Shadow of the Fox

Shadow of the Fox

by Julie Kagawa


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A fox shapeshifter sworn to hide a mysterious scroll.

A secret assassin under orders to kill to obtain it.

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single, terrible wish—and the Empire of Iwagoto was thrown 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 true nature. Half kitsune, half human, Yumeko has a skill with illusion that 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 with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

Mysterious samurai Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan is under orders to retrieve the scroll at any cost. When chance brings them together, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. Knowing he seeks what she has hidden away, Yumeko begins the deception of a lifetime. With an army of demons at her heels, and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko knows that her secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781335142382
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication date: 05/28/2019
Series: Shadow of the Fox Series
Edition description: Original
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 25,840
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: 890L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Born in Sacramento, CA, Julie Kagawa moved to Hawaii at the age of nine. There she learned many things; how to bodyboard, that teachers scream when you put centipedes in their desks, and that writing stories in math class is a great way to kill time. Her teachers were glad to see her graduate.

Julie now lives is Louisville, KY with her husband and furkids. She is the international and NYT bestselling author of The Iron Fey series. Visit her at

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Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
I’d heard great things about this author’s world building and legends, and I have to say that both were seriously on point here, with the inclusions of Japanese folklore, legends and descriptions were wonderful. As this is a quest story – we all know that there isn’t much new that one can bring to the overarching story – there is a challenge that is faced by finding and protecting (or destroying) an integral link that could change the course of the world, for better or worse. We have the heroine, a half-kitsume girl (Yumiko) raised in a temple by a monk who has set her quest: take a piece of the scroll from her home temple, find the other pieces, and bring those to yet another temple that has the final bit. Not long in she encounters Tatsumi, a shadow clan samurai also determined to find the scroll – are their reasons the same, and just how will they join forces in their quest? Told in the perspectives of both Yumiko and Tatsumi, the story has everything that one has come to expect from an ‘epic quest’ and perhaps that is where things went a bit off the rails for me. Firstly, I don’t understand why Yumiko, with her heritage, skills and determination needed to be tossed into yet another formulaic romantic connection. It frustrated me to think that even with the unique and wholly new (to my eyes) inclusions of the multiple ghosties, demons, fairies and things that go ‘bump’ in the night, with their feet firmly planted in Japanese lore, which in itself brings a whole other level of otherworldliness that we should get yet another trope-heavy, girl meets boy and is distracted (not entirely but enough) from her purpose because oh when he takes his shirt off everything must stop to admire him. Let’s let a girl be a solid, boys are secondary to the ultimate quest, thoughtful, daring and intelligent heroine, and let the boy be the supporting member: even to the detriment of a romance that felt added as plot device, and not really important to the progress of the story. And the story does drag, some of this is perseveration over the romance, while the story does require a pile of information (and heavy google searches for those unfamiliar with Japanese legends) that requires attention be paid to the tidbits dropped that will become more important when things do pick up and start to move. And move it does with several action-packed moments to a confrontation that added some surprise, plenty of action and an ending that leads straight into the next book. I was intrigued with all of the ‘newness’ and disappointed with the feeling that an over-used plot device (the romance) took the story in directions that could have (in my opinion) been stronger without. A mixed bag for me, and while I’ve gotten a recommendation for another series from Kagawa that I’m sure to enjoy – I think I’m done with this series. There just isn’t enough development that was new or different for the character of Yumiko to make me need to know how it all ends. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anonymous 7 days ago
Her series "The Iron Fey" is one of my favorites, and this book does not disappoint! This author is so skilled at crafting storylines and this story will leave you chomping at the bit to see what happens next...absolutely loved this book!
Jdp15 28 days ago
It was alright.
Kibbyra 4 months ago
Actual Rating: 4.25 stars While some may have pacing issues, Shadow of the Fox was a surprising gem of a book that took me through a fantastic Japanese Mythology inspired story.
FS_Meurinne 6 months ago
I love fantasy books, I truly enjoyed this world and the fox shifter. All the Japanese legends I get to learn from it makes is a book well worth reading.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I had originally given this book 3 stars, but as I wrote this review, I realized exactly how lackluster this story really was. This book had incredible potential, but unfortunately fell flat. Shadow of the Fox is about Yumeko, a half-kitsune (magical fox being), and Tatsumi, a fierce samurai demon-slayer. When the temple Yumeko grew up in is attacked by demons who are after an ancient scroll that will be able to summon a great, magical dragon able to grant any wish, a dying monk gives the scroll to Yumeko and tells her to go find a temple so she can find the other piece of the scroll. However, instead of directing Yumeko to this temple (which is conveniently lost and secret), the monk tells her to find a monk in a different temple across the country–evidently this monk will be able to help Yumeko find the other temple with the scroll. As Yumeko leaves on her roundabout journey, she runs in Tatsumi, who was sent by his shadow clan to find and collect the very scroll Yumeko is hiding and fleeing with. They strike up an uneasy bargain/alliance: he will offer her protection if she leads him to the Steel Feather temple. So this plot, while a tad convoluted, is extremely interesting. I, however, assumed that the book would mostly be about arriving at the Steel Feather temple, then searching for the secret temple that contains the other magical scroll. Oh, how wrong I was. This book is solely about the journey to the Steel Feather temple, and it shoves in a bunch of different side adventures (à la video game quests) along the way. The plot moved incredibly slowly, and while the Japanese lore/mythology is interesting, it was a lot of name-dropping without much explanation. I had trouble keeping all of the names for the various creatures straight. The romantic attraction between Yumeko and Tatsumi was as predictable as it was inevitable; it was the same basic premise of hardened warrior falls for a soft innocent. The story finally picked up again when Yumeko, Tatsumi, and their band of acquaintances they met along the journey finally arrive at the Steel Feather temple. From there, they go on another journey (this one mercifully much quicker) to infiltrate the palace. The end of this book contained a lot of action and twists, but it still fell short, especially when the main character is left alive at the end for no purpose than to set up a sequel. I had high hopes for this book, and had been seeing a lot of positive reviews on it, but it simply wasn’t my cup of tea. I am still curious about how the end of this plot will play out, so I probably will still read (or listen to, as I did with this book) the sequel. But my expectations will be a lot lower than they were going into this book.
Karenag More than 1 year ago
This book was just ok. For whatever reason it just did not hold my attention. Not sure if it was because I am not as familiar with Japanese mythology or something else. Those that enjoy this genre and are fans of Kagawa will probably like the book and because of this, I have purchased this for our YA collection. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book for an honest opinion.
KatsNook More than 1 year ago
5 Stars for Shadow of the Fox! Shadow of the Fox is an exciting adventure and I enjoyed every moment. Set during Japan’s samurai era, author Julie Kagawa amazed me with her writing and storytelling. My thoughts The story has adventure, mystery and a great cast of characters. In Shadow of the Fox we meet Yumeko, a teenage girl raised by monks in the Silent Winds temple. Yumeko is half kitsune (a mythical fox creature with magical powers), half human, and with the help of the monks training she has tried to balance a normal human life and her magic. Kitsune are masters of illusions and mischief, which I found was a funny pairing with the seriousness of a monk’s life. Yumeko’s tricks on the monks had me laughing, but behind the pranks was a girl trying to fit in. Living in seclusion left her unprepared for a demon attack on their temple. Yumeko must flee her home to protect an ancient scroll and is thrust into a world she knows nothing about. As she escapes, she meets Kage Tatsumi, a samurai of the Shadow Clan. Tatsumi has orders to retrieve the scroll at any cost. Yumeko is desperate to protect the scroll, so she and Tatsumi form an unlikely alliance: he escorts and protects her on her mission, she promises to lead him to the scroll (keeping the truth she has the scroll from him). Thus, begins their journey across Japan, dodging demons and meeting interesting characters. I loved this story! The author created a vivid story and I clearly imagined their adventures. My family loves anime and Shadow of the Fox has the elements that we love – action, comedy and inspirational theme. The inspirational theme comes from the characters and how they interact. I loved the balance between Yumeko and Tatsumi. She is clever (as a fox) and naïve due to her seclusion in the temple. Tatsumi is a trained samurai and has closed all his emotions so he can complete his orders. The more they spend time together, the more Tatsumi begins to feel again. Because of her upbringing with the monks, Yumeko is compassionate towards everyone she meets. It warmed my heart to see her character grow from an insecure, naïve girl to a courageous girl, jumping into battles. She may not be a trained samurai, but her cleverness gets them through some difficult challenges. I see the beginnings of their romance, but I love that this is a very slow build. Since Tatsumi has trained to close off his emotions so it makes sense that Yumeko’s presence is slowly chipping that wall down. The adventures they have are enough to keep anyone entertained and the hints of a romance aren’t distracting. Shadow of the Fox is a great start to a new series and I can’t wait for the next book. I highly recommend this book to fans of fantasy, sword fights, folk lore and characters you will enjoy cheering for.
HugsandKissesforBooks More than 1 year ago
Interesting characters! Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for the opportunity to read and review Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa! Suki has been sent to the Palace of the Sun to work as a maid. Suki has been helping in her father’s flute shop but he sent her to the Palace to have a secure living so she'll be taken care of when he passes away. She becomes a maid of the Emperor’s concubine, Lady Satomi; a beautiful but cruel lady. The concubine’s maids seem to keep running away or disappearing and we quickly find out why; she’s sacrificing her maids to a demon as pay for a favor that she wants in return. Next, we meet Yumeko, the prankster fox-girl that lives with monks as they guard a secret, part of the Dragon prayer. The third chapter introduces a Shadow Clan warrior that guards and yields an important weapon that houses a demon. This warrior has been sent to destroy two monsters. Chapter by chapter, characters are introduced and the stakes rise. Everyone wants the Dragon Scroll and death doesn’t seem to be a deterrent. The Fox girl and warrior are working together to find information about the scroll. Little does the warrior know that Yumeko has the scroll the entire time. If he knew, he wouldn’t think twice about killing her. The two of them keep saving each other and are now in each other’s debt. Along their travels, the two of them meet interesting characters, a rogue and a demon warrior, among others. Shadow of the Fox is beautifully told in the style of Japanese mythology. Intriguing characters kept me reading to the end and the epilogue made me anxious for the next book in the series, 5 stars! *I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration and all opinions and thoughts are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow, I enjoyed this. I wasn't expecting it to be as a good as it was. This book was a page-turner. We get three POV's: Suki, a ghost, Yumeko, a half-kitsune who was raised by monks in an isolated temple, and Tatsumi, a samurai of the Shadow Clan, wielder of a mystical sword, and infamous Demon Slayer. The story follows Yumeko and Tatsumi the most with occasional chapters from Suki's POV. Yumeko is tasked by the monks who raised her to protect an ancient scroll and bring it to a hidden temple. Tatsumi is tasked by his clan to find the scroll and bring it back with him to the Shadow Clan Territory. He is unaware that Yumeko is in possession of the scroll. Yumeko uses half-truths to convince Tatsumi to help her find the monk. Throughout the story, we meet several more characters that each of distinct personalities. None of the characters are thrown in for no reason. Every single character serves a greater purpose. The plot is intriguing, and the Japanese folklore is complex and fun to learn slowly. The glossary in the back of the books is extremely helpful if you are not familiar with Japanese folklore. I look forward to the sequel.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
Whomever hold the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers can summon the Kami Dragon to grant a single wish. To keep it safe, the scroll was broken up into several pieces and scattered across the land. But now there are those that are gathering the scroll by any means necessary to get their wish. Yumeko is half kitsune and half human. She has some simple magical abilities and was raised by the monks at the Silent Winds temple. But one day she returns home to find demons slaughtering the monks. She is given the task of taking the scroll to another temple. Although she doesn’t know how to begin to fulfill this request she finds a samurai warrior and has him promise to help her get to the temple. Kage Tatsumi is a samurai with the Shadow Clan and the bearer of a cursed sword that kills demons. His main purpose in life is to kill demons. But he is sent to the Silent Winds temple to find a scroll. He runs into Yumeko and agrees to help her. Together they are going to face demons, witches, people, and so many other challenges on their way to the temple. I liked this story and all the Japanese mythology although the creatures seemed to just keep coming and I was having to look them up all the time. This drew me away from the story. You also have the starts of a relationship between Yumeko and Tatsumi. It seems to be doomed since Tatsumi has been trained to be a weapon and has to control whatever emotions he has or the demon of the sword takes control. Over all I think this is a good start to a new series. It has potential and I’m curious to see where it goes from here. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
Aphill More than 1 year ago
This book was one of my first introductions to Japanese folklore and I was fascinated the entire time. I love Kagawa's books and this one was no exception! I learned about new and terrifying creatures of nightmares, clever foxes and brave (albeit dangerous) warriors. This book, took me to the mystical world of Japan's past. Although I stumbled some over the new terminology, I found myself hooked and hanging on every word. I enjoyed the relationships and the message that kindness and helpfulness can turn the tides more in one's favor than isolation, vengeance and single mindedness. Overall, this book took me to a world I had yet to experience and left me desperate to find out what happens next in this world of demons and dragons. *** Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin TEEN (US & Canada) for gifting me with a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review ***
CrazyCat_Alex More than 1 year ago
I loved the idea of a story set in Japan, with some mystic, some romance and a lot of amazing settings. While I got most of it, I had a hard time getting in to the story and also, liking the characters. Even so, it was a good read and I would encourage everyone to give it a try.
sanshliangirl More than 1 year ago
*I received this book via Netgalley. My opinions are my own.* I really enjoyed this book! I found the main character, Yumego, to be hilarious, well-written, and having great character development. I also really like Kage as he struggles between his mission, possibly making a friend, and the demon sword trying to take his soul. There were many twists and turns in this book that I didn't see coming. I really enjoyed the mythology, the use of Japanese words, and the fantasy world that was created. I think this book is very well written and I can't wait for book two (of which I have already preordered!). If you like anime, manga, or Japanese fantasy, this story is definitely for you! I give this book a 5/5!
etoile1996 More than 1 year ago
lush japanese mythology lays the foundation for shadow of the fox, a new fantasy series from julie kawaga. i honestly loved the serting, and the lush descriptions. i loved the japanese terminology because it made it feel more authentic even though at times there were so many characters with so many honorifics i was maybe a little confused. but this book started out slow for me, because the first chapter relates an event that's so disconnected to a huge part of the narrative that i had a hard time connecting to the first person switch from suki to yumeko and then later again to tatsumi. sometimes narrative frames like this don't work for me, because when i pull up these books on my e-reader i have no idea what they're going to be about. i don't usually remember back cover copy. so when i start reading something that's one thing, only for it to become another, i am challenged to stick with it. but eventually you get caught up in the fantasy and story, and you want to know where this journey will lead yumeko and tatsumi. **shadow of the fox will publish on october 2, 2018. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/harlequin teen in exchange for my honest review.
BookLoverGirl39 More than 1 year ago
3.75 I had a hard time getting into this story. Part of it was probably because I am not too familiar with Japanese folklore and culture. The other problem I had was that the main portion of the narrative was more of a travelogue, similar to Lord of the Rings. There was a lot of wandering the countryside, encountering enemies they had to fight and then more wandering. However, the characters were all quite interesting. There were mainly two POV’s that I read from, Yumeko and Tatsumi. They were each unique and had very different upbringings and world views. I favorite character was actually the Ronin, Okame, as he brought some fun comic relief to the story. Once they actually got to the final battle of this story it did finally start to pick-up and near the end we meet some new characters that will continue on in the journey during book two. I would say, overall, for me personally, this is not something I will need to own. I am slightly more interested now to see how this story will continue so I will likely get the sequel from the library when it comes out. If you like Japanese folklore and travel adventures (like LotR) than you will likely enjoy this story. I received an eARC from Netgalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Kagawa has this amazing talent of creating imagery with words. Worlds burst to life within the pages of each and every one of her books. Shadow of the Fox is a world of magic, demons and political mechaniations. A cast of unlikely characters find themselves thrust into a hair raising quest. Not all are looking to accomplish the same goal, actually some of their goals are out and out opposing, but in the end they band together. The cast is introduced slowly with each one joining as the journey progresses. I am a fan of all Julie Kagawa books and in the end I am a fan of Shadow of the Fox... and here comes the but ... But, I struggled getting into this story. I liked it but it was a pretty slow building read until about 45% in and then I LOVED IT. Would I recommend Shadow of the Fox? ABSOLUTELY! Will I read on? I wouldn't miss it! My recommendation, push on because once you break through you will not want this novel to end. I received this ARC copy of Shadow of the Fox from Harlequin TEEN. This is my honest and voluntary review.
LibaryInTheCountry More than 1 year ago
Review copy generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Shadow of the Fox was a fun ride through a lush Japanese inspired landscape and not at all what I was expecting! I loved so much of this story and found it completely entrancing. If you're looking for a thoroughly developed fantasy world, enchanting mythology and lore, morally grey characters, and a centuries old mystery to unravel ... THIS is the book for you. Yumi is part human, part kitsune (fox) in a world that both revers and fears her kind. Raised amongst monks, she has little experience with the outside world but dreams of experiencing everything. After a massacre upends her whole world, Yumi is thrust into the world she has so dearly mused over. Tatsumi is a samurai and demonslayer, tasked with retrieving an ancient artifact for his clan. Raised to be cold and unquestioning of his orders, Tatsumi is the perfect warrior, provided he keeps control over his darkness. Fate brings Yumi and Tatsumi together and with similar goals in mind, they choose to travel together. However, neither has been honest with the other and its only a matter of time before their ruses begin to unravel. From the very first chapter of this story I was absolutely captivated by the world Kagawa has created! So much happens right from the start, I was totally invested in Suki's story (and feeling SO upset for her!) and was absolutely shocked when the first chapter took the turn it did! Way to reel your readers in! If you can read it and NOT want to devour the rest of the book, you must be in the worst of all book slumps. I LOVED Yumi's true nature and every subtle nod at her wiliness and tricks throughout the story. Her naivety about the outside world and desire to help everyone is so sweet! That said, her curiosity and disregard for danger was a little taxing at times. Tatsumi is by-far the most complex and fascinating character in this story. He's my favorite (are we surprised? we are not.) and the moral dilemmas he faces through this story played a huge role on the plot and his character development. Tatsumi harbors some very Shadowsinger-esque abilities and I was like: YAAASSSS. I thoroughly enjoyed how he came to grow fond of Yumi, began to question his own life's path and tried perilously to keep hold of his humanity. This book also has a great group of supporting characters - such as Suki, Daisuke and Okami! Every character has an important role to play in this story and not one felt like they didn't belong. My heart STILL hurts over Suki's situation. I was totally NOT explecting Daisuke to return to the story the way he did and came to adore his chivalry and "deal" with Tatsumi. Okami's humor and aloofness was exactly what this story needed and he came at the perfect time. I cannot get over how rag-tag, yet PERFECT Yumi and Tatsumi's fellowship becomes. Also, the smattering of romance in this never felt forced or unnatural. This is slow burn and NOT insta-love. There was a natural progression of the primary relationship: from allies, to feeling fond of each other to feeling more. If you are looking for a book with a LOT of romance, this is not the book for you. BUT - if you are looking for a book in which the romance plays a large role on the progression of the story, here you have it! The only things I really didn't like about this was Yumi's character at times and the sometimes confusing name dropping of Japanese mythology and lore. Don't get
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Julie Kagawa and this book did not disappoint! I had trouble putting this book down and I am already excited to see what happens to Kira and the rest of the group in book 2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this ebook in return for an honest review. This is the story of a half human, half kitsune girl who was raised in a monastery. She was abandoned there when very young with a prophecy. She finds out about the prophecy the night the monastery is attacked my demons and an oni. She escapes with a scroll. While fleeing, she runs into a mysterious man that was on his way to the monastery to steal the scroll. She doesn't know this, but thinks he is samurai and he can protect her on her quest to the capital and the Steal Feather monastery. What she doesn't know about is that he is an assassin of the Shadow Clan and carries a cursed sword that contains an extremely powerful demon that he has to struggle to contain. They come across many interesting people and creatures in their travels as each tries to fulfill their oaths. The characters are well thought out, the story is well written, and the atmosphere comes to life. Julie Kagawa is an author I have always enjoyed, and she does not disappoint this time. This book would appeal to readers of any of Julie Kagawa's other books, and readers of dark fantasy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Julie Kagawa is an author who I have always been meaning to read. I think I even have the Iron Fey books but just never got around to them. If Shadow of the Fox is an indication of what I've been missing....I know what my next binge series is going to be! I loved everything about this book. It was a quick read, the characters were relatable and entertaining and it was so, so easy to get pulled in. I absolutely loved all the Japanese lore and mythology laced through this book. It was the perfect extra touch. Also...that cover! It definitely draws you in. The next in this series can not come fast enough! Until then, on to read more Julie Kagawa books! I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book to read and provide my honest opinions.
Eloise_In_Paris More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of the Iron Fey series, so going into this book I had high hopes and I was not disappointed. Yumeko was the perfect combination of naive and cunning. Kage wasn’t brooding, he was introspective and because of the way the book was written we got to see what he was feeling and why. They were both well rounded characters, there was so much more than surface appearances both physically and mentally. Their companions were also well fleshed out characters. The world building was extremely well done, and I enjoyed the lead characters journey. The only criticism that I have is that the villains could’ve been a bit more fleshed out. Because everyone is after the scroll and therefore the ultimate wish the villain’s motivations aside from the obvious were left out, and we got bad guys who were bad because they are bad. But there was a twist at the end that may not justify their lack of development, but it excuses it. The ending wasn’t a cliffhanger, because the first part of the journey is over. However there is so much mystery left for both the characters and the readers. I can not wait for the next book.
courtofbingereading More than 1 year ago
Ever since I joined bookstagram and started reviewing books more regularly, I have noticed that a fair amount of hyped books & I don’t get along. At all. Which honestly, devastates me. I go into these books with the highest expectations; I want to love them so incredibly much. But, *sigh* I don’t. Then, I start to question what is wrong with me since EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the world seems to adore the book except me. Well, folks, I am here to tell you that another hyped book and I have had a falling out. This time it’s Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. I was surprised that I didn’t enjoy this book. I have read other books by Kagawa in the past which is why I wanted to read an ARC of this one. I expected to love it with my whole heart and soul. In the end, this book just wasn’t for me. Quite frankly, it did absolutely nothing for me. I hate writing reviews like this because I understand how much time, work, blood, sweat, and tears go into creating a novel. Alas, I can only tell my truth which is that I was kind of bored while reading this book. There. I said it. Let the pitchforks and rioting begin. I could not for the life of me connect with these characters. I kept waiting and waiting for it to magically happen. I hoped that randomly I would begin to care about the characters and their respective journeys...I never did. My hope finally died out once I reached the 50% mark. That is when I realized that things were not going to start looking up for me. Plot Every 100 years, the Dragon rises for the mortal who summons him. If their soul is pure, intentions just, and heart deemed honorable the Dragon will grant him his heart’s desire. However, if the soul isn’t pure, the Dragon will rip the soul from its body. In order to summon the Dragon, you must utter the 1000 prayers the Lord did all of those years ago--verbatim. Not even a single word can be different. These prayers are kept in three different scrolls, one of which lives at the Silent Winds Temple under the protection of the monks. Yumeko, our main character, also lives at the Silent Winds Temple. Yumeko is a 16-year-old half kitsune. She is half human and half fox. The monks have raised her whole entire life at the temple; Yumeko has never wandered or strayed far from the temple. Therefore, she has lived a very sheltered life. The monks have also tried to help her control her kitsune side and her fox magic. However, at the end of the day, she is only 16 years old...and fox magic is all about trickery and illusion. Of course, she uses her magic to play tricks. Honestly, who wouldn’t? Yumeko’s life is soon turned upside down when a horde of demons attack the temple in search of the scroll. The monks instruct Yumeko to protect the scroll at all costs. They also tell her to travel to another temple where another scroll is kept hidden. Enter Kage Tatsumi, our other main character. Tatsumi is a shinobi, a shadow warrior, for his clan. In other words, he is an utter badass. He’s been raised to be a soldier his entire life. He operates differently than the rest of the world. He feels nothing, shows no emotion, and is no stranger to pain. His purpose is to follow orders, nothing else. On the night of the attack at the temple, Yumeko stumbles upon Kage Tatsumi. She coerces him into taking her to the next temple--where she leads him to believe the scroll will be. And this my dear friends, is where the adventure and journey begins.
Bookschief_Managed More than 1 year ago
“…Follow me if you dare, little ducklings. Into the dark we go.” This book was so different from anything I could have imagined. It was such a lovely surprise. There’s a ton of Japanese lore and mythology throughout this book that just made me fall even more in love with this book overall. I’m a sucker for any sort of mythology, so that was a big selling point for me. Yumeko was amazing. I love my little kitsune heroine. She’s naïve and helpless at times, but she grows a lot and really starts learning the extent of her abilities. Okay. So, the overall storyline reminded me a lot of the movie Tangled. We have our totally naïve, young heroine who’s got a huge secret attached to her, who’s been essentially locked away for years and has no knowledge of the outside world. Enter warrior/ borderline criminal hero. The two agree to make a journey together. Shenanigans ensue. Another character enters, one they’re really not sure they can trust, but who is along for the journey nonetheless. More shenanigans ensue. Fight with the big, bad villain when everything looks like it can’t possibly work out. The end. This book definitely had its tropes, but I didn’t really mind it. The “love interest” wasn’t overdone, and while it did play some part in the storyline, it definitely wasn’t a focus, which I enjoyed. Two things that really did bother me though, and they’re the main reason this book doesn’t have the full 5 stars. One is that it switches POV’s between Yumeko and Tatsumi, and sometimes I didn’t know who was talking until it mentioned the other or the way they talked about certain characters that varied, but it bothered me that they weren’t more distinctive. The other thing was the ending. There was a pretty good shock at the end (what saved it from being 3 stars), but it BUGGED ME SO BADLY that the big villain just kinda… walked away. I know it was literally for nothing other than allowing that sequel, but I hate when that part is anticlimactic. More so because the villain actually said they were letting our MC go… for now. Overall, this was a fantastic book and I am so excited to see where this series goes.
ruthsic More than 1 year ago
Shadow of the Fox is a great adventure through Japanese myths. Told through two alternating first person perspectives of Yumeko and Tatsumi, and the occasional third person narrative of a minor character Suki, the story takes us from the mountainous lands of the Earth Clan to the capital city of the Iwagoto, encountering all manner of creatures of Japanese folklore. Yumeko, part-kitsune herself, is passing as a human peasant while trying to deliver the scroll of the Dragon’s prayer to another temple via the shrine in the capital. Protecting her on the journey in exchange for her directions is Tatsumi, a shinobi bound to the Kage clan who doesn’t know that the scroll he has been sent to retrieve is actually in her possession. On the way, they encounter forests spirits, while being watched by a malicious presence, and collect (no, really, it is like they are collecting people in their squad!) a ronin, a nobleman samurai, and a shrine maiden. Yumeko and Tatsumi are diametrically opposite sort of characters. Being part-yokai, she has a mischievous nature, and a naivete borne out of her secluded childhood in the temple. Meanwhile, Tatsumi has been brought up in strict discipline by his clan, to bear a possessed sword. Their upbringing was also different – while she wasn’t exactly adored by all the monks in the temple, they did bring her up in kindness, with the only stipulation that she not lean into her yokai nature much for fear of losing her human side; Tatsumi, though human, was treated more like a tool, and his value to the clan is only in how long he can survive being bound to the demon sword. Their initial relationship is rocky, because he sees her as too simple, too trusting, while she finds his cold nature a bit scary. The addition of Okame brings levity to their group, and the interactions between the trio gain a sense of camaraderie. But Yumeko has to increasingly lie as to what her mission is, while Tatsumi has to defend his decisions to his superiors, all the while starting to have feelings for her. The story is an adventure, and is an exciting one. They encounter forest spirits, legends, haunted villages, and though Tatsumi doesn’t want to get involved in anything, Yumeko’s kind nature does and her approach works to resolve the obstacles that come up. She wants to help out when she sees something wrong, and her openness to the world brings him out of his closed off existence. While she initially comes off as a carefree kitsune, soon she becomes a courageous girl who takes matters into her own hands and faces off against mages, and demons, despite being at a disadvantage. She uses her powers of illusions and trickery in innovative ways, whether to prank Okame with a discomforting bed, or gaining access to the Emperor’s party as an onmyoji. As for Tatsumi, you can’t help but want to cheer for him falling for her, but also know how dangerous that is for him. As for the action part, there are some pretty cool fight scenes with him, and for the most part the danger is not from whatever he is facing down (he is a trained demonslayer after all!) but from the demon in his sword. Okame, while a secondary character, delivers some wonderful snark throughout his presence in the book; mostly it is bitterness with the class system but some of it is to tease Yumeko, too. I first thought Daisuke might be a shady character, but he turned out to be a wonderful addition to their group.