Sora’s life was full of magic—until she discovered it was all a lie.
Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.
As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.
I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not impact my review in any way.
So many things to say about this book, be warned there is a good chance, as always, that I will be all over the place because when a book’s good, the thoughts and critiques come too easily.
So to begin, the world! Ah this was a beautifully fantastic idea.
For me in particular, my interest was piqued thanks to a study about a year ago on the Shinto religion. This religion practices the belief in kami and spirits of ancestors, of course that’s a very rough sum up. Either way a number of things I’d studied popped up in the book, shrines for example, and you can bet that had me fangirling.
Besides the Shintoism embedded in it, the world truly was fascinating. I loved taking a look in to the kami world and the entire idea was intriguing through and through. Not only that, the world was nicely built without having to waste time explaining it as happens in many supernatural/paranormal books. The mythology take instead made it stunning. So that was a beautiful start to this story.
More than that though, the plot sold this book to me. The flipping of a well-used trope was what had me wanting an ARC of this book in the first place. Normally the heroine discovers she has ancient powers. This time, she discovered they were never hers. Instead she learns to be a hero without any powers beyond her humanity. I think that was an important impression this book left me with. Power comes from being human, it doesn’t mean weak. Something easily to forget with all the supernatural books I read.
So given that aspect, I was pulled in immediately by one full question. There’s an entire prophecy that says someone else is the hero, so how will Sora become the heroine of this story? That was a huge question through my mind. (I loved the answer just so you know)
Speaking of Sora, her character. She was mature, realistic and beyond relatable. Not only that, but she was realistic in one aspect that was important to me; her jealousy. Because that was a given fact that she would be jealous. The way she faces that jealousy though was my favourite part of her. Her growth as a character in the timeline was stunning and perfect.
The other characters as well were intriguing, likeable and once again, relatable. There wasn’t a moment in this mythology centred story that I detached out of it being unrealistic or unbelievable.
The writing as well was nicely done. Crewe has a nice technique that kept me drawn into the story and I wasn’t making my own little corrections so sweet.
Honestly when I think about it the biggest critique I have was the climax, something in me was expecting more I think. Even though I know what happened was exactly what fit. It made sense. There was just an anti-climactic air to it as well. I can’t say I was fully displeased. Like the majority of the story it was full of meaning and messages for the readers. It just meant I couldn’t rate this a full five stars.
I definitely recommend the book. It was a new turn for me in so many ways. I loved the flip on a classic trope and I’m sure others will too. If you’re looking for a different twist with some interesting culture behind the writing, take a shot at this book for sure. Or just read it for the sake of reading, it’s one of those good experience books with a lot of special meanings.
That’s all for this review though.
Until next time,