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.
The Shadow of the Fox series is so good, y'all. I mean, seriously soooooooo good.
I know that seems like a heck of a lot of ooooooo's, but they're warranted in this case. Trust. I want to shout it from the rooftops.
I am absolute trash over it.
Kagawa has truly created something special here. I just want her to keep them coming, even though, alas, it is only slated to be a trilogy.
I read Shadow of the Fox at the beginning of 2019 and it quickly stood out as a new favorite. I was drawn into the Empire of Iwagoto and now I never want to leave.
This second book continues on directly after the events of the first. We find Yumeko and her crew on the road to the Steel Feather temple. Their goal, to protect the last pieces of the Dragon Scroll.
Y'all know a QUEST is one of my all-time favorite tropes, so this story is right up my alley.
The team of characters setting forth on this mission makes the story for me.
They are so well-crafted, their personalities playing off one another perfectly. It seriously makes me want to be a part of the group. I don't care how outright scary and dangerous it gets!
While I wasn't quite as smitten with this installment as I was with the first book, it is still definitely worth all five stars in my opinion.
As second books go, this one upped the stakes of the quest and left off in an exceptionally intriguing part of the story.
I'm not sure how I will hold off until March 2020 for Book 3. I need more Yumeko, Okame, Tatsumi and friends, NOW!
It's almost unfair of Kagawa to do this to us. How dare she write such perfection?!
I wish I could shout from the rooftops how much I love this series, but that might get embarrassing. For now, I will be content with recommending the heck out of it to all my YA Fantasy-reading friends.
Also, legit anime come to life. The atmosphere and tone of this is so dynamic, it leaps off the page and into your minds-eye so clearly. It's honestly tremendous.
I want to thank the publisher, Inkyard Press, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. It was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it certainly did not disappoint.
If you are sleeping on this series, wake up, pick it up and join me in fangirling!
im pretty sure i could just copy and paste my review for ‘shadow of the fox,’ because i loved ‘soul of the sword’ just as much. everything that made the first installment so magically phenomenal is present in this sequel, making for such a consistently compelling story. and i have no doubt that the next book, the conclusion, will be just as amazing.
things that make this book great:
the characters - the array of characters is so diverse, each bringing something different to the story; but they work so harmoniously that, if one of them was missing, i think the story would greatly suffer. and i think that is such a feat to accomplish for a writer.
the world building - the japanese mythology and folklore is the heart of this. and the story is set up in a really clever way where you know you are encountering really old tales of magic and wonder, but it has such a modern and lively feel to it. its so exciting.
the storytelling - there is such an immersive quality to kagawas writing. its been such a long time since i could so vividly imagine the story, with scenes so descriptive its as if a film was playing inside my mind. its just makes the entire reading experience go above and beyond.
and although the journey taken throughout this book was extremely enjoyable, my anxiety levels are through the roof because of how this ended. ‘night of the dragon’ seriously cant come soon enough!
”I am a lover of art and beauty, Okame-san. I have learned that it can be found anywhere, regardless of station or circumstance. True beauty is rare, hidden and often overlooked by others and it can appear at the strangest times. I try to appreciate it when I see it”.
Quiero que sepan que estoy demasiado in love con esta serie, de verdad. Es como si todas mis fantasías de mitología japonesa, romance, aventura y episodios de Inuyasha se juntaran en un solo lugar. Hace muchísimo no encontraba una serie de libros que me enganchara tanto y me hiciera genuinamente feliz.
En esta segunda entrega de la trilogía nos encontramos con que Kage Tatsumi sigue poseído por el demonio Hakaimono, que hasta hace poco estuvo confinado en la espada Kamigoroshi. Todo es desastroso porque Yumeko, la protagonista, además de tener que lidiar con los fragmentos del pergamino sagrado, tendrá que desviar su aventura para salvar a quien se había convertido en su gran amigo, protector y, quizás, algo más. Es una misión a contrarreloj, pues Hakaimono ha decidido que quiere aliarse con el señor de los demonios para poder recolectar los fragmentos del pergamino, convocar al dragón y pedir que se lo desvincule de la maldición que lo mantiene atada a Kamigoroshi. Claro, todo a costa de la destrucción de todo el mundo como lo conocemos, no big deal(?).
En serio me fascina el ritmo que tiene esta serie de libros, adoro la mitología, a los personajes, sus aventuras, los diálogos, la tensión, absolutamente todo. Y me gustó muchísimo que Yumeko tomara las riendas firmemente y decidiera que su prioridad era salvar a Kage Tatsumi de un destino fatal. Y lo mejor es que todos sus compañeros de viaje (excepto la sacerdotisa que sigue creyendo que llevar el fragmento de pergamino al templo es más importante) la apoyan.
¡Y vaya aventuras tienen! Creo que esta serie de libros es la manera perfecta de aprender e interesarse más en la mitología japonesa, en sus demonios, en sus deidades y en sus rituales. Yo, que sé bastante japonés, disfruto muchísimo con la cantidad de términos y referencias que hace la autora en el idioma original. Soy muy fan de eso.
Evidentemente no les puedo contar mucho porque sería un gran spoiler, pero tengo la certeza de que Julie Kagawa me va a seguir sorprendiendo con sus libros y, sin duda, con el final de esta trilogía. Además, si me conocen, saben que valoro muchísimo el romance en los libros y todo lo que sucede en Soul of the Sword en ese aspecto es absolutamente hermoso. De verdad, no se imaginan lo feliz que me hace ver cómo Kage Tatsumi y Yumeko se van dando cuenta de que, efectivamente, sienten algo el uno por el otro. ¡Pero eso no es todo! Julie Kagawa nos sorprende en este libro con una potencial pareja que no me esperaba para nada, pero que me da mil años de vida, se los juro.
Dicho eso, ¡necesito leer inmediatamente el tercer libro! No lo había hecho porque nunca leo el siguiente libro de una saga si no he reseñado el anterior, pero ahora sí que podré hacerlo.
This cover is beautiful and the third one is going to be PURPLE!! But alas, I’m trading the first two in and going to keep them on kindle only as I’m down sizing a lot of books. I have to truly love them to want to keep physical copies. More 5 star and favorites.
Ugh, I'm just loving this series! Heck, I'm almost done with the next book! Soul of the Sword gave me all sorts of feelings. Even though the first time I read this was for the ARC, I got to say that the audiobook was amazing. Probably made it all better and a lot more enjoyable.
The quest, adventures, and my damn ship just gave me constant joy throughout each chapter. I didn't like being teased one bit but I was so happy with the entire book. I'm sure the next book will do some damage to me.. but I'm hoping for something happy.
Overall, I need my damn ship to sail people. I need happiness in the next book STAT! ___________________________________________________ I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
No idea how many times I've started and put down Soul of the Sword but it was a lot. Not because it was boring or I was bored.. but because of work. Not putting all the blame on that but I really had zero time to fully commit to this within one sitting. Just kind of had to stick this one out to see how it was going to end. Boy, I wasn't disappointed one bit.
This book and my ship gave me life! I can't tell you how much I geeked out over a certain scene but I was so in love with everything. Even if it took me 84 years to complete this thing. The only thing I would change if I re-read this (which I totally will) is to reread book 1 then this.. and whenever book 3 comes out. So basically a binge sesh is needed next time around. Hopefully not in September.
Other than that, without spoiling anything, I love Yumeko and her freaking fox magic. I want more - lots and lots more. Or I will be disappointed for sure. Bring it on!
“All souls have a destiny. Some are simply brighter than others.”
♡ Essentially a black and white photocopy of the first installment. The mere fact that it required seven months and two book formats to complete this story, is enough to say that this one wasn't for me. I loved Shadow of the Fox when I read it the year before, and thought that the equally comical and tense journey with Yumeko and her band of misfits was incredibly entertaining. Unfortunately, this sequel felt as if it were a poorly reproduced copy of the first, with worse pacing and a rather mundane adventure.
♡ No cohesive atmosphere. I can’t decipher what mood the writing is trying to convey. One moment, everything is violent, tense, and gruesome, and the next, there’s cheesy one liners being thrown off. The juxtaposition between these two elements don’t flow well together, and makes for an odd narrative.
♡ It feels as though it’s trying too hard. Try as I might, I couldn’t get into the jokes and attempts at humor. I don’t remember this being as prevalent an issue in the first installment, but it’s been a constant bother in this one. I don’t mind a bit of humor - I welcome it, more often than not - but, the jokes are childish, and bear an awful resemblance to the dull witted comedy I shy away from in mediocre children movies.
♡ Haikamono's chapters serve no purpose. Utilizing alternating point of views can be a great decision for a narrative ... when it can advance the plot. I personally found his perspective boring and irrelevant for the overall story. It didn’t accelerate current events, nor provide any notable insight. It also didn’t help that they're quite repetitive and primarily focus on whipping out sarcastic remarks as readily as swords.
♡ I desperately wanted this one to work out for me, but it fell very short of the mark. A few aspects that bothered me in this book were evident in the first, but I was able to overlook them since the characters and story were so amusing then. That wasn't the case here, and this book's vices outweigh its virtues.
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!
Move over, Harry Potter, fox shape-shifter Yumeko has come to town. I just finished this cinematic YA fantasy sequel to SHADOW OF THE FOX and I want the third book RIGHT NOW (I didn't think it was possible for Julie Kagawa to pull off a sequel that was even better than the first book, but she has - in spades). This book has the visual splendor of a Miyazaki film (think SPIRITED AWAY), the brilliant characterization of the Harry Potter books and the action-excitement of an Avengers movie. Author Kagawa has mined Japanese mythology for the most incredible magics, creatures and villians, bringing them to vivid, Technicolor life (particularly love the teenaged twin scorpion-yokai girls). The story's main villain, demon Hakaimono, is by turns terrifying and sardonically hilarious. And there is an unexpected love scene that had me cheering (bravo, Julie Kagawa). My highest recommendation. #TeamYumeko
*EDITED TO ADD REVIEW* Kagawa has an amazing ability to bring her fantasy worlds and characters to life. So much so that they seem to breath off the very pages you are reading. You get completely immersed into her stories, into their lives, and into the danger that always seems to lurk in the dark and magical realms she is so good at creating.
I fell in love with Shadow of the Fox and couldn't have been more anxious or eager to get my hands on Soul of the Sword.
It didn't take me long to once again fall seamlessly into the very heart, the very center of the world that is this series. Totally invested in all that had happened last book and more than excited to find out where the story would take all of my beloved characters next.
With ore action, more danger, more risks, and more tension around every corner, not to mention bad guys, myths, legends, and lore and Soul of the Sword not only lived up the Shadow of the Fox, but I think it surpassed it.
*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
When the hunter becomes the prey, ruthlessness the name of the game, and honour, love or mercy is a sign of weakness, how was a mere mortal peasant girl going to battle and win? Yumeko, the main character, faced a much harder hurdle, stronger demons, ghosts and all manner of evil, in the second book than the first, but she was also stronger and wiser. Her quest was to protect a piece of scroll the world couldn’t afford to have fallen into the wrong hands. Every one thousand years, the bearer of the scroll gets one wish, and it could be anything. It was not surprising that everyone wanted it, causing a power struggle between powers that be in the empire. It is a beautifully crafted book. The world-building is fantastic; it will suck you right into the story world. As scary as the demons and the evil lurking in the shadows were, I enjoyed this second book in the series. 4 stars.
The author/publisher provided a free copy of the book for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a review copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore do not affect the opinion or content of the review.
Julie Kagawa took my poorly shredded heart in Shadow of the Fox and shredded it some more because that Ending was God Awful™ and I needed more (because I need answers!) but I had to wait for Soul of the Sword.
It was a sad day for this bookwyrm. But then we got our claws on book two! 💃💃💃 Yumeko and her friends continue their journey... With a few more pressures, no big deal. In the first book, Yumeko is tasked to bring a piece of the dragon scroll to the Steel Feather Temple and she acquires a few companions who later become her friends. They continue with the journey, but in addition to delivering the scroll safely, they're now tracking down Hakaimono, who has possessed Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.
But Soul of the Sword was a struggle. I don't know if I'm disappointed in the sequel because I was excited to dive into Soul of the Sword. My body was ready for whatever Kagawa threw at me as Yumeko and her friends continue on their journey. This part of the journey is a lot darker and bloodier; Hakaimono joins forces with the Master of Demons to break free from his curse, leaving bloody paths behind him.
But I struggled a lot with the second book to Shadow of the Fox, and I don't think my on and off reading slump helped matters. (Conveniently right when I start the book, too. Who asked you to stick your head in, slump?) Neither did my high expectations set after the first book, which kind of got shot a little into the deep end. 😔
While the first book is exciting and full of nonstop, page-turning adventure, Soul of the Sword is a far cry from that. But not exactly in a bad way, because I still enjoyed the story overall, and personally, I feel that matters more.
More focus on backstory and characters. As much as I love an exciting book, I appreciate a book that focuses a lot on the characters. In Soul of the Sword, Kagawa focuses a lot of time on the history and the development of the characters. Most of the key characters - Yumeko, Tatsumi, Reika, Okame, Daisuke - who will be playing an important role in the final book are fleshed out throughout the sequel with a deeper story and background.
This gives us the chance to know their emotions, motives, and past experiences that will no doubt play a huge part in whatever Kagawa throws at us. While I struggled reading through this, I think it's well worth the suffer to prepare myself for Night of the Dragon.
Soul of the Sword isn't as exciting as Shadow of the Fox, but I'm planning on reading the third book for closure and knowing full well from Kagawa's previous works that I will be put through agony.
“My master used to say, sometimes a whisper is all that is required to calm a storm, but when words fail, sometimes you need the thunder.”
While I liked Shadow of the Fox, and was looking forward to the sequel, Soul of the Sword genuinely surprised me. I liked this a lot more than I was expecting to.
The story begins immediately after the explosive ending of the first book: Yumeko, Reika, Okame, Daisuke, and Master Jiro are on the run, and have to go on a perilous journey to secure the safety of a piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. Every thousand years, the Kami Dragon appears as the Harbringer of Change, and whoever possess every piece of the scroll is granted a wish.
Also, Yumeko is up against . Not good.
This second installment of the Shadow of the Fox series opens with high stakes, a motley crew of underdog characters trying to save the world, and a tension-filled, heartbreaking romance. I was instantly hooked by the direction of the story, and Julie Kagawa definitely opens up the world of Iwagato in this book. The Japanese mythology is explored with intricacy and vividness, and some monsters were so horrifically imagined in my mind that I got chills. I love the world of Iwagato.
That's why it didn't bother me that this second installment was ultimately another journey book. It felt like I was watching a really cool anime: what creatures or magical obstacles will our band of unlikely heroes encounter next? What evil could be lurking in the shadows beyond the lantern light? It was all very entertaining.
Which leads me to our characters. I really loved them all. One of the main reasons I continued on with this series was because of the dynamic group that was forming at the end of book one, and the gang in Soul of the Sword definitely delivered. Reika is an unflinching badass with a huge heart. Okame is snarky, bull-headed, and completely lovable. Daisuke is a precious angel and a god-tier swordsman. Tatsumi continues to draw on my sympathy and be one of the most interesting characters in this series. And Yumeko, oh sweet, precious Yumeko. She's a shining light within these books, and I grew to love her so much in this story.
Julie Kagawa also said Gay Rights, because there's a m/m romance in here that had me SCREAMING. Thank you for not making everyone pair off in a hetero relationship, Julie. Thank you.
The central romance between Tatsumi and Yumeko was one of the most surprising elements of this book for me. I thought they were cute in Shadow of the Fox but the depth of their feelings for one another, and the sweet, emotionally devastating arc of their relationship had me close to tears. Again, I really wasn't expecting that. There's a level of sweetness, and true, pure feeling that deeply affected me, and I appreciate this book so much for it.
Along with the wonderful characters and swoon-worthy romance, the action and adventure scenes in this book were amazing. There's one scene toward the beginning of this story, where Yumeko and the crew must travel through what is called The Path of Shadows, a dark road through the land of the dead that allows you to travel great distances in short amounts of time. There, our beloved gang is plagued by memories of their lost loved ones, and it was written with chilling intensity.
“It is not the spirits that call to us,” he murmured, “It is our own failures and regrets we see. The things we wish we could have changed, the memories that haunt us.”
Is this series perfect? No, it isn't. Some of the plot developments seemed a little convenient towards the end for my taste, and for a majority of this second book, I preferred Yumeko's POV chapters to the other perspective. However, that changed for me towards the finale. I know Hakaimono is a murderous, bloodthirsty demon, but he's also kind of funny? I don't know what's wrong with me, but I'm a sucker for charming villains.
There's a lot to love here: great characters, heart-warming romance, and an adventure story full of Japanese mythology and Kitsune fox-magic. What's not to like?
I can't wait for the third and final book in this series, Night of the Dragon. The short wait until March 31st will be absolute torture.
“In the best stories, the heroes always give their lives, for honor, duty, sacrifice and the glory of the empire. Anything less and it is not much of a story at all.”
i can’t help picturing julie kagawa cackling like a villain while writing this series every time something bad happens to tatsumi (which is, like, basically every chapter….. in the whole series so far)
why i always pick the tortured characters as my favourites i’ll never know
mild?? spoilers for this series incoming……
in all seriousness, i was scared i wouldn’t like this sequel as much as i lovedshadow of the fox, but i shouldn’t have been worried at all. soul of the sword takes everything that made shadow of the fox so great and basically amps it up
yumeko’s character development is GREAT. with tatsumi (mostly) missing in action here, almost everything comes down to yumeko and we get to see her both develop as an action-fantasy protagonist and watch as she comes of age and starts to discover who she is outside of her sheltered upbringing
also, whaaat, this series is QUEER?? and no one told me???? i would HOWL if julie kagawa wrote a spin-off series or something with just okame and daisuke running around iwagoto, being gay and sarcastic and setting everything on fire (figuratively and literally)
there were instances where i thought the story could have progressed a little faster and things were being needlessly repeated but, honestly, every flaw seems insignificant when i look at the story as a whole from start to finish. it’s just.... too good
also WOW. that ending... TATSUMI. HOLY SHIT. i couldn’t be more excited and nervous about the final book!
RTC- I am VERY at unease with how this played out. Amazing, nothing less than I expected... just worried! I feel like I was in the height of battle and a pause button was hit; I’m left frozen, yet conscious with the same emotions... ANXIETY CITY.
You guys , this is realy good , like realy realy goood , loved almost everything about it , my only complain is the ending like I expected an fantastic mind blowin ending and I didn't get that feeling , I was like ,are you serious ! are we going on this road because i'm not okay , but still tho an magnificent read , 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Yeah this definitely suffered from middle book syndrome and I was pissed my baby boy Tatsumi wasn't here as much, etc etc... HOWEVER! What I cared about was the tension between Okame and Daisuke AND OH MY GOD! I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED
P.S : Hakaimono is Sakuna Ryomen from Jujutsu Kaisen in an alternate universe.
Change my mind! Oh my God, his povs were hilarious especially when his fellow demons didn't recognize him after centuries of being MIA 🤣
2.5 Estrellas Todo porque un hombre formuló un deseo al pergamino del Gran Dragón con odio en su corazón y, sin saberlo, invitó a un demonio a su alma.
Este libro es la segunda parte de la sombra del zorro, el cuál ese libro me gustó mucho cuando lo leí el año pasado. Este libro no me gustó mucho, porque se me hizo extremadamente largo. Siento que pasaron muchas cosas que pudieron haber omitido sin ningún problema o simplemente haberse resumido.
En general yo no tengo problema de que el libro se desarrolle en "un viaje", como pasa en este libro. Pero en este si me molestó un poco, porque yo ya quería que apareciera Tatsumi, era lo único que mi alma estaba pidiendo. Que fuera liberado del demonio de la espada... ya era una necesidad.
El primer libro se trata de llevar el pergamino de dragón al Templo de la Pluma de Acero. El segundo libro también, agregando de que hay que liberar a Tatsumi de ese demonio.
Entonces por eso me causó conflicto, porque con diferentes variantes, el libro uno y el dos eran iguales. Solo que en el primero tenía romance con Tatsumi en pequeñas dosis y en ese fue casi nulo. Y ¿saben lo que eso le hace a mi alma? exacto... se marchita.
Lo que puedo rescatar de este libro es que conocen a otro villano, conocemos las intenciones de otro personaje que apenas se tocó en el primer libro y que al parecer tiene mucha más importancia de lo que se pensó en un principio.
El final del segundo libro, tengo que admitir que hice una teoría, pero falló y pasó otra cosa totalmente diferente y de hecho que nunca pensé que fuera a pasar. Así que puntos a favor a este libro, ya que amo que me sorprendan.
Ya con todo esto, obviamente voy a leer la tercera parte, porque a mi nadie me deja con la duda, jajaja, además de que ya lo tengo en físico y lo voy a empezar a leer próximamente.
Espero que el tercero tenga un buen final y ya no me salgan con más viajes sin romance. Por su atención gracias.
Review: *I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*
This was a great sequel to the first book in the series! This one had a somewhat darker tone than the first book, but that was to be expected after how that one ended. It still managed to keep some of the fun of the first one though, which was a pleasant surprise.
The plot continued on where the last one left off. Without spoiling anything for either book, I can say the characters were still on their mission, but this time they had another goal as well and the stakes were upped. This one had less of that quirky road trip feel, and it flowed a little more smoothly than the first since it didn’t have those isolated side adventures (not that I minded that anyway).
Once again though, it was the characters and the relationships among them that were my favorite thing! These characters are so fun and lovable. Yumeko was more aware of the world in this one, but she still had some innocence and a big heart. I love her. Tatsumi wasn’t in this one as much as he was in the first, and yet I still found myself feeling worse and worse for him the more I learned about him and his past. I want a happy ending for him so badly. Okame, Daisuke, and Reika were all so loyal to not only the mission to deliver the scroll but also to Yumeko. And they were their usual snarky, eccentric, stern selves, in that order. There were also a couple other characters who were either new or became a bit more important to the story this time. I’ll admit I didn’t enjoy the other two POVs in the book as much as I enjoyed Yumeko’s, but her POV was the main one, so it wasn’t a big deal.
There was even an unexpected supporting character romance plotline that added some emotion. (And I appreciated that the author found a way to show it to the reader without adding any extra POVs.) It was still the interactions between Yumeko and Tatsumi that got me the most though because *no one has ever cared about Tatsumi before, no one has ever shown him love, this poor boy.* The non-romancey interactions between the characters were sweet and fun too though, even the way Okame and Reika constantly antagonized each other.
And just in case anyone hasn’t read the first book and doesn’t realize, these books are set in a Japanese-inspired high fantasy world, full of yokai and demons and interesting creatures! We even got to see more of Yumeko’s kitsune magic in this one, which was cool.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with these lovable characters, some more interesting things have happened, and I look forward to seeing what will happen next!
Recommended For: Fans of Book 1 in Julie Kagawa's Shadow of the Fox series. Anyone who likes Japanese mythology and culture, lots of supernatural creatures, lovable and quirky characters, and stories that balance the serious stuff with a lot of fun.
Gosh, this was such a filler middle book in a trilogy. And as someone who really enjoyed "Shadow of the Fox" I was quite disappointed. This book was incredibly slow and had way too much talking and not nearly enough action to counteract it. Hakaimono's chapters seriously put me to sleep sometimes. I still liked some parts of it obviously and the pace definitely picked up towards the end. The writing was still beautiful as well. I now only hope the finale will not be like this.
After rereading the first book in this series, I dove right into this sequel. I’d heard a few things about how this installment was still really great, but not quite equal to its predecessor. And, by a very, very minute difference in my feelings for both, I agree with that assessment. This sequel does feel very much like the second book in a series, which isn’t a bad thing, but also isn’t my favorite sort of reading experience on the whole. But, this the good, solid kind of second book syndrome though as this novel certainly does a commendable job when it comes to broadening the story - in terms of the world (as readers get the opportunity to be in more places), the lore (as more cultural details, especially with regards to the mythical and fantastical, are incorporated), the plot (because truly, a LOT happens in this part) and the characters (because there is a solid amount of development, on the individual level and in terms of relationships with other characters). I really, really enjoyed diving deeper into Yumeko’s story, and watching the series of events unfold. (And it still very much reminded me of some of my favorite anime series!) It was very entertaining to see how the story continued, and the way things wrapped here left me very much anticipating the finale.
FIRST THOUGHTS: Oh, but that was so. much. fun. Truly, this novel still very much reads like an anime, in the best ways, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!