I have to open this review with a massive – MAHOOSIVE – apology. I was on the blog tour for this book a couple of weeks ago and was kindly sent a copy to review and was preparing to begin it and then Boom. The world went to shit, and my brain very quickly followed.
There has been bags of discussion online about the effects of anxiety and what impact the “new normal” (god I hate that phrase, almost as much as I’ve come to hate the word ‘unprecedented’) has on mental health so I’m not going to get into it as I’m sure you’re all trying to manage your own stuff – you don’t need to manage mine too! But, needless to say, reading has not been going well for me the last few weeks.
All those caveats out of the way; we can get down to business and the reason you are here – a better-late-than-never review of the beautiful and glorious Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa.
First thing’s first. Night of the Dragon is the final part of the Shadow of the Fox trilogy, so you are likely in one of two camps: You’ve read the first two and been waiting on tender hooks for the conclusion or you’ve not touched the series. In which case GET ON IT.
The Shadow of the Fox trilogy concerns itself with a young half Yokai named Yumeko who inadvertently and tragically finds herself as the protector of the infamous Dragon Scroll – an ancient and mysterious prayer which can summon the Great Immortal Dragon once every 1000 years for a single, world changing wish. Along the way her kindness and innocence attract a band of loyal followers, Okame the disgraced Ronin, Daisuke the minor Royal and expert swordsman, Reika the stern Shrine Attendant and Tatsumi, the brooding half-demon assassin who is tasked with finding the scroll for his own clan’s use.
In the enthralling conclusion, Night of the Dragon, Yumeko and her rag tag group must journey to the territory of the mysterious and illusive Moon clan and stop the Master of Demons from summoning evil and darkness into the world. What they don’t know is that the Master of Demons is not their greatest threat and that there is an even more sinister game at play. One they are not prepared for.
The Story of Yumeko and her friends has kept me gripped from start to finish. Essentially a road trip novel through the sprawling hypnotic land of Iwagoto, the mythology that is built and obstacles that are faced are perfect escapism into a captivating world of fantasy. Yumeko’s naivety is at times a little grating, but never enough to turn you off the story. And this conclusion proves that no one is safe and earns more than a few tears as it ratchets up the consequences of the epic power struggle.
This is a sprawling beautiful, exciting tale with engaging characters and a genuine sense of jeopardy as the heroes fight to prevent their world literally turning into hell. But definitely start with the first one. There is so much depth to this story, it would be a shame to miss any of it.