Hey all, Dani here.
Today is a special day for me. One year ago on this day my fiance asked me to marry him, and it has been a wonderful year since then. We’ve grown as people and as a couple, and I have definitely watched him grow more as a reader–I bought him another bookcase for Christmas because his was almost ready to overflow. So today we’re going to be having a “date day,” going out to eat and of course going book shopping.
But while we’re doing that, I wanted to give you all another book review. I have so many of these I need to write up, and I hope to prep up most of them over the next week and a half while I’m off work.
Seeing as how this is also Diverse December, where I’m reading as diversely as I can, I figured I would try and write up some of my diverse read reviews to cover some of my posts for the rest of December.
So let’s just jump into the review.
One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.
Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.
Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.
There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.
With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.
Rating: 5 stars
Let me start off by saying that I did not read this book during Diverse December; I read it at the very end of October. But this was such a great book, and all of the Asian cultural aspects of this book definitely make it one to mention during this month. I guess I should also say that I am a big fan of Julie Kagawa and have read most of her books–sadly not the Blood of Eden trilogy yet, but that’s because I can’t get a set of matching covers in the same format anywhere. It makes me sad.
Anyway, from the beginning of the story, I loved Yumeko. Maybe I just find kitsune to be fun creatures to begin with. I’m currently playing a kitsune character in a Pathfinder campaign with some friends…though they all believe me to be nothing more than a normal human. I’m having fun with the deception and trickery of it all.
This has a very classic adventure/quest style plot, and honestly, I rather enjoyed that. Yumeko having to work with Tatsumi to achieve her goals made for an interesting character dynamic, and frankly, the other companions they pick up throughout the story only made the story more enjoyable to me.
There was a good balance of travel and action and dialogue/character interaction and development. Maybe the inklings of Yumeko and Tatsumi’s romantic feelings for each other felt a bit to rushed, at least to me, but overall I didn’t mind that too much.
Oh, and the descriptions were quite lovely as well. There are certain terms that Kagawa uses to help with the setting and worldbuilding, and I enjoyed that she didn’t feel the need to pause and define them within the narrative. Instead, if you need it, there is a glossary of terms in the back of the book. From all of the manga and anime I consume, I really didn’t need the glossary, but its inclusion is appreciated nevertheless.
Needless to say, I finished this book very quickly, and I am already very anxious for the second one. With the way this one ended, I’m expecting the sequel to be jam packed with excitement.