A coming-of-age love story between an orphan and the heir of the richest family in the Land of Yamato. The human world meets the yōkai in a power struggle for the fate of Fujiwara no Hirotsugu.
While he battles to find his own path, Hirotsugu finds solace in a boy who will become his secret friend, then his salvation, and then as they become adults together, the love of his life.
*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*
Rating: 5 stars
Shinigami is the second novel in the Takamagahara Monogatari series. As with the first book in the series, Shinigami draws Japanese religion and folklore into its stories as well as the life of Fujiwara no Hirotsugu. I don’t want to say too much about the historical Fujiwara no Hirotsugu as it would spoil some plot elements, but he was a real person and I liked how the author incorporated this into their work.
Shinigami begins when a young compassionate Hiro takes pity on a starving boy and from his kindness a bond between them is forged. Over the years their friendship turns into a forbidden love that will shape the course of Hiro’s destiny.
Like the first novel, Shinigami combines a mixed of folklore, history and religion to create a uniquely beautiful tale. Time is taken to set each scene and describe every detail in a way that draws you into this wonderful world that the author has created. The romance happens gradually and at a natural pace that never once feels rushed or false. You really feel for these characters and the struggles that they are facing.
Shinigami is a beautifully written and moving novel, which I cannot recommend enough. I very much look forward to reading further novels in the series.