Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1) by Julie Kagawa
My rating: five stars
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Goodreads Summary: 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.
Shadow of the Fox was the pick for a book club that I am in, and I couldn’t have been happier. I have been interested in Japanese culture for most of my life, and so this book sounded so intriguing. I ended up really enjoying it and can’t wait to read the next two!
Likes: I love how Yumeko just connects with everyone that she comes across. She makes friendships so effortlessly and convinces people to help her easily. She is a truly likeable, though ignorant, character. I also liked all the other characters. They each had different personalities and backgrounds, and I loved learning about each and every one of them. The story itself was fun and adventurous. Yes, the reason that she must flee with the scroll is disturbing and sad, however, the adventure itself was fun for me to read about. Yumeko was sheltered in the temple her whole life, so to read about her experiencing all these new things was enjoyable. Not only were the main characters interesting, the villains were intriguing as well. There was so much mystery surrounding all of them, it left me wanting to keep reading to learn more.
Dislikes: There wasn’t really anything that I disliked. Yumeko’s ignorance could be annoying, however it was completely understandable since she had never stepped foot outside her temple. Another thing that didn’t make the most sense to me was why Tatsumi couldn’t see that Yumeko was a half kitsune. Some people could and it was explained why they could and that made sense. However, Tatsumi literally has a demon in him and is connected to that world quite literally, so I don’t understand why he wouldn’t have been able to see what she was.
Overall, I really liked this story. It takes place in a setting that I am extremely interested in, and a world that is so magical and yet seems like it could be real. I loved all the myths that the story delved in to, they were myths that I have read about in Japanese culture books, but to actually have them in a fantasy book fun. I loved all the characters, even the villains, and I loved the plot. The small couple dislikes I had with Yumeko’s ignorance and Tatsumi’s inability to see that Yumeko was a half kitsune were small annoyances and didn’t really take away from my love of this story. I gave it five stars and recommend it to everyone!