Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox #3) by Julie Kagawa #wyrdandwonder


IMAGE CREDITS: Flaming phoenix by Sujono Sujono | Decorative phoenix by Tanantachai Sirival

NightoftheNight of the Dragon is one of the books I was reading as part of Wyrd and Wonder’s month long celebration of fantasy – (details here).  My review is below and the TL:DR is: this is a great series.  Fun, epic, packed with creativity, creatures of myth and legend and characters trying to save the world against the odds.

Night of the Dragon is the concluding episode in the Shadow of the Fox series by Julie Kagawa and brings to an end a highly entertaining, well written and completely absorbing story.  Ahh, that bittersweet feeling when a series you’ve enjoyed comes to an end but what a spectacular ending this was and one of the most enjoyable YA series that I’ve read for a long time.

So, this is the final leg of Yumeko and her companions’ quest and in true fantasy fashion things get real.  This is packed with drama, there is a much bigger picture going on here than is immediately apparent and the twists and turns at the end are almost none stop.

I’m not going to go into the plot too deeply.  Suffice to say this is a desperate race by a ragtag and unlikely bunch of characters trying to save the world from the demon hoards that concludes in a dramatic finale on the stormy cliffs of Iwagoto.  Did I mention a dragon?  There may be a dragon.

What works so well for me with this series is a combination of things.

Firstly, the relationships and characters are excellent.  You can’t help but form attachments to them and really care, you read the fight scenes with your heart in your throat and I’m not going to try and pull the wool over your eyes, Kagawa is pretty ruthless, so prepare yourselves, stock up on tissues and get ready to be gutted.  Some of these chapters will hit you hard but the author doesn’t give you a moment’s respite – straight onto the next scene – and I say ‘scene’ because this book is like a movie playing inside your brain.  It’s so cinematic and easy to visualise.  Please, somebody, anybody, the God of Anime – lets do this thing.  This series would be so good if adapted (if adapted well that is).  It’s chock full of fantasy goodness.  Ghosts, dragons, demons and a young and innocent girl who also happens to be a fox.

Secondly, the writing.  Not going to lie, sometimes I find YA a little too skimpy, I end up reading but having questions that remain unanswered and whilst I understand that not every reader wants overly fine detail it can be a difficult balance to strike.  Here’s it’s done well, there’s enough information to see the place and know the characters, to understand the places they’re travelling through and the adversaries they’re coming up against without feeling cumbersome or over wordy to the extent that the tension and plot suffer.

Thirdly, here is a romance in a story that I can really appreciate.  No instalove – which I think deserves a big thank you simply on it’s own.  But, on top of that characters that are getting to know each other, there’s a slow burn of tension and chemistry and at the same time a light touch that prevents it becoming the key focus of everything.  It’s a background issue that you’re aware of, it builds gradually finding a footing in a natural way that doesn’t overshadow the rest of what’s taking place.

In a nutshell this has been such an enjoyable series.  An epic quest, a fascinating world and a coming of age tale of a young girl who wins hearts and minds.  Not to mention all the emotions. Oh, my heart with the final scene.  There could have been tears.

I have no hesitation in recommending this series.

Rating 5 stars

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.


Can’t Wait Wednesday : A Time of Courage (Of Blood and Bone #3) by John Gwynne

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : A Time of Courage (Of Blood and Bone #3) by John Gwynne.  I need this book in my life.

ATimeofCourage.jpgBattle the dark
Reclaim the world

The Demon-King of the Otherworld is finally free. And armed with mighty new starstone weapons, Asroth prepares to lead his demonic war-host south. With the help of his dark bride Fritha, he plans to crush the warrior-angels and their allies.

In the shadows of Forn Forest, Riv and the surviving Ben-Elim hold a war council. After the catastrophic events at Drassil, they are desperate to unite those who would stand against Asroth and his army. So they fly west, to join the Order of the Bright Star. But Drem and the Order are besieged by a demon horde – and their fragile defence may soon shatter.

Across the Banished Lands armies are heading south, to settle ancient grudges and decide the fate of humanity. Drem, Riv and the Bright Star’s warriors will need every ounce of their courage if they are to join the final battle. But will their combined forces be enough to face down their greatest foe?

In A Time of Courage, angels, demons and heroes face the ultimate fight for the Banished Lands. Thousands of years of enmity will be put to the test, in the epic conclusion to John Gwynne’s mighty trilogy.

Expected publication April 2020