantasy. She loved the complex, layered plotlines and distinct magic systems of high fantasy she pretty much forgot all about urban fantasy.

And then she read The Night Itself and she remembered e
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
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
Daphne (Illumicrate)
4.5 stars, originally published at Winged Reviews

I loved this book. Zoe Marriott has written an extremely exciting start to this London-set, urban fantasy story full of Japanese mythology influences. It made me think of the anime greats of my childhood—fantastic story, loads of action, witty characters and the coolest set of mythological creatures since Percy Jackson.

Mio secretly borrows an ancient katana stashed in her family’s attic, which she thinks would be an excellent prop to her Rukia (fr
This was like reading a manga... shoujo mahou manga. Most of the names are Japanese and the only other important character that has a Western name ("Jack"), looks a bit like an anime character. There isn't much character development. There are allusions to Japanese fairy tales, clothes are mostly Japanese, the villain is a Nekomata and it followers (cats), the allies are the Kitsune (foxes) and the setting takes place in London. There is a character named Hikaru with red hair. Another one with w ...more
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Pre-book release thoughts. 2 16 Apr 19, 2013 03:31PM  

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Zoë has known that she wanted to be a writer since she read 'The Magic Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton at age eight. She's never changed her mind in all the years since then.

She completed her first manuscript - a truly embarrassing romance novel - at age sixteen, and kept on writing books and submitting them until she had collected rejections from nearly very publisher in the UK and two in Australia.

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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“Have you ever been hit in the face? Really hit? So your head snapped back and you landed on your rear end wondering what the hell happened? You don’t actually feel it at first. The harder the blow is, the more numb you go. I mean, your face just seems to disappear, and for a minute you think your eyes are going to drop right out of their sockets because they’re the only thing that still seems to be working.

  I suppose that explains why I didn’t feel the car hit me. There was no pain. Just a sort of … nudge. I flew up, and the world did a gentle roll around me, everything coming apart, lights and trees and cars scattering before my eyes like colourful pieces of broken glass.

  Then I hit the ground. I landed on my front and skidded for a few feet before I came to a halt. I still couldn’t feel anything, and it was quiet. I’d say “dead quiet”, except that’s too accurate to be funny. I never realized how loud my heartbeat was until it stopped.”
“Don’t worry, Maverick. I got your back.”

  “Oh my God. Jack, Top Gun quotes are not cool, OK?”

  “Sez you,” Jack shot back as we reached the top of the stairs. “You’re the one who’s going out dressed as an anime character.”

More quotes…