Shadow of the Fox
By: Julie Kagawa
A half kitsune half human girl, a demon possessed samurai, a down-on-his luck ronin and a noble with a strange past time walk into your village… What do you do? You should probably run because they’re likely being trailed by demons and giant centipedes. Maybe don’t try to take advantage of them though.
Yumeko is the half human/half fox girl. Fun and full of mischief until her home is burnt to the ground and she’s charged with keeping safe a part of the scroll that might likely summon a dragon and the end of the world. She winds up teaming up with Kage Tatsumi the Samurai with a famous sword who wants said scroll.
I loved the weaving of the myths and magic in this one and I thought Yumeko is a great fun character. While Kage is the fighter and she’s supposed to hide her magic from him she more than holds her own as well.
Of course feelings develop although here it didn’t bug me as much because it is a nice slow thing. And honestly, who wouldn’t like Yumeko? (Although just once when someone asks themselves if this feeling in their stomach is love I’d appreciate if they actually vomited over whoever they thought they loved. Just once. Could be love or food poisoning?)
But I’ve digressed.
I thought this book really picks up and starts flying when they meet Okame- a ronin who decides to go with them. His interactions with Yumeko and Kage are both sweet and funny at the same time. He get the world-weary traveler down nicely and it actually does add to the story. As does the noble who joins up with them in the strangest way possible and for his own reasons.
The ending was quiet good and I actually have some hope this isn’t going to turn into a straight-up love story in the next book but give us some good character development as the world expands and we get (what I’m assuming will be) some deeper mythology.
If there’s one thing I’m iffy on it’s Lady Satomi and Suki. I think Suki didn’t need to meet her fate in that way and might have been better staying Satomi’s ladies maid. She served a purpose at the end but I don’t think it was necessary and could have been more powerful. (Yeah, totally trying not to give away spoilers.)
Like I said I really enjoyed the road trip, the magic and the character building in this book. It wasn’t perfect but it left me looking forward to the next one so good job Shadow of the Fox!
Recommend: Yes. I was happy I had read A Thousand Beginnings and Endings this summer. I felt like I had a better understanding of the world. (I knew what a kitsune was!) So if you liked one I definitely would recommend the other 🙂