Ahoy there me mateys! I received this young adult fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
shadow of the fox (Julie Kagawa)
Title: shadow of the fox
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: TODAY! (hardback/e-book)
Many blue moons ago, I read book one of the author’s Talon Saga. I thought it was just okay and as it appeared a love triangle was on the horizon, I never read any further into that series. But I liked the author’s writing style enough that I wanted to give her work another chance. So when this came along I gave it a shot and I am so very glad I did.
I loved this Japanese ownvoices story. This tale is told from the perspective of three characters whose stories eventually intertwine.:
- Yumeko – a half kitsune who loves to play pranks on the monks who raised her, she is open-hearted and kind and just a bit naive; only now she has been tasked with saving the world.
- Kage – an assassin who welds a demon-infused sword that is trying to take over his mind and spirit; because of his training, he is aloof and solitary and must obey his masters in the Shadow Clan no matter what the cost.
- Suki – the daughter of a flute-maker, she is sent to the imperial palace to make a new life for herself; with a love of music and an ache for the family left behind, she is determined to bring honor to her family but her new master has other plans.
The chapters go back and forth between these point-of-views. I thought this was particularly well done even when I didn’t necessarily want to switch.
I also loved the Japanese spirits and folklore elements – the kami, oni, samuri, and other beings are fantastically woven into the story. I especially loved the ronin. One of the best parts is how these creatures and people traditionally are assigned certain roles and the author has the characters embody those fundamentals. Then she proceeds to play with the tropes due to the circumstances the characters find themselves in. Lost honor can be regained. Kindness can have a ripple effect. Nobles can care about peasants.
Fun stuff. I don’t want to get too much into the plot because this one is so wonderful to experience firsthand. Don’t just take me word on it (though yer Captain’s word should be enough!). Check out these other reviews by me crew. Then go get a copy. That’s an order. Arrr!
Aimal @ bookshelves&paperbacks’ review – “GAHHH THIS WAS ONE HELL OF A RIDE!”
Melanie @ meltotheany’s review – “Shadow of the Fox is a bright, shining light in 2018 fantasy! Friends, I loved this from the very first chapter, and was more captivated than I have been reading any other book this year. Like, go into any bookstore, read the first chapters of this book, and I dare you not to want to immediately buy it. Goosebumps. Tears. Perfection. Those are the three words that come to mind, and I just continued to fall even more in love with this story as it progressed.”
So lastly . . .
Thank you Harlequin Teen!
Goodreads’ website has this to say about the book:
One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.
Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.
Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.
There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.
With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.
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