Emi is the kamigakari. In a few short months, her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess will begin. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess-and not once has she doubted her chosen fate. Shiro is a yokai, a spirit of the earth, an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can’t match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command-whether she wants him or not. On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate-but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope… and hope is all she has left.



4,5 stars

This was my first book by Annette  Marie and a buddy read with Jen @starcrossedbooklovers and Raven @dreamyaddictions.
Thank you Jen for reaching out to me because I would have missed a delightful read!

Let’s begin with the most important: I want more and we are already planning to buddy read the second book!

The cover is beautiful but the art inside the book is even more gorgeous and it made me realize that I missed watching animes!
The art combined with Annette Marie’s writing teleported me inside an Asian country. I imagined being in Japan, on a mountain in late Fall surrounded by snow, forests and silence.
The shrine took the appearance of one of these temples you can see on postcards or movies.

In the beginning of the story Emi was the dutiful and reserved Miko. She behaved like the devout maiden she’s been groomed to be, ready to welcome a goddess in her body.
I confess that the mythology and the cast of deities with their reign and complex relationships felt foreign to me. Yet it was part of the appeal and exoticism of this story.

I told Jen and Raven that Emi was angry when people doubted the importance of her calling, telling her she missed so many things.
And that’s true to survive the goddess she had to prepare her body and mind for years. Honing them with healthy food, exercise and no temptations.

I had to stop reading at 20% in the book to read an ARC and my buddies laughed, telling me I stopped just when things began to get really interesting.

And boy were they right!

It was a turning point, sending the story on a whole other path!
Emi outgrew my expectations!
Way to be a dutiful Miko,  untrained in the art of war and still be incredibly resourceful to kick behinds!!!

I think that’s one of the things that I loved most: Emi is no warrior but she is so strong willed and smart that she uses her brain and her will to fight bad Yokay and kami! This is my favorite kind or heroines: not born a warrior but resourceful! Brain over brawn if you want!

Let’s not forget some mischievous and Uber hot kitsune and an impassive yet lethal Tengu!

You have the perfect mix of fantasy and ancestral tradition in a modern world.
Secrets, betrayals and unexpected alliances.
A quest and a mystery to solve.
A beautiful and resourceful heroine.
A hot kitsune.
What I hope will be a romance of course!
And lots of action.

The writing flows effortlessly and it’s a book that is meant to be devoured thanks to the plot and its interesting characters.


I loved it so much that I ordered the three paperbacks (and I’ll holler for Jen and Raven to read the second instalment as soon as I get it!).


Have you read this series?

Thanks for reading!


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  1. I’m just getting ready to publish my reviews this next week, this last year has been uh yeah. I love what you said! I so agree with you about Emi outgrowing my expectations! I wasn’t sure about completely connecting with her and then that 20% mark hit and wow, I loved watching her grow and turn into someone beyond amazing! Fabulous review, Sophie! This was such a fun buddy read!

  2. I have this series on my to-read list. I have the box set of the whole series and now that i read her Guild Codex series I really want to go back and read this one as well. I am glad to hear you enjoyed this one so much!