RELEASE DATE : January 28th 2020
GENRES : Y/A, Fantasy, Supernatural, Japanese Mythology
PAGE COUNT : 288
MY RATING : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Ahhh I know I’m a little late on posting this since I usually do the whole reviewing ARCs thing atleast a week or 2 in advance – but fear not I’m here now to gush about this amazing collaboration.
For an action-packed saving-the-world novel with just under 300 pages, it was well written. I expected this to have a sequel to be honest since like 80% into the novel it seems like there’s still a lot to do before the final battle. But it manages to turn around everything without making it seem nonsensical? Not gonna lie it was a bit rushed in places though.
BUT. I actually liked that this was a novel. Most releases in this genre get dragged out into a whole series and sometimes it works, but mostly it doesn’t because you lose interest during the waiting period of each sequel and can’t remember who’s who and what happened (or do I just have really bad memory??)
Kira is a priestess at her family’s shrine and tries her very best to uphold the family legacy while being all of what is expected of her – filial, smart, humble, kind and so much more. When her family shrine is attacked and her grandfather is brutally murdered in her presence by yokai, she discovers losing him was just the beginning of her overwhelming situation. And yet instead of shunning the task given to her and running away, she faces it with everything she has and blossoms into a stronger version of herself along the way. Her character development is somewhat cliched, but it’s also not overblown because the you-must-become-a-master-warrior-in-3-days exaggeration is avoided.
‘I’m not the girl who hid from her grandfather’s killers. Not anymore.’
Kira and Shiro are adorable. Their relationship isn’t instalove and you see them grow together over time. I adored how they were always supporting and encouraging each other – even from a distance. I think that’s actually the best part of their relationship. That they trust and believe in the other person to be okay – it doesn’t mean they don’t worry, but they are still practical about their current situation.
But they also managed to have some really cute bonding moments! 🥰
All the other side characters were done pretty well. Kira’s and Shiro’s parental situations were very believable and I like how both their mother’s characters were depicted. There’s definitely a lot of gray areas to them and I think that’s very common in Asian culture in general.
‘I have faced … more danger than I ever could have dreamed of surviving – but none of it terrifies me as much as the prospect of my parents’ wrath.’
I loved how the Japanese mythology and culture was incorporated without being disrespectful or fetishized.
‘There are tourists on the steps… taking selfies with the stone lion guardians. They laugh too loudly, twisting their faces up in ugly grimaces, mocking the statues. Foreigners don’t always respect our shrines the way they should, ignorant of what these spaces mean.’
It genuinely angers me when I see this happening in my own home country tbh. As a tourist you’re here to observe and immerse yourself in my culture – respecting it instead of acting like it’s all an exotic joke is the least you could do. It’s disgusting to see such behaviour in places known to be sacred or holy to locals. So 👏🏻👏🏻 for calling it out.
*minor spoiler + trigger warning*
The bullying scenes might come off as difficult to read because it’s obviously a delicate issue but I think the authors handled it well by making it realistic but appropriate.
The only reason this was another 4 star read was because there were a few inconsistencies and I had to go searching for certain scenes to recheck what happened and the pacing jumped from speed of light to kinda draggy in certain parts. But other than that, I really enjoyed this!
🌷 If you like anime-esque stories or anything about Japanese mythology you’ll love this. It’s got fast-paced action, complex family relationships, J- pop culture references, good humour, and a really cute smol romance.
✨Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review✨
This is the second tsundere kitsune named Shiro I’ve come to adore and I LOVE IT. (Shoutout to Shiro from the Red Winter series by Annette Marie 🥰) Are you a fan of Japanese mythology – or any other type of mythology in general? And will you be adding this to your tbr? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! 💕