Book Review: Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox Book 2) by Julie Kagawa

After the events of the first book, half-kitsune Yumeko and her friends/allies (a ronin, a noble, a shrine maiden, and a priest) know it's more important than ever to continue on with their quest to bring Yumeko's piece of the dragon scroll to where it will be safe. But Yumeko refuses to give up on fixing what happened, even though it might lead them all to death.

Book Review: Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox Book 2) by Julie Kagawa | reading, books, high fantasy, kitsune
Title: Soul of the Sword
Book Number: Book 2
Pages: 432
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher


*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!


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  1. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    I only skimmed because I still haven’t read the first book even though it has been on my kindle for months, but it does sound like a great sequel. I’m glad to hear the characters and relationships worked so well for you. That’s one of those things that can either make or break a fantasy read for me. I’m planning to read Shadow of the Fox this summer and hope that I’ll enjoy the series as much as you are.

  2. Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

    I still need to read book one! I’m glad to hear that Soul of the Sword is a great follow-up to Shadow of the Fox. I like when supporting characters receive development, including romance. It sounds like the characters and relationships are going strong, which is always good to hear πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      It is nice when supporting characters get some development, makes them more three-dimensional and real. I do think the series is still going strong, I hope you like it πŸ™‚

  3. Jackie Briere

    Hi Kristen, great review even if you didn’t like it as much as the first one. I agree Julie Kagawa’s writings can be very dark. I remember her vampire series, The Immortal Rules, were the same way. Anyway, I started reading Soul of the Sword but I felt it more serious too and even the characters weren’t the same. So, I think I’ll wait until the audiobook is released.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Actually I don’t mind dark at all! I did enjoy the fun tone of the first, but I enjoyed this too. I hope you can enjoy the audiobook! I may have to check out her vampire series.

  4. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer

    I haven’t read this one yet but am so happy that I can start it soon. I think I will miss Tatsumi as he was my favorite part in the first one… and I can totally imagine we feel worse and worse for him the more we learn. You’ve made me really excited to read this Kristen, thanks!! ❀️

  5. Olivia Roach

    Oh my goodness, is the sequel for this series coming out already? I have the first book but still haven’t had the chance to read it yet DD: I am glad that you were able to really enjoy this sequel. I’m all for a bit of a darker tone and higher stakes. And I love side character romances so much. Yay for being able to show it well without needing to add another POV. The characters sound amazing <3

  6. Lindsi

    I’m reading this one right now and I’m loving it! I like that we picked up right where the first book left off, and my heart is breaking for Tatsumi all over again. I’m bummed that he’s not playing a larger role, for obvious reasons, but it has been interesting learning about his past. I’m so happy that he has Yumeko and friends that are fiercely loyal to him. Great review!

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? πŸ’¬