Publishers Weekly Review
Marriott (Shadows on the Moon) launches a trilogy that draws from Japanese mythology to deliver an action-packed story with a romantic undercurrent. When nearly 16-year-old Londoner Mio Yamato "borrows" the katana that has been in her family for centuries to flesh out a Christmas party costume, she inadvertently awakens an ancient evil-a nine-tailed cat demon called a Nekomata-which leaves blood and misery in its wake and wants the sword for itself. But she also frees Shinobu, a young man who has been trapped in the sword for 500 years. To rescue her best friend's sister from the Nekomata and thwart its plans, Mio and Shinobu team up with London's reclusive Kitsune community of shapeshifting foxes while Mio learns to master the sword's power. While the story starts off slowly, it quickly kicks into high gear as Mio and friends fight for their lives in the real and spirit worlds, deal with Kitsune intrigue, and face omnipresent danger. Strong characters and an intriguing premise make this a solid, enjoyable story. Ages 12-up. Agent: Nancy Miles, Miles Stott Literary Agency. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
Mio Yamato's grandfather died before he could explain the mysterious katana in the attic, and although Mio enjoyed Japanese fairy tales as a kid, she's way more interested in the sword's potential to spice up her outfit for a big party. Unfortunately for Mio, unleashing the katana on London means opening a portal that releases a (superhot) Japanese warrior named Shinobu and calls up the gods and monsters of Japanese legend to battle over this mysterious sword. Marriott gifts Mio with a bit of uncertainty and typical teen angst, tempering the hard edge of the high-stakes-action scenes with convincing, swoon-worthy moments between Mio and Shinobu. Fans of Japanese lore will appreciate the wily kitsune tribespeople, who agree to help this unlikely trio, and there's enough nail-biting action and near misses in the romance department to keep every reader on their toes. First in a trilogy originally published in the UK, this will win American fans who like their fantasy urban, their romances mysterious, and their swords well sharpened.--Howerton, Erin Downey Copyright 2014 Booklist