Every 1000 years, the Great Kami Dragon can be summoned in order to grant a wish to whoever is in possession of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. The time of the Dragon is upon the land of Iwagoto and the scroll has been severed into three parts. One part of it has been hidden in the Silent Winds temple until the day it is burned to the ground by the horde of lesser demons and their general. All the monks are brutally killed but before that happens they are able to send away their part of the scroll in the hands of a yokai they have raised. Yumeko – half fox, half human, has trained all her life within the temple walls to hide her skills of illusion, which now may be the only thing that saves her on the upcoming adventures as she tries to bring the scroll into safety to the Feather Steel temple.
Kage Tatsumi is a weapon. Created by the Shadow Clan he has been taught not to feel, not to think, but to simply carry out orders assigned to him. Using the power of the sword in which a demon has been entrapped, he received the order to retrieve the part of the scroll from the Silent Winds temple. However, before he has the time to get there, he meets Yumeko who offers him an alliance. Being lied to by the fox, Tatsumi think the part of the scroll can be found within the Feather Steel Temple and so he accompanies Yumeko on her journey there, unaware that she holds the scroll. In a very quick manner, the fate of the world now lies on Yumeko’s shoulders as herself and Tatsumi start their journey with an army of demons at their heels, controlled by an unknown but powerful enemy.
This story sounds amazing, however I expected more of it.
In terms of the characters, I enjoyed the complexity of Tatsumi. He was progressing and learning more about himself which was insightful and interesting. We also learned about his past, which explained why he is the way he is. On the other hand, Yumeko felt stagnant to me, there wasn’t any particular development of her that stuck with me and I didn’t feel as if I learned about her personality, instead it was a given. A little bit like the author was saying: “Yes, this is who she is, she always was, didn’t I tell you that?”.
The chapters alternate between Yumeko and Tatsumi’s narrative and I found it to be confusing. The switch isn’t indicated by the name on the top of it, the reader just has to know and I kept forgetting a lot of the time and wondered “why would she said that” when it was actually Tatsumi speaking, it wasn’t defined well enough.
One of the few things I did enjoy was the secondary character introduction. It was well paced despite the fact that there was a lot of them. There was a good and significant gap in between each one and that made a nice difference. However there were far too many tertiary characters that didn’t stick for long and I cannot remember any of them. One or two came back later and it missed me.
This book read extremely long, despite the fact that it was entertaining enough – a lot of plot twists and cliff-hangers at the end of chapters. It was simply too much at some point, I couldn’t handle yet another crisis on their journey. They honestly didn’t have to go through so much, felt exaggerated.
The main plotline is forgotten for a good while before we come back it and we lose sight of what’s important.
The writing was questionable and apparently the edition that I got wasn’t helping. It was full of mistakes, sentences that didn’t make sense, multiple words missing or words in duplicate, that is unacceptable for a special edition one by the author of this calibre. The story is heavily influenced by the Japanese culture and Japanese words are used throughout it to add to the authenticity. But it fails, because the author keeps explaining the words in English right after they’ve been said, despite the fact that there is a glossary at the back of the book. It’s simply pointless!
The ending is disappointing to say the least. It made the 400+ pages of this story to be completely insignificant, very little got achieved and I have no sense of purpose with this book right now. It was too dragged out which made it to lose all the impact it should have had.
I wouldn’t recommend this book, the good bits of it are not outweighing the bad bits and without the sequel it doesn’t make sense. It is this rather rare case in which the first book is useless and the two parts should have been released as one, because the sequel won’t be a continuation of the storyline, it is the storyline that is currently missing. I liked the premise but the execution left a lot to be desired.
Thank you for reading this review, let me know your thoughts down in the comment section! And until next time, Dream On, Dreamers!