One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.
Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.
Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.
There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.
With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.
I have read a few books in different series by Kawaga over the last few years and I always enjoy her writing so I was really excited to dive into this one.
The beginning of this story is very interesting because it just allows you a taste of the world that you will spend the rest of the book learning about. I enjoyed seeing the palace, the religious areas, and the areas that housed assassins. I was blown away by the world and the magic in the beginning of this story because it just had this great feel to it, plus there are not many stories that are set in an Asian inspired world. This all felt new and fresh to me and I was ready for it.
While the world building itself was fantastic the characters themselves were a little lacking. I did like all of them main characters but they did feel a little underdeveloped to me. It was unclear what their motives were or what their guiding force was. For Yumeko, our leading lady, she was interesting but she was pretty childlike since she had never been allowed any time to see the world when she was living with monks. She just never really seemed to me to be the one leading the story even though she is the main character. Then there is Kage Tatsumi who is a great mysterious character but that was all he ever really was. I was always wanting to see more of him and his emotions but we didn’t get that until the very last few pages of the story and by then it felt too late.
Overall, I feel pretty split by this one. I did love the world, demons, creatures, magic and storyline. I didn’t really love the characters who were on the journey though. They did not feel completely fleshed out and I was left wanting a little more from them. I do want to read the next book though to see where things go and sometimes it does take to book two for the characters to start changing by growing into themselves and their powers.