The night itself by Zoe Marriott
The Name of the Blade : Book 1. Walker Books, 2013. ISBN
(Age: Middle secondary) Recommended. Unprepared 'ordinary' girl has responsibility thrust upon her, awesome power to wield (if only she knew how to unlock it!) in a build-up to confrontation with the evil forces of the Underworld. This is the scenario for The Night Itself, the first of a trilogy written by Zoe Marriott, who already has a number of young adult fantasy books to her name.
This latest novel is a very competently written urban fantasy set in contemporary London, and draws its inspiration from Japanese mythology. The heroine is almost sixteen-year-old Mio Yamato, London born and bred, whose professional parents have embraced Western culture, leaving Mio's grounding in Japanese martial art and folklore to her grandfather. Mio inherits the family's heirloom, an ancient samurai sword imbued with mystery and power, which she is not supposed to touch until she turns sixteen.
Recommended for middle secondary students, this book is definitely worth purchasing for the library shelves.