Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
Release Date: October 2
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.
10/10 kodama (5 stars)
Shadow of the Fox is one of my favorite reads this year. It took many of the tropes I love seeing and executed them in stellar fashion. I devoured this book quickly because of how invested I was in the story and characters and the sense of adventure made it such an engaging and quick read!
Here’s some reasons why I loved this book and also why I can’t wait to read it’s sequel!
Rich in Japanese Mythology
One of the biggest draws for me in this story was the use of Japanese mythology, which has so many amazing stories and creatures and folklore. It also made the world so much diverse and unique than other fantasies I’ve read this year. The world-building was wonderfully developed and it didn’t feel info-dumpy.
The magic system which of course is based off of the mythology is so well done and easy to take in.
The Hero’s Journey
I love journeys and road trip stories, so this being exactly that made me love this even more! It’s one of my favorite tropes and to see it used in an effective way made it more enjoyable as the characters gained more followers and went through strange and dangerous encounters with enemies and allies alike. Each new place they ventured into was so fascinating to read about.
Likable and Complex Cast of Characters
I adored the cast we get to see here, especially Yumeko, my personal favorite. She’s such an endearing main character and I’m glad that she’s one of the POV characters. I love her trickster personality due to her kitsune side but I also appreciate that she’s such a kind person and is willing to help anyone (the ronin) or anything (the yokai, kodama, etc.) that comes across her way. I hope to see more of her kitsune side revealed in the sequel.
I also quite liked Tatsumi, even if we didn’t quite get the full experience of him. I love mysterious and stoic characters so he made for a great companion alongside Yumeko. The curse of the demon blade and how it affects Tatsumi’s action and character is also another favorite part of this story for me. I can’t wait to see what unfolds in the next book because of it.
There’s many interesting side characters we get to see along, such as the ronin, Okame and even the villagers and townspeople they meet along the way. I wish some of the villains were fleshed out a bit more, but I still enjoyed their presence overall.
Slow Burn Romance
One of my favorite romance tropes and its done so well here! Yumeko and Tatsumi I think have such opposing personalities and it makes their chemistry work so well, in my opinion. I adore pairings where the two are total opposites.
Fans of Inuyasha & Naruto Would Love This
I mentioned on my Twitter that Shadow of the Fox, also made me feel nostalgic. In many ways I think this is due to the use of Japanese mythology that is also seen in many anime that I’ve adored such as Inuyasha which also features yokai, demons, etc. and a similar hero’s journey. Also I find some similarities to Naruto, with the different clans and each of them having unique abilities and techniques.
This book out right now if you want to read it and I highly suggest you do if you love Asian-inspired fantasies, a colorful cast of characters and intriguing, rich plot and world.
I can’t wait to read the sequel as well as Julie Kagawa’s previous works.
Many thanks to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review.