Title: Shadow of the Fox
Authors: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Year Published: 2018
Number of Pages: 409 pages
Date Read: 5/11/2019
Series: Shadow of the Fox #1
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Content Rating: Ages 16+ (Some Strong Language and Gory Violence)
Buy on: Amazon // Book Depository
“It is very hard to be human, little fox. Even the humans themselves don’t do a great job of it.”
I had never read any of Julie Kagawa’s books before, even though I had heard about her famous “Iron Fey” series. So, when Owlcrate sent me a copy of her newest book “Shadow of the Fox,” I just knew that I had to check this book out and man, was this one of the best books that I had ever read this year!
Many years ago, a Kami Dragon was summoned to grant one wish and the land of Iwagoto was changed for the worst. Since then, many people tried to find the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers in order to have their wishes granted. In the isolated Silent Winds temple, there lived a half kitsune, half human girl named Yumeko, who has been living with the monks at that temple for all her life. Even though Yumeko would use her powers to play tricks on the monks, the monks would constantly warn her to not use her powers too often or terrible things will happen to her.
Life was peaceful for Yumeko, until one tragic day, her temple was attacked by an oni and his group of demons and all of the monks at the temple had died from the attack. It turns out that the oni was searching for a piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers and one of the monks had entrusted Yumeko with a piece of the scroll. The monk then tells Yumeko to take the scroll to the Steel Feather Temple so that they could protect the scroll. Things get complicated for Yumeko when she ends up meeting a mysterious and cold-hearted samurai named Kage Tatsumi, who is also looking for the missing scroll and will kill anyone who gets in his way. So, in order to save her own life and make it to the Steel Feather Temple, Yumeko ends up lying to Tatsumi about her true identity and about the fact that she does not have the scroll, even though she actually does. As Yumeko and Tatsumi pair up with each other, they will soon realize that an evil force is coming after them, as that force also wants to take the scroll from Yumeko.
Wow…just wow… I never would have thought that I would have fallen in love with this book the way that I did! This was the first book that I had read by Julie Kagawa and it was definitely worth the read! Julie Kagawa did a fantastic job at exploring the Japanese mythology in this book as she introduces creatures like the yokai and the oni, which are commonly found in Japanese folklore. I also loved the fact that this book reads like an anime, since I love watching anime! There are many action sequences in this book and this book reminded me a bit of the anime shows “Yona of the Dawn” (which features a group of people protecting the protagonist) and “Inuyasha” (with the use of demons in the story). I also loved the way that Julie Kagawa wrote each character in this book, with my favorite characters being Yumeko, Tatsumi and the ronin Okame. Yumeko was such a cute and endearing character as she is shown as being innocent throughout the story and yet, she is also brave and determined enough to complete her mission in getting the scroll into safe hands. Tatsumi was a really interesting character as he acts cold towards most people, but when you realize that it is because he is trying to keep a demon inside him at bay, you really start to sympathize with him throughout the story. Okame was one of my all-time favorite characters as he brings in so much humor to the story and I love his “I do not care about what other people think about me” attitude as it made me root for him throughout the story! I also liked Tatsumi and Yumeko’s relationship with each other as Yumeko tries to bring out the best in Tatsumi. But since we know that a demon is inside Tatsumi, I must admit that there were times where I got a bit worried about whether or not Tatsumi might hurt Yumeko because of the demon inside of him.
For anyone who does not like gory violence, there is a lot of gory violence in this book, especially with numerous scenes of people getting cut in half or getting ripped apart. Also, the fact that the main characters are living in a world where their lives are constantly in danger might unsettle some people who are not used to violence or monsters.
Overall, “Shadow of the Fox” is a fantastic book to read if you love Japanese mythology and action-packed stories! Man, I really want to pick up the second book “Soul of the Sword” soon, because that ending was murder and I really want to know what will happen to the characters next!
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