BookView Review: The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy, Book 8: The Shadows of War by Claire Youmans

BookView Review rated it:

american i publishing

Pub date May 13, 2021

ISBN 978-1733902052

Price $11.22 (USD) Paperback, $5.69 Kindle edition

Author interview

Youmans’s eighth installment in the The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy series is suffused with an intoxicating mix of history, fantasy, and Japanese folklore. 1877. The Meiji era in Japan. An internal war is raging in the country. With the samurai determined to reclaim their position in society, the Imperial Japanese army is trying hard to win their fight against the rebels. Azuki, accompanied by the dragon Princess Renko and Prince Irtysh, is ready for the next challenge. But mysterious happenings are putting Azuki’s family in danger. Azuki must figure out who is behind the weird events before it’s too late. Youmans’s prose is intelligent and immediate. Her protagonists are fully fleshed-out, her narrative smooth, and mythology figures heavily. Although dual-natured birds and dragons run rife in this story, Youmans’s characters are complicated and particularly human, involving real emotions and feelings. All of the protagonists are strong and wounded in their own way. More intricately woven than the earlier installments, this volume is heavy on mythology, history, and fantasy. Questions about moon maids’ true identity and real purpose, Otohime’s heartbreak at the rebellion shattering the empire’s peace, Irtysh and Otohime’s plan for the refugees among others, are answered toward the end. Both rich and easy to digest, this will leave readers hungry for the next one in the series.


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