ARC Review: Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on March 16, 2020 | 1 Comment

ARC Review: Night of the Dragon by Julie KagawaNight of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa
Series: Shadow of the Fox #3
Published by Harlequin Teen (3.31.2020)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 368 pages
Source: NetGalley

5 Stars

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.

My thoughts

Holy wow!! Night of the Dragon was everything I loved about Shadow of the Fox, and everything I expected from Soul of the Sword. I was disappointed in the second book – it felt like not much really happened, was lacking the action of the first book, and was overall just underwhelming for a Julie book. (I have NEVER rated anything else of hers under 5 stars! Wth!) It had some serious second book syndrome going for it, which is totally weird and made me incredibly sad. However, this one 1000% made up for it!

This book is almost non-stop action from start to finish. There was always something crazy and intense happening – it’s one enemy/monster after another. It was back to feeling like Inuyasha in book form, like the first book! The stakes were super high and danger lurked around every corner. And it all takes place in a richly imagined and magical feudal Japan setting – the world is incredible! I absolutely love the culture and magic, I want to crawl in the pages and live there!

The relationships in this book (and the whole series) are absolutely beautiful! I loved the dynamic of Tatsumi/Hakaimono and Yumeko. After merging with Hakaimono, Tatsumi is coming to terms with who he is now – a totally new person that’s not quite the Kage demonslayer, not quite the demon himself, but a bit of both. I thought his struggle with the darkness was handled really well! Hakaimono made Tatsumi a bit darker and more angry, but Tatsumi also tempered Hakaimono’s rage with his patience and his love for Yumeko.

I also loved the dynamic between Okame and Daisuke! I’m a sucker for forbidden romances, and this one definitely was. Okame is a ronin (constantly referring to himself as a ‘filthy ronin dog’) and is looked down upon for being dishonorable, whereas Daisuke is the picture of honor as a high-ranking noble. There shouldn’t be any room for their relationship in a world that reveres honor and nobility, but they still made it work. View Spoiler »

The ending gave me ALL THE FEELS!! I absolutely LOVE how everything played out in the end. It was incredibly bittersweet! View Spoiler »

Side note: The Kirin was A W E S O M E. That is all.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 5/5
Premise: 5/5
Writing style: 4.5/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 4.5/5
World-building: 5/5
Pace: 5/5
Feels: 4.5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall rating: 5/5

Jessi (Geo)

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