*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: A conscience stricken warrior; a blindly brilliant assassin; and a war without reconcile.
Shin is a powerful shapeshifter, but he is yet vulnerable, and too many creatures, both mythic and mortal, have a stake in his death. Caught between his samurai uncle’s ambitions for a bloodless war and his shapeshifter mother’s immortal fight for celestial territory, Shin’s uncle gives him up as a tribute warrior for the shogunate military.
In time, Shin wins the army’s loyalty away from the shogun to a cause he can’t be sure of himself, then strikes off on a new mission to recruit an assassin for the revolution. But this assassin is unlike any he has known before. She may kill him in the bargain, but only if all goes well.
SHIN is a second- generation spin on the Japanese Spider Spirits mashed with Tanabata folklore traditions. It joins the ranks of Japanese light novels such as Goblin Slayer, and Overlord.
Shin is not really a sequel to Spinning Silk but a companion tale: another view of the same events; the baseline to Spinning Silk‘s melody; the weft to its warp.
Here we see Furi’s story from Shin’s viewpoint and find out all of the details that were omitted previously. Here are answers to many of the questions that Furi was unable to answer from her experiences and viewpoint. I therefore think that reading Spinning Silk first is essential, because without it Shin’s story might seem strangely incomplete!
Many of the same crisis points are touched upon here, as the book timelines are contemporaneous, but between those familiar events seen anew we follow Shin as he prepares for war and is constantly pulled between his conflicting obligations to uncle, mother, his country and his love.
The epilogue added some startling new information to the lovers’ saga and paved the way for the next instalment in the series, following a new generation with even greater responsibilities heaped upon them.
Fans of Spinning Silk will enjoy this as a complimentary addition to that story, which offers the reader a behind-the-scenes peek at what they missed previously. Newcomers would be better starting with the first book first!
With my gaze, I followed the path of her immortal finger over miles of space to a simple cottage with a thatched roof. Outside a young girl bore two heavy water buckets, and heaved them with a strength belying her size.
“Who is she?”
“She is Furi. I know she appears slight, and humble, but believe me when I say she is mighty. I chose her for you on the day she was born.”
“One of yours?”
“No. Her mother gave her to me to bless with certain of my gifts. She was born to the Goddess Orihime.”
Highborn indeed. I cocked my head. “Which of your gifts?”
A self-satisfied smile lit my mother’s eyes.
“Principally, my poison.”
– T. Cook, Shin