I’m not okay. I mean, I am but… I’m not. 😭 I’m not sure I will ever be okay again. Ms. Kagawa ripped my heart out no less than 3 times and injured me 2 more! In one book!! I had no idea that was possible until now. Why, dear Reader, are you not checking out this series? I need you just as decimated, body and soul, as I am right now! Misery loves company, right? 😘
“She is quite special, isn’t she?” he said. “I saw it the first time I met her. It seems even Hakaimono cannot help to be drawn to that light.”
Seriously though. It’s taken me a few days to write this one. So many thoughts and emotions. I was adrift and words escaped me. This is one of those trilogies that will stick with me long after I’ve moved on to other books. It was so beautifully written! The world building… The character development….. 💜 Kagawa has a way of creating a whole universe in your mind that you never want to leave.
But since this is the third and final book in the trilogy, I’m going to warn you that there will be some hints and spoilers for Shadow of the Fox and Soul of the Sword in this review. If you haven’t read them and don’t want to be “spoiled”, I’d recommend stopping now and coming back when you are ready.
Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has given up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers in order to save everyone she loves from imminent death. Now she and her ragtag band of companions must journey to the wild sea cliffs of Iwagoto in a desperate last-chance effort to stop the Master of Demons from calling upon the Great Kami dragon and making the wish that will plunge the empire into destruction and darkness.
Shadow clan assassin Kage Tatsumi has regained control of his body and agreed to a true deal with the devil—the demon inside him, Hakaimono. They will share his body and work with Yumeko and their companions to stop a madman and separate Hakaimono from Tatsumi and the cursed sword that had trapped the demon for nearly a millennium.
But even with their combined skills and powers, this most unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of evil may be impossible to overcome. And there is another player in the battle for the scroll, a player who has been watching, waiting for the right moment to pull strings that no one even realized existed…until now.
Here we are again. The third and final installment of the ‘Shadow of the Fox’ trilogy. It’s over and I’m numb. I read this, thankfully, when I was home alone because I seriously ugly cried on many occasions but especially that last third of the book. 💔 Forget slow burn romances. Ms. Kagawa takes you through slow burn emotional torture and you know what? We love her for it! We crave it! And apparently, according to her Twitter page, our tears feed her muse. 🤪
We start where ‘Soul of the Sword’ left off. There is no preamble so I’d suggest not waiting too long between books or doing a quick review beforehand. I’m going to try and do my best to leave things vague here but I can’t make promises. It’s incredibly hard to talk about this book without giving too much away. But I’ll try!
So like I said, we start our story in a cave right after our group of friends were kicked out of the Steel Feather Temple. Yumeko gave up the last of the scroll to save her friends and Tatsumi’s soul has merged with Hakaimono. Fortunately, the merge has allowed Tatsumi access to the demon’s memories, including the location of the summoning. But that’s the only thing they have going for them. Yumeko is the only that trusts Tatsumi; and having been beat once, our group doesn’t have a lot of faith that they can stop the Master of Demons. Attempts to kill them by the Shadow Clan aren’t helping matters either. Every step of their journey is dogged by some disaster, monster, demon, or zombies. It’s only by banding together and allowing each to display their strengths, that our friends make it to the island where the summoning is supposed to take place.
While the action was amazing, it was the quieter moments between our characters that I was living for. There was a scene, when Yumeko creates a private garden for just her and Tatsumi the night before the reach the summoning point that had my heart soaring. A gleeful, stupid smile was plastered all over my face. It was beautiful and poignant and I loved every second. 🦊 💜 👹 The heartfelt confession between Okame and Daisuke had me feeling some kind of way too. I lapped up every page with relish. It was a good thing too because Ms. Kagawa decided to take all that warm and fuzzy and shred it pieces. No one is left untouched in this story and the goodbyes are more painful than I can say.
But of course, this is an end book and wouldn’t be such without some last minute surprises and soul shattering heartbreak (did I mention the ugly crying?!). We learn major secrets about where Yumeko came from and what her purpose is meant to be. We get a deeper understanding of what happened with previous Wishes; including why Lady Hansou is determined to have the Wish for herself. We also learn what Lord Seigetsu’s real game actually is and why Suki is so relevant. Don’t think that everything ends with defeating the Master of Demons (as if that isn’t hard enough). Oh, no! Ms. Kagawa expertly wove a bigger story thread deeper into this world that is revealed here.
While I promise that you will need an entire box of Puffs tissues, I can also promise that you won’t be disappointed or left wondering. Everything is pulled together and no string is left untied. And even though the ending DESTROYED ME, it was beautiful in its own way. I mean, she really drove the sword home and twisted. Then, when you think you can breath again, she shoves it into your heart a few more inches. It was amazing and I haven’t had a book rench that kind of emotion out of me in a long time. This is absolutely going down as one of my favorites and I’ll recommend it to anyone that loves epic fantasy with a little bit of romance mixed in. Innocent characters that grow into their strength… Moody bad boys with a tough past that learn love isn’t a weakness… Honest and loyal friends that call you out as well as support you no matter what. There’s nothing I didn’t love about this story. 🐉 💜
But IF I had to find something negative to say, which trust me, is hard… I would complain that Ms. Kagawa closed our story with one line. One freaking line! When you get to it, trust me, you’ll know. But that’s a personal and purely selfish reason. I can’t lie. I’m addicted. I want more! Would a paragraph have killed her? A conversation or two between them? All we get is a sentence??? Ugh! I guess I’ll just have to create that scene in my head. 🥰
I completely give this one ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐! The series as a whole is 4.5 rounded up to 5 stars in my book. I’ll miss you Tatsumi and Yumeko!!! 🦊 💜 👹 🥰 ⚔ 🐉
If you want to see my reviews for the first two, here they are…
Shadow of the Fox ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Soul of the Sword ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐