Review: Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox #1)
Julie Kagawa
Harlequin Young Adult
Published October 2, 2018

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About Shadow of the Fox

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 on Goodreads

My Review

In the opening chapter of this book, I remember thinking that it was super different from anything by Julie Kagawa that I’d ever read. It had this really serious, sort of mysterious feel, and I loved it but also missed her humor and sort of straightforward characters.

And then I read the next chapter and met Yumeko, and I was like YES! This is what I was looking for from this book. She’s mischievous and curious, but also deeply compassionate, especially where it comes to others in need. Right away I was hooked on her and her story.

And THEN I met Kage Tatsumi, the focused warrior who shouldn’t care for Yumeko, but of course inevitably does. And once they were in a scene together, I knew I’d be reading the entire SHADOW OF THE FOX series.

I knew almost nothing about Japanese legends and folklore before starting to read this book, so I really enjoyed learning some about it. I also loved where the characters spoke Japanese– I spent several weeks in Tokyo for work years ago, so I knew some of the words already. The glossary helped if it was something I didn’t know.

If you’re looking for a really immersive, fun story packed with adventure and a slow-simmer romance, I totally recommend this series. I devoured all three books almost back-to-back. I think fans of SPIN THE DAWN by Elizabeth Lim would really enjoy SHADOW OF THE FOX.

Shadow of the Fox on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Characters speak Japanese in this fantasy series inspired by Japanese folklore.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Some strong profanity and a few crude references used infrequently, mainly by one character.

Romance/Sexual Content
A couple of veiled comments that go over Yumeko’s head.

Spiritual Content
The story is filled with spiritual creatures and traditions. Some characters worship divine beings called Kami. Other magical creatures can shapeshift or possess other magic. One character is a ghost who seeks to help Yumeko’s party. Yumeko has been raised by monks in a temple.

Demons respond to the evil blood magic and cause havoc in the human world. Tatsumi has a sword which contains the soul of a powerful demon. He hears the demon’s thoughts and knows that if he’s not vigilant, the demon can take possession of him.

Violent Content
Some gory battle violence and references to torture and abuse/neglect of a child and a servant.

Drug Content
Some characters drink sake. Yumeko gets drunk and regrets it the next day.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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