Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox #3) by Julie Kagawa

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has given up the final piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers in order to save everyone she loves from imminent death. Now she and her ragtag band of companions must journey to the wild sea cliffs of Iwagoto in a desperate last-chance effort to stop the Master of Demons from calling upon the Great Kami dragon and making the wish that will plunge the empire into destruction and darkness.
Shadow clan assassin Kage Tatsumi has regained control of his body and agreed to a true deal with the devil—the demon inside him, Hakaimono. They will share his body and work with Yumeko and their companions to stop a madman and separate Hakaimono from Tatsumi and the cursed sword that had trapped the demon for nearly a millennium.
But even with their combined skills and powers, this most unlikely team of heroes knows the forces of evil may be impossible to overcome. And there is another player in the battle for the scroll, a player who has been watching, waiting for the right moment to pull strings that no one even realized existed…until now.

This book… this series… these characters… this ending… were all epic. I’d love to ramble and wax poetic, but I’m afraid if I did, I’d give something away. There were so many twists and turns. There were sweet moments, horrific moments and more heartbreaking moments that I should have expected, but didn’t.  There were surprising allies and a not so surprising growing list of enemies. Through it all, there was this “family” made up of Yumeko, Tatsumi, Reika, Okame and even Suki, who were there to support, love and honor each other. I loved them all… ❤

This mis-matched band of heroes gained an unexpected place in my heart that I didn’t see coming, even by the end of Shadow of the Fox, the first book in the series. I had no idea what I was in for when I started this series, but I’m so glad I picked it up. Julie Kagawa didn’t make it an easy series to read, especially this last book. I actually “yelled” at her more than once while reading and I’m not ashamed to admit that I could have read the last 20% of this book faster if I wasn’t slowed down by tears. I almost considered deducting at least a fraction of a star for the heartbreak that she put readers through, but I couldn’t. The ending just about broke me, but the epilogue helped me forgive her, maybe just a little.