By Ellen Oh
IT SUCKS when you are born with yellow eyes and everywhere you go people accuse you of being a “demon!”…if only they knew the truth.
Kira the Demon Slayer sees demons. They are nasty, ugly, and they can disguise themselves as humans. Kira does her best to fight them, but she’s against other enemies, too—the human kind. As the only female fighter in the King’s army and with her strange yellow eyes, there’s a lot about her that folks don’t understand. Luckily her family, including her cousin, Prince Taejo, are supportive of her. Indeed, Kira may be the only one who can help Prince Taejo become the Dragon King and drive the demons off.
Set in magical feudal Korea, this is an ideal book for younger readers. There is fighting, magic, and cool supernatural creatures who help or hinder Kira on her quest to find the Dragon King’s treasures. Adults will most likely be bored by the simple characterization and unsurprising plot twists. The most conflicted character is Shin Bo Hyun, son of the enemy commander who finds Kira attractive. The tension always seemed to spice up whenever he was on scene.
I am interested to see where this series goes because there aren’t too many YA fantasy books on Korea out there (See my review of Christina Farley’s Gilded here). However, I’d like to see more soul to the series. I’ve been told that Kira is tough, but I haven’t been shown that unique, endearing side of her that sets her apart from other tough, kickass girls in the YA fantasy genre. If Kira’s fierceness could be developed a bit more to be distinctively Kira rather than cartoon warrior, then this would become a more memorable series. Characters aside, the historical and mythological aspects of Oh’s alternative Korea are a delight.
Recommended for fans of: Susan Ee (Angelfall), Emily Rodda (Deltora Quest), Jay Kristoff (The Lotus War trilogy).
Upcoming Book Review: The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova