Review: Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Shadow of the Fox

Release: October 2nd

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Goodreads Link / Amazon Link

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.

I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did. Kagawa’s writing is so beautiful and rich. This is not something I would call a fast read, but not because it was slow in any way. I found myself needing to absorb chunks of it before continuing. The descriptions were well developed and I felt each of the main characters (or semi-main) were well fleshed out with individual personalities.  Exploring Yumeko and Tatsumi’s personal relationship growing and forming was a joy to watch, even if you knew certain things had to happen that may affect it.  As each new character became more central it was wonderfully woven so that they seemed natural and weren’t out of place or unwanted. They all had their own journey to add to the story and I can only imagine where they may go in the next book.

This is the first time I have read one of Kagawa’s books and after reading this I definitely want to not only get the sequel as fast as humanly possible but I may pull out the few of her books I have on my TBR shelf and read them sooner rather than later. I was captivated by her writing style and just loved the pacing and language so much.

I could see some things within the story that other people may have issues with, but for me this was just perfect. I did not want the story to end and found myself not wanting to finish it simply so I could prolong it somehow. For me that is always a good sign but also a little heartbreaking because I need more.  I won’t lie, books set in Asian settings are some of my favorites, but this one was amazing.

The details and cultural/mythological references were so well done and well developed in the story. There’s just enough explanation that I immediately knew and could envision what was going on.

All in all this was one of my favorite reads of this year and I CANNOT wait for more in this story.  Shadow of the Fox is out today, so go pick up your own copy and enjoy the adventure.

Happy reading!

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