Hello everyone! Welcome back to my blog and to me breaking my self imposed no-posting-while-there’s-school rule two? days after making it? Yeah…
Title: Shadow of the fox
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date published: October 2nd 2018
Rep: Japanese rep *clap clap clap* Japanese rep *clap clap clap*
Content warnings: (implied) child abuse, self-harm, violence, murder
Find this book on Goodreads here!
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.
Alrighty! It’s already late for me (and wordpress formatting. is. a. nightmare.) So let’s get right into it!!
I absolutely loved Shadow of the Fox! My book slump may have stopped me from enjoying it as much as I could have, however, this was a very nice read. Let’s talk about Julie Kagawa’s writing first, because damn. From the beginning, the prose is just so flowery (in the best way), the descriptions are beautifully done and it was able to draw me in immediately. No spoilers – but I do have to admit the change after the first chapter startled me. I wasn’t expecting it, and I was actually quite sad (which, I mean, was probably the point). But sad after only one chapter?? The power. And I do have to mention the fact that the book is written with two POVs (well, two and a half) and that was also incredibly well written. The worst thing for me is if I’m reading and I just cannot remember for the life of me whose POV this is, and I did not have that problem once in Shadow of the Fox. The way the two character’s voices are as different from one another as their personalities are made is so easy to tell who was speaking. So props to the author for that!!
The characters. Yumeko was such a fun character follow through all her adventures. Because she has been sheltered in a temple her entire life, we get to discover the world through her (quite naïve) eyes from the beginning. This, paired with Julie Kawaga’s writing, really made me feel as if I had been plunged into a world full of Japanese myths and culture in general. I also adored the whole kitsune thing. Honestly, not only do I find it really, really cool, it added a whole other dimension to the story. Let’s be honest, if that hadn’t been there, I’m not sure the book would have made it. All in all, Yumeko is a very interesting character who is lost and young and yet determined and very clear about her objectives. You find yourself rooting for her immediately!!
Tatsumi… ah Tatsumi. Long story short, Tatsumi is a sort of shadowy samurai (listen I’m bad at explaining things) who wears a sword cursed with the spirit of this super-scary-wants-to-kill-everyone demon. He has been trained all his life just to be a weapon for the Kage and to repress his feelings in order not to lose control of the super-scary-wants-to-kill-everyone demon. *insert cute lost girl who really needs his help*
It’s very hard to choose a favorite between Yumeko and Tatsumi. I loved them both, but maybe Tatsumi wins by a little bit just because well… he’s a tortured boi (totally my type. sorry not sorry). Tatsumi’s character development, while not huge and in your face, was very well written. I feel like if he had started changing any sooner – or any more – it just would not have fit his character. He was conditioned to be a certain way all his life; you really can’t expect him to be a drastically different person in just a few weeks.
Okame!!! Okame was honestly such a breath of fresh air. He was the one who brought the humor to the book – something very appreciated. Okame is a ronin, a samurai without a master and that doesn’t follow the code of honor. He is very self deprecating, and yet, he puts it off as a joke (don’t lie. we all do it. it’s bad. we’re awesome). He is loud and funny and pretty obnoxious and definitely a character I can’t wait to read more about. (He’s the Kenji (Shatter Me) of the book.)
The rest of the characters were fine. They weren’t bad but they weren’t great either. I just feel they all came into the story a bit late so I feel like I haven’t really gotten to know them yet. That said, I really cannot wait to read more about them in the next book – that I will be reading as soon as I finish Hernani for school (ugh).
I’ve already kind of said this, but the world in Shadow of the Fox was marvellous. I am a suckerrrr for cultures other than western and this book delivered. The mixing of the myths and prophecies and demons, monsters, etc was done very well and it was a pleasure to read. I especially loved the particular attention the author payed to the fact that something isn’t always what we think it is, that evil isn’t always evil.
The romance was pretty non-existent in this book (although I do predict more of it in the next one) and that was perfectly fine for me. A little wink at what’s to come here and there made me smile, and I honestly cannot wait to see how that’s gonna develop in the sequel. But for now, slow buuuurrrnnnnn
So I did give this book four stars. I believe the only thing that stopped me from giving it five was the predictability. This book (at least for me) did not leave me at the edge of my seat. Now, while that may change in the sequel, it was pretty easy to guess what was going to happen – no surprises.
This book is for you if…
- You like reading about cultures other than your own (unless you’re Japanese. In that case, well the culture will be your own)
- You like fantasies that include myths and prophecies and monsters of any and all kinds
- Slow. burn. romance (so slow burn you haven’t even seen it yet) (and yet you ship it) (we really are all clowns)
- Characters with secretsssss
- Beautifully written prose
- Girl(s) that have the ability to be totally badass but also know when to accept help
And that’s all I have for you guys today!! In conclusion, Shadow of the Fox was a great book, and I totally recommend you give it a try if you haven’t already! If you’ve read it, tell me in the comments what you thought! If you haven’t read it, are you planning to? If not, why?
Time to go to sleep for me!! I’m gonna proofread this 0.5 times and then my head will hit the pillow. I hope you guys are having a great weekend and stay safe! Lots of love ❤️❤️