November 10th 2015 by Candlewick Press
In this sequel to The Name of the Blade, Mio, Shibonu, and the katana are back. The Nekomata has been destroyed, and the entire kitsune kingdom is grateful, but there is a greater evil on the loose now, and only Mio can save the world. Izanami's Handmaidens, aka the Foul Women, are spreading a plague that is sending hundreds of people to London hospitals. Both Jack and Rachel have been affected, and Mio feels responsible. Something about the katana is bothering her as well, and she manages to seek out people who know about the blade, as well as the sacrifice Mio must make to wield it effectively. This being a young adult paranormal romance book, you know this is not going to be good for her relationship with the 500 year old Shibonu.
Strengths: It's great to see a non-Celtic mythological system used in a story set in London. There's some interesting stuff about Mio's grandfather coming to England, and her father does make an appearance at the end to tell her a little more. Lots of action and adventure, new and exciting evil creatures, paranormal romance. I'll be able to sell this to readers who like Manga and Japanese culture.
Weaknesses: Do like the UK covers a lot better. I'm just so weary of fantasy tropes that involve teenagers saving the world.
What I really think: Like Plum's Die for Me series, this is a good one to keep on hand for middle school girls who adored Twilight.