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.
Warnings: major character deaths, fantasy violence, implied sexual assault
The shortest way to put this review would be that Night of the Dragon absolutely delivers on the build-up and makes for a high-stakes, epic of a finale.
The long version? Well, the squad is up for some challenges, having to stop the Master of Demons, now that he has all the three pieces, from actually summoning the Harbinger. But between the temple and Tsuki islands (where the ceremony is to take place) there’s the whole of Iwagoto and a sea to cross, not to mention evading notice from an army of demons as well as the humans, since Tatsumi has some, uh, demonic additions to his visage. Moreover, Tsuki islands are closed off and they would need special permission to be there, which they can’t get since they are short on time.
Their journey takes them through a port city infested with the living dead, a perilous journey across the sea where they, of course, get attacked by a rare sea demon. Then, when they do land on Tsuki islands, Yumeko gets the surprise of her life, and a hope for something new. They all have to battle an army of demons, which includes the Generals, and even though they have Hakaimono on their side, he is still not enough against three of his ex-coworkers. Tatsumi himself is wondering how much of him is him and how much is Hakaimono, and also he is starting to realize how much he cares for Yumeko, merged soul or no. Yumeko’s realization of her birth and the power she holds and how much she has learned from it makes for an exciting battle later on in the book. We have so many plot reveals and twists in this one, with a range of antagonists they have to defeat. As I said before, the stakes are high, and there are some character deaths, but what I took off that final 1/2 star was for the fact that the epilogue didn’t exactly give me what I was expecting. Finally, the narrators do a good job for all the characters they voice, nailing their cadences well according to the characters’ personalities.
Overall, it is one hell of a finale, and a good conclusion to the series, though I hope if there’s any spinoff I better see Okame, Daisuke and Reika again.
Is it diverse? Japanese-inspired setting with wholly PoC cast written by a Japanese diaspora author;
Previous books in the Shadow of the Fox trilogy
Released on March 31, 2020