Shadow of The Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1)
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 (Shadow of the Fox, #1) Details

TitleShadow of The Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 2nd, 2018
PublisherHarlequin Teen
ISBN-139781488097225
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Young Adult Fantasy

Shadow of The Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1) Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    The monks at the temple would often train or meditate bare-chested, so I was used to seeing male upper bodies, but they'd all been so familiar I'd never given any of them a second thought. Kage Tatsumi was a different story. I feel sad writing this review. I absolutely loved Kagawa's The Immortal Rules trilogy and also enjoyed her The Iron King series, but after Talon and Shadow of The Fox, I think I have to admit that we're growing apart.I'm not sure if Kagawa's style changed or if I did, but The monks at the temple would often train or meditate bare-chested, so I was used to seeing male upper bodies, but they'd all been so familiar I'd never given any of them a second thought. Kage Tatsumi was a different story. I feel sad writing this review. I absolutely loved Kagawa's The Immortal Rules trilogy and also enjoyed her The Iron King series, but after Talon and Shadow of The Fox, I think I have to admit that we're growing apart.I'm not sure if Kagawa's style changed or if I did, but I do know that this book is a long, boring journey, fuelled by a weak plot that doesn't mask the fact everything is about the inevitable developing romance between Yumeko and Tatsumi. Though the setting and supernatural creatures are atypical of YA, the story and characters are formulaic. We move between the two perspectives of Yumeko and Tatsumi. The beginning sees the destruction of the temple where half-kitsune Yumeko has lived her whole life. The dying request of the monk who raised her is that she deliver part of an important scroll to another temple, which also holds a part of the scroll. Meanwhile, shadow clan samurai Kage Tatsumi receives a mission to retrieve the scroll himself. He and Yumeko make a pact-- he will offer her protection in exchange for her leading him to the other temple. This all happens in the first few chapters and it will be almost 300 pages before the book gets back to the main plot of finding the scroll. In between, the two characters travel to the temple, having what feel like various mini adventures along the way. The characters from Japanese mythology are fascinating, but the story meanders, name-dropping creature after creature - such as oni or gaki - in order to prolong the weak plot.And though the romance is left pretty tame in this book, the journey feels like nothing but a set-up for love angst. Because, of course, Tatsumi is injured and must remove his shirt so Yumeko can admire his muscles. I feel like I've read versions of the two of them hundreds of times: aloof warrior dude and a beautiful naive girl who requires protecting-- what could possibly happen? Protecting the girl was becoming more and more difficult; not that I cared what she did, but she was beautiful and naive and, by his own admission, the ronin had no honor left to his name. The ending does pick up and an explosion of action awaits (with some surprises added too), but I still felt like I read maybe 100 pages of plot progression and 300 pages of filler. And it seems like the big bad at the end leaves the main characters alive for no other reason than to necessitate a sequel.I was so excited for this book, especially after enjoying the author's short story in A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, but it was a really disappointing start to the series. I will check out reviews of the sequel before continuing. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    (My amazing friend Courtney, at Curly Book Owl, gave this to me as a birthday gift!) 💖 “…The tiniest pebble, when dropped into a pond, will leave ripples that will grow and spread in ways we cannot comprehend.” Shadow of the Fox is a bright, shining light in 2018 fantasy! Friends, I loved this from the very first chapter, and was more captivated than I have been reading any other book this year. Like, go into any bookstore, read the first chapters of this book, and I dare you not to want to i (My amazing friend Courtney, at Curly Book Owl, gave this to me as a birthday gift!) 💖 “…The tiniest pebble, when dropped into a pond, will leave ripples that will grow and spread in ways we cannot comprehend.” Shadow of the Fox is a bright, shining light in 2018 fantasy! Friends, I loved this from the very first chapter, and was more captivated than I have been reading any other book this year. Like, go into any bookstore, read the first chapters of this book, and I dare you not to want to immediately buy it. Goosebumps. Tears. Perfection. Those are the three words that come to mind, and I just continued to fall even more in love with this story as it progressed. This is an ownvoices Japanese inspired fantasy about three people who come from very different backgrounds, but their stories get interwoven regardless of what they wanted. And they are forced to work together, while a demon army is set to destroy everything.➽ Suki - Her chapters are sprinkled throughout the book, even though I completely believe she is going to play a much bigger role in the upcoming books. Her father is a flute maker who sent her away to become a royal maid so that she could live a good life. Sadly, she now works for one of the cruelest women in all of literature. “It was raining the day Suki came to the Palace of the Sun, and it was raining the night that she died.” ➽ Yumeko - Half kitsune who is very good at illusions! She has lived her entire life with monks in the Silent Winds temple. But her home soon comes under attack by demons, and she is the only hope to save the world, by safely bringing part of an ancient scroll to another hidden temple. “In this vision, I have seen blood and flames and death, demons shrieking and rivers of bones, and the world grows dark with fear. But a single fox stands above it all, untouched, a great dragon cast in her shadow. Her name is Yumeko, child of dreams, for she is our hope against the coming darkness.” ➽ Kage - Samurai of the Shadow Clan, and one of the deadliest warriors and demon slayers ever, even though he is very young. He wields a blade, Hakaimono, that gives him even more power but is constantly testing his willpower. He has been sent on a mission to retrieve that ancient scroll, but instead finds Yumeko and promises to get her to the hidden temple. Little does he know, this little kitsune is holding what he’s after the entire time. “I am a weapon in the hands of the Kage. My life exists only to be the bearer of Kamigoroshi and to obey the orders of the Shadow Clan.” And when the scroll is combined together to be whole again, a dragon will rise and the person that summons it will be have any wish they desire granted, as long as their heart and soul are pure and good. If not, well, things are going to get real messy. But needless to say, many people are after these pieces of the scroll so that they can combine them to have their wish granted. And remember, a demon army is trying to end the world, so some people really need their wishes to come true. You know, for the sake of humanity. One of my favorite things in all of literature is reading about a group of people traveling from place to place, performing smaller quests, while trying to get to their final destination. And friends, that is what Shadow of the Fox is. I fell in love with every new town and every new adventure that Yumeko and Kage experienced together. I loved seeing so much Japanese folklore and mythology celebrated and woven into each town and adventure, too! Seriously, Julie Kagawa blessed us so much with this book! And I loved the few friends and companions that Kage and Yumeko unexpectedly met along the way. At the heart of this book, is always friendship. And how kindness and unconditional love are two of the most powerful forces in any world. Yumeko and Kage's dynamic is one so beautiful that I don’t even have words for it. And this is the start of an extremely slow burn romance, but I’m so here for it, you all! They completely stole my heart and captivated me for all 400 pages of this story. This book also holds a very heavy message about how we always have a choice to do right. No matter what we’ve done in our past, and no matter the sins of our family, we have our own choice to do good or to start doing good. And how sometimes a little kindness can completely change everything. And how it’s never too late to right your wrongs, apologize, and forgive. Hate is a very heavy thing to carry, but so is revenge. “It is very hard to be human, little fox. Even the humans themselves don't do a great job of it.” Overall, Julie Kagawa gave me the (ownvoices) Japanese fantasy I’ve been searching my entire life for. I fell so deeply in love with this story, with Julie’s beautiful prose, with these characters, and with all the important messages that were so seamlessly woven in. This will for sure be on my best of 2018 list come December, and the next book for sure is now one of my most anticipated releases for 2019. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.Content and trigger warnings for graphic violence, graphic murder, graphic death, loss of a loved one, physical abuse, threat of rape, talk of suicide, and war themes.Buddy read with May at Forever and Everly & Jen at Pinot and Pages! ❤
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  • Korrina (OwlCrate)
    January 1, 1970
    There was so much to love about this book. The vast detailed world building, the Japanese legends and lore, the moral dilemmas that were faced...it was so fully fleshed out and enjoyable. The characters were what truly sold me though. I loved each of them so much for so many different reasons. I can’t wait to read the next book because I need to know what happens to them!
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  • Nick
    January 1, 1970
    This is going to be so so good. I am calling it.
  • Hamad
    January 1, 1970
    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book PrescriptionActual Rating 3.5/3.75 stars“ I was simply a weapon. A weapon did not question the intent of those who wielded it. ”🌟 Reading Shadow of the fox was like watching an anime movie/ series and I always liked those.🌟 I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this or not but I really wanted to read something by the author and I am glad I did request it! The opening line was great and I knew it would be good at that moment.🌟 I love a This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book PrescriptionActual Rating 3.5/3.75 stars“ I was simply a weapon. A weapon did not question the intent of those who wielded it. ”🌟 Reading Shadow of the fox was like watching an anime movie/ series and I always liked those.🌟 I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this or not but I really wanted to read something by the author and I am glad I did request it! The opening line was great and I knew it would be good at that moment.🌟 I love anything and everything Japanese and there are not many books with Japanese settings that are written in English. I was immediately in love with the world and the mythology and I wanted more.🌟 Sadly my enjoyment of the book decreased a bit, it started really good but then there were clichés and tropes and I felt like I have read (watched) this before. I can’t say that it was predictable given that most of the story was not for moving the original and main plot. It was like a large adventure with mini obstacles that our “heroes” face along the way. Once again, something that reminds me of anime. And in terms of anime, I can say that this was a great show but with many fillers that all we all know how to feel about.🌟 I like that it started with two main characters with changing POVs and other side characters were added to the crew as we move on. It was better than starting with a whole team of characters. The characters were unique and I could tell whose POV was I reading as they had distinct voices! The only problem that I had was the trope of the tough, muscular cold guy falling into the clumsy, cute and kind girl and that happened fast!!🌟 Despite that, I think it was cool, fresh and it was not short of action which left me curious and attached to the book.🌟 Summary: A typical YA book with an Atypical Japanese settings, it had a good cast of characters that you are sure to love. And despite the tropes it had, it was very enjoyable and I don’t regret reading it.🌟 Prescription: For fans of Anime and Japanese culture!
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  • Camile Souza (This Chamber of Books)
    January 1, 1970
    *I received this arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion* "Once every thousand years… a wish will be granted and a new age will dawn." 4.5 stars Shadow of the Fox is an #ownvoices YA fantasy that was inspired by Japanese mythology, and essentially revolves around the search for The Scroll of a Thousand Prayers which has the power to call upon the great Kami Dragon who will grant its summoner a wish. A lot of folks are after this thing, and they’ll do anything to get it.This i *I received this arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion* "Once every thousand years… a wish will be granted and a new age will dawn." 4.5 stars Shadow of the Fox is an #ownvoices YA fantasy that was inspired by Japanese mythology, and essentially revolves around the search for The Scroll of a Thousand Prayers which has the power to call upon the great Kami Dragon who will grant its summoner a wish. A lot of folks are after this thing, and they’ll do anything to get it.This is my second Julie Kagawa book. I reread The Iron King this year and even reviewed it here a couple months ago, so it was inevitable to draw a comparison between these two books to see how the author’s style and skill have progressed. I’ve said it in my other review that her book gave me a feeling of going through phases of a video game, and I felt the same way with this newest release. One event follows the next like mini contained arcs of story that go towards a bigger one. I feel like this could throw some people off and make the pacing seem a bit chunky or episodic at times, but personally that wasn’t something that bothered me because, like in a video game, I always knew something with high stakes would be coming up next.Both books made me feel like they were much more about the journey and how it changed the characters, than actually getting to the end goal.Shadow of the Fox is a multi-perspective book, and because of that it took me a few chapters to get going, since I had to meet the main characters first, but once I did I was into it. The first 3 chapters are from different povs, but for the majority of the story we follow only two, which are told in first person. I know a lot of people are not fans of multi-perspective, but I feel like for this story that was the right way to go. Since characters have different goals concerning the scroll and come from such opposite backgrounds, this helped paint a bigger picture for the situation and made the stakes go higher. We even get glimpses at what the bad guys are doing, and I think that was for the book’s benefit. There’s also the plus that you get to know the characters better, and the world view and impressions on newcomers was not limited to only one perspective. I came to really like these people and appreciate the development of their risky relationships, because thank goodness the author took its time to build them properly. That was a complaint I had about The Iron King, the need for more character moments, but I’m happy to say that Julie gave much more attention to that aspect this time around.I also loved the main characters, and the fact that there’s no love triangle to be seen in this book.Yumeko is a kitsune – half-girl, half-demon fox – who was raised in a temple by monks. She could be naive at times, but she was also clever and a badass in her own way. She’s not a fighter, but she’s also not the kind of girl who sits around and hopes people will solve things for her. If she sees a tough situation that needs fixing, she will try to do something about it. Even if it’s a small thing, she always makes an effort to help out in any way she can, and I absolutely love that. Yumeko makes a few mistakes, but she mostly gets it right, and for all her effort she’s earned my respect.Tatsumi is a shinobi (literally ninja in japanese) of the Shadow Clan, but he lets most people think he’s just a samurai warrior – which makes sense, if you’re a ninja people shouldn’t know that about you. He’s quiet and kind of broody, but he’s hella good with a sword and actually quite interesting as an individual (that’s funny since individuality is highly discouraged by his masters, to say the least). As the demonslayer of the Kage family and bearer of the cursed sword, Kamigoroshi – whose demon that is sealed in it frequently tries to take over his mind if he loses control of his emotions -, is no wonder that this dude keeps it to himself. Due to his super strict and brainwashy upbringing, it’s very interesting to see him being forced to interact with other people and work with them in order to complete his mission. I particularly loved the fact that Tatsumi had a big reputation and he lived up to it. If he thought you were a threat or if he was ordered by his clan to kill you, I really felt he could, and that he would do it, even if he didn’t want to.About the world, I think it was atmospheric and interesting. The country of Iwagoto really felt like a fantasy Japan from the samurai period. There was a lot of japanese words interwoven in the narrative, and because of that I feel like the author tried her best to 'show' things for the most part, but there was a lot for people to understand, so she also used a certain amount of 'tell' to quickly explain things. Nothing that really bothered me, though. I do recognize that the frequent use of japanese could get confusing for people who, unlike me, aren’t really familiar with the language, but honestly, I don’t think that goes as far as hurting the comprehention of the story. If you’re a fantasy reader, you should already be used to getting acquainted with a bunch of new words anyway, but perhaps there’s a glossary in the finalized edition.If there’s not, just know that essentially family names come before first names like in Kage Tatsumi, and not "Tatsumi Kage", also that honorific suffixes are often used after people’s names when adressing them (so you’ll see a lot of –san, –chan, and –sama here), gomen (nasai) means sorry, ohayo (gozaimasu) is good morning, baka is idiot, kami means god, arigatou (gozaimasu) is thank you, mahou is magic, mahou-tsukai is mage, and you should be mostly good to go.About the plot, this is a journey, so don’t expect everything to be resolved here. This is part one of a triology, after all. The general idea is simple, get from point A to point B, then get to point C, but with a lot of deviation and trouble along the way. Here we only go as far as point B, though.I’m very excited for the sequel, Soul of the Sword, and I can’t wait to get a finished copy of Shadow of the Fox as soon as possible. This book became a new favorite of mine, which was kind of unexpected to be honest. It’s great being surprised sometimes. Oh also I love watching anime, and this book had elements that reminded me of a few ones like Yona of the Dawn (Akatsuki no Yona), Hiiro no Kakera, and even Dragon Ball (hello collecting artifacts to summon a dragon who can grant you a wish), which I really appreciated.Blog | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    October Owlcrate! Click the link below the picture to see the goods =) LINK TO THE GOODS
  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    January 1, 1970
    "One step at a time, little fox. The spider does not spin its web in a heartbeat, nor does the albatross fly across oceans with a few flaps of its wings. Many would consider what they do impossible, and yet, they still complete their tasks without fail, because they simply...start."This book would make an INCREDIBLE anime or animated series along the lines of Avatar The Last Airbender or something, because it seriously played out like a tv show in my head! It was so awesome! I loved all of the c "One step at a time, little fox. The spider does not spin its web in a heartbeat, nor does the albatross fly across oceans with a few flaps of its wings. Many would consider what they do impossible, and yet, they still complete their tasks without fail, because they simply...start."This book would make an INCREDIBLE anime or animated series along the lines of Avatar The Last Airbender or something, because it seriously played out like a tv show in my head! It was so awesome! I loved all of the characters and how, one by one, we were introduced to amazing additions to this badass group trying to slay demons and save the world! I did find it a little slow at times with all of the travelling to different towns and stuff, but other than that I really enjoyed it!This book is in stores now and I highly recommend you check it out, it was super fun! Thank you so much to Harlequin Teen for sending me a review copy!
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  • shady boots | #WatchPOSE
    January 1, 1970
    PLEASE don't disappoint me again like you did with Talon, Julie. My heart won't be able to handle it.
  • Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Harlequin Teen for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. “You are a weapon; attachments will only slow you down and make you question your objective. Remember, your loyalty is to the Kage, nothing else.” My first ever read by Julie Kagawa, and let me tell you that I was not disappointed. I was so intrigued when I read the synopsis, and as I predicted I truly loved this book! The setting, characters and story line reminded me so much of an anime. The book has Thank you Harlequin Teen for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. “You are a weapon; attachments will only slow you down and make you question your objective. Remember, your loyalty is to the Kage, nothing else.” My first ever read by Julie Kagawa, and let me tell you that I was not disappointed. I was so intrigued when I read the synopsis, and as I predicted I truly loved this book! The setting, characters and story line reminded me so much of an anime. The book has many references to Japanese mythology, including: Kitsune, Oni, Yoki and much more. There were also some Japanese words here and there, and being familiar with what they meant really made the read 100% more enjoyable.The story is told from alternate points of view. The first being from the point of view of Yumeko, a half-human half-kitsune girl. The other being Tatsumi a Shadow Clan Samurai. Yumeko is a bit of a naive character. Since she was raised in a temple and has no knowledge of the outside world. I didn’t feel set back by this since her naive moments were often funny. While Yumeko is sweet and open (aside from the secrets that she must keep) Tatsumi is dark and mysterious. I quite liked his character. He grappled with his emotions a bit in this book. Always trying to shove down his emotions in order to stay on track. I really wished we had gotten to know more of his backstory, but I assume we’ll be getting that in the next book. Loved Okame! always making jokes even in times of danger. I liked all the characters in a different way because I felt like they all added a little something special.I found the pacing a little slow at first. A hundred pages into the book is when I felt like the story picked up. It didn’t bother me though. More action scenes and a few things to deal with on the way. The story line seemed promising, and I’m really intrigued to find out what happens in the next book!Overall, I have a feeling this wont be my last read by the brilliant Julie Kagawa!|| Blog || Instagram ||
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  • Natalie Monroe
    January 1, 1970
    “He might be young, with the face of an angel, but there was no mistaking the truth in his eyes. He was a killer.” Guess what happens next. Go on, guess!Yes, my dear stranger on the Internet. They fall in love. It's a hardly a spoiler. You know it's going to happen the instant Yumeko notices Tatsumui's chiselled abs. Honestly, Kagawa's work of late is extremely predictable and derivative. Which makes me equally disappointed and annoyed because I love, love, love her Iron Fey series. I want Puck “He might be young, with the face of an angel, but there was no mistaking the truth in his eyes. He was a killer.” Guess what happens next. Go on, guess!Yes, my dear stranger on the Internet. They fall in love. It's a hardly a spoiler. You know it's going to happen the instant Yumeko notices Tatsumui's chiselled abs. Honestly, Kagawa's work of late is extremely predictable and derivative. Which makes me equally disappointed and annoyed because I love, love, love her Iron Fey series. I want Puck to show up at my window, make flowers bloom from my bedpost, and carry me off to a quiet meadow somewhere. Blood of Eden, though rather unmemorable, was a good read and most importantly, different from her previous novels. The Talon Saga is where is all starts to go downhill and Shadow of the Fox, unfortunately, is a sad continuation. It also reaffirms my belief that most authors who hit it big during the Paranormal Romance craze are slowly becoming obsolete. We're seeing it with Lauren Kate, Alexandra Adornetto, Becca Fitzpatrick... The ones who continue to thrive, like Kiersten White, do so because they're willing to evolve with the times. No longer is YA willing to put up with rapey love interests and Mean Girls. It's become bolder, more diverse, more mature, more willing to push the envelope.Shadow of the Fox is basically a mashup of familiar Kagawa tropes. Tatsumui is broody and emotionally closed off, so essentially a clone of the soldier guy whose name I can't remember from Talon and to a lesser extent, Ash from the Iron Fey. Yumeko is Meghan and Talon's heroine mushed together. Kind-hearted, sweet, naive with a mild independent streak. The ronin Okame is a sarcastic rogue and a comic relief caricature along the lines of Puck, the vampire guy from Blood of Eden, and the snarky dragon from Talon. And then there's a fourth miscellaneous character whose personality varies, but is always male.Seriously, what is with the lack of important female characters? There's the heroine, but that's it. Kagawa always insists on surrounding her with prominent male characters. And the villain is usually female. Make of that what you will.Did I like anything? The Japanese mythology elements are interesting. Though it did get increasingly annoying when words like "hai" or "ano" are casually slipped in. Yes, yes, authenticity, but it's cheapened by so many anime fanfiction that do the same.If you're going to read a Kagawa book, go for The Iron King. At least there's Puck and killer world-building in it.ARC provided by Edelweiss
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  • ambsreads
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much to Harlequin Teen for sending me a physical copy of Shadow of the Fox. Another thank you goes to NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy as well. All thoughts are my own and receiving copies of the book did not impact this.FIND MY REVIEW FOR SHADOW OF FOX ON MY BLOGShadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa was a difficult book to get through. Fantasy novels for me are a little heavier for me to power through. I struggle to get through them but I knew I had to push through this o Thank you so much to Harlequin Teen for sending me a physical copy of Shadow of the Fox. Another thank you goes to NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy as well. All thoughts are my own and receiving copies of the book did not impact this.FIND MY REVIEW FOR SHADOW OF FOX ON MY BLOGShadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa was a difficult book to get through. Fantasy novels for me are a little heavier for me to power through. I struggle to get through them but I knew I had to push through this one and I am so glad I did. Julie Kagawa crafted an incredible Japanese fantasy that is a beautifully intricate world. The characters are seamless and the way they flow with the world around them is just positively beautiful.I think the best part about Shadow of the Fox is that it is an own voices Japanese fantasy. I could really feel the author’s knowledge of the stories throughout the story. The stories of these people who would otherwise never come together exploring new towns and getting to know each other, and have a shit tonne of turmoil.The story ultimates from three perspectives: Yumeko, a half-kitsune who has lived in a temple her entire life but is now forced to protect a super precious scroll and travel to new lands. Kage, a samurai with a sword that is possessed by a demon that eats at him each time he uses it. Suki, the person who possibly the most tragic backstory in all of fiction – can’t say too much here due to spoilers. Yumeko and Kage are unlikely acquaintances who pick up a few other friends along the way. They experience countless other demons and danger that is enough to send goosebumps down your spine in fear. I really don’t want to say too much. I feel like this is one of those stories where you need to be unaware in order to enjoy it as much as possible. Hence why I want to keep this review as short as possible.At times I found the pacing of this a little haphazard, some parts dragged and others flew by but I typically find that in books where a journey takes place. I feel that this was would be absolutely enchanting on audiobook. It also would have been incredibly interesting to hear the pronunciation of the Japanese words. I studied Japanese for a few years in high school so some words were familiar, but I still think hearing the words would be amazing.Overall, I am really excited to see where this series goes. It is clear that Julie Kagawa has created an absolutely intricate world with awe-inspiring characters. It is something I feel blessed to have read earlier.
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  • may ➹
    January 1, 1970
    sometimes I think I’m getting faster at reading and then I realize that I’ve been trying to read this book for a month and only gotten 23% through
  • Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
    January 1, 1970
    I HAVE BEEN WAITING ALL MY LIFE FOR MORE JULIE KAGAWA
  • ✨ jamieson ✨
    January 1, 1970
    a heroes journey (legit mt fave trope) featuring a girl who's half kitsune and half human?? good shit thats some Good Shit right there
  • •Melanie Elizabeth• {To tea, or not to tea? ☕️}
    January 1, 1970
    Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa was probably the most surprising 5 Star Read I’ve had this year. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟The writing style was SPECTACULAR and easy to follow.I cannot emphasize enough how descriptive the creatures of the fantasy realm were written. Among the various fantasy characters we see:•Demons •Spirtits •Samurai•Dynasty Nobility •Witches•Tree Spirits•Ghosts•Dragons•KitsuneThe story is seen through three main characters: Yumeko, half kitsune/half human, Kage Tatsumi, the dark samurai, and a Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa was probably the most surprising 5 Star Read I’ve had this year. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟The writing style was SPECTACULAR and easy to follow.I cannot emphasize enough how descriptive the creatures of the fantasy realm were written. Among the various fantasy characters we see:•Demons •Spirtits •Samurai•Dynasty Nobility •Witches•Tree Spirits•Ghosts•Dragons•KitsuneThe story is seen through three main characters: Yumeko, half kitsune/half human, Kage Tatsumi, the dark samurai, and a ghost who wanders in between. On the quest to find the dragon scroll and defeat the spreading army of demons and black magic -while battling their own darkness- the story weaves itself through the lands of dynasties and magic. Bonus Points for: •Nods to Japanese politeness and proper customs•The correct use of foreign words and dialogue •Studio Ghibli vibes •THE REALISTIC ROMANCE ARC •CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE DEPTH OF THESE CHARACTERS This book was sent to me by NetGalley through Harlequin Teen publishers and does not reflect my opinions. Publication Date: October 2, 2018.
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  • L.C. Perry
    January 1, 1970
    JAPANESE MYTHOLOGY????*fangirls*And not only that but this blurb sounds awesome! Gimme!
  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    A thousand years before, a wish was granted and the land of Iwagoto suffered. Now is the time for a new age, a new wish and a new world, but that wish will only be granted to the holder of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. One half-kitsune raised by monks will be tasked with a part of that precious scroll and a quest to find the rest. The fate of her world will rest on her shoulders, but she will not journey alone as an unlikely group of allies join with her, unaware she hides a piece of the pri A thousand years before, a wish was granted and the land of Iwagoto suffered. Now is the time for a new age, a new wish and a new world, but that wish will only be granted to the holder of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. One half-kitsune raised by monks will be tasked with a part of that precious scroll and a quest to find the rest. The fate of her world will rest on her shoulders, but she will not journey alone as an unlikely group of allies join with her, unaware she hides a piece of the prize.SHADOW OF THE FOX by Julie Kagawa is a beautiful tale of magical beings, mystical places and a journey that will test the mettle of all who take it. Mystery abounds, suspense hangs heavy and demonic danger will nip at their heels as good races against evil for the future of the world.Julie Kagawa has used fabulous descriptions to draw readers in while deftly twisting her tale just enough that the “light at the end of the tunnel” is just out of reach, keeping readers guessing at what will happen next. An amazing journey, a captivating read and incredibly likable characters makes this tale a strong foundation for what promises to be an entrancing series!I received a complimentary ARC edition from Harlequin Teen!Series: Shadow of the Fox - Book 1Publication Date: October 2, 2018Publisher: Harlequin TeenGenre: YA FantasyPrint Length: 416 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
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  • Kelly Brigid
    January 1, 1970
    “It is very hard to be human, little fox. Even the humans themselves don't do a great job of it.” Shadow of the Fox is the perfect fantasy novel that my little Asian heart has been craving! It reminded me of Avatar: the Last Airbender and Beyond the Boundary - two of my favorite cartoons/animes in existence! The flow of this story felt like a living, breathing anime, and I couldn't have been happier! Of course I devoured it in a few days! An absolutely wonderful Japanese inspired fantasy with “It is very hard to be human, little fox. Even the humans themselves don't do a great job of it.” Shadow of the Fox is the perfect fantasy novel that my little Asian heart has been craving! It reminded me of Avatar: the Last Airbender and Beyond the Boundary - two of my favorite cartoons/animes in existence! The flow of this story felt like a living, breathing anime, and I couldn't have been happier! Of course I devoured it in a few days! An absolutely wonderful Japanese inspired fantasy with magic, adventure, friendship, and love! I adore novels that set their characters on quests, where they are forced to overcome smaller obstacles before reaching their final destination. The tone that Kagawa constructs is simultaneously light hearted and urgent, luring the reader into Yumeko's journey, itching to see what unfolds.Half Kitsune (Fox) nature is depicted beautifully. Yumeko is the sweetest, most innocent and kind little bean of them all. Having grown up in an environment where her Kitsune half is constantly being reprimanded, Yumeko is unsure about who she wishes to identify more as - human or kistune. These two sides of the same coin flip interchangeably, and I love how it's displayed on the surface. She doesn't wish to harm anyone, but her illusive essence could have more repercussions than she ever realized. Kage Tatsumi, on the other hand, is a mysterious member of the Shadow Clan, and the bearer of a cursed sword, in which a demon resides. I truly enjoyed reading through his perspective, and witnessing the emotional journey he reluctantly finds himself embarking on. Despite how he falls under the dark, brooding, male stereotype, I loved him, and am intrigued to see how he shifts the story in the following installments. Japan inspired fantasy? I'm sold! The world Julie Kagawa weaves is absolutely stunning. I'm a fairly large fan of anime and Japanese culture, and this gorgeous setting met my every expectation. What I love about the story and atmosphere, is how it felt as if they were plucked straight out of an anime. It's a remarkably complex world, bubbling over with Japanese folklore and mythology, and I never once doubted its authenticity. The writing is charming, and not overdone, surprisingly. I also appreciate how distinct Yumeko and Tatsumi's points-of-views are. It's a shame when two main characters' perspectives are so similar that you can't tell them apart, but thankfully, this issue never arises.Wonderful themes of we are who we choose to be. A recurring theme throughout this novel, is how we're free to forge our own paths ahead, and deviate from the expectations and limitations others bestow on us. Yumeko is frightened to reveal her Kitsune half, and keeps this side of herself hidden for the most part. As the story progresses, it's wonderful to see how she grows as a character and begins to feel more comfortable as both human and Kitsune, in spite of the mockery and scorn others direct at her. Rather than be bound by her deceptive nature, she embraces it, and utilizes it to protect others. To prevent the demon sword from possessing him, Tatsumi has detained his emotions since he was a child. So, it arrives as quite a shock, when he begins to exhibit feelings for Yumeko. I love this internal struggle of his between succumbing to or denying his developing feelings. It's beautiful to see how he, along with Yumeko, steadily realize the truth of human nature, and decide to create their own destinies. If I love this story so much, why didn't I rate it five stars, you may be wondering? For the entirety of the story, Yumeko travels with Tatsumi, who is a lethal Shinobi. I find it awfully hard to believe that he never noticed the fact that our dear little fox possessed the scroll. Not only are they in close proximity of one another quite often, but Tatsumi cleans her wounds, and pulls her away from danger on numerous occasions. Why hadn't Yumeko simply attempted to place an illusion on the scroll? Nonetheless, I still cherish Shadow of the Fox with all my heart, and can't wait to see what happens to my precious babies in the sequel.I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin
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  • Ashlee » Library In The Country
    January 1, 1970
    Review copy generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewShadow 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 Review copy generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewShadow 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 me wrong - I LOVED the mythology in this, but there is a LOT of it and I constantly found myself Googling things so I could gain a better understanding of what I was reading about. You will encounter a bunch of Japanese creatures - especially those of the supernatural realm - and it can be a lot to keep up with at first! Overall, this was a really fantastic novel! Despite having her Iron Fey series on my bookshelves, this was the first time I had read something by Julie Kagawa and she lived up to my expectations! I'll certainly be reading more by her and will ABSOLUTELY be investing my time into this series as it progresses! I NEED to see where it goes after that ending! (OH MY GAWD)
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  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    5/1/18Ooo I'm loving this cover! Can't wait for this <3 Also, so excited it got moved from October 30th --> October 2nd =D---Asian protagonist, sea dragons, kitsune and magical scrolls? I am in!
  • mo
    January 1, 1970
    Shadow of the Fox has me at a loss for how to review it.It’s received so much praise already - often from other reviewers who I really respect and whose book opinions or recommendations I usually agree with or find helpful - yet despite that, it largely fell flat for me. The prose and the dialogue, in particular, were the reading equivalent of listening to nails on a chalkboard.What went wrong? Am I just an alien from another planet, operating on an entirely different wavelength from both Julie Shadow of the Fox has me at a loss for how to review it.It’s received so much praise already - often from other reviewers who I really respect and whose book opinions or recommendations I usually agree with or find helpful - yet despite that, it largely fell flat for me. The prose and the dialogue, in particular, were the reading equivalent of listening to nails on a chalkboard.What went wrong? Am I just an alien from another planet, operating on an entirely different wavelength from both Julie Kagawa and all the reviewers who loved Shadow of the Fox? Am I just a ship passing in the night, completely missing this hype...ship? Am I disappointed by this book because I had unrealistic or misguided expectations for it? Can I even hope to pick apart my complicated feelings of disappointment and ambivalence about this book?Additionally, one question which I feel is important for me, as a white person, to ask myself is this: if I dislike an ownvoices work of literature, is it my own internal biases, learned patterns of racism, and/or a lack of similar lived experiences or background knowledge which lead me to dislike the book? Am I harming initiatives to increase diversity in literature by not liking this book? I searched around for some ownvoices reviews of this novel and couldn’t find any at the time of writing, so let me know if there are reviews I should link here, or if you’re an ownvoices reader yourself.I’ll put my best effort toward examining all of this honestly, for whatever that’s worth. I’ll start things off positively by listing some things I liked.->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->The good• The fact that while a budding romance is obvious between the two central characters, Yumeko and Tatsumi, it does not take center stage. This is far more an adventure story than a pure romance fantasy (though there’s nothing wrong with those), and it would have felt out of place for their relationship to entirely subsume everything else. This romance seems like it’ll shape up to be a nice slow-burn. (I love a good slow-burn.)• The squad that seems to be gathering around Yumeko. It actually reminds me a lot of how the main group in Inuyasha came together, and from my own point of view, it seems like that was the authorial intention. I liked seeing all the squad’s personalities play off each other.• The settings were vividly portrayed. The pastoral nature imagery, in particular, was well-done and written with a nice balance between simplicity and flowery descriptions.• The incorporation of many unique and memorable creatures from Japanese mythology; it has some truly grotesque and fantastical demons, ghosts, and so on which I recommend reading about if you’re unfamiliar with them.• The opening lines and scenes. It was truly a great book- and series-opener, and instantly drew me into the setting (though I was initially confused to be reading about a human girl, Suki, rather than a monk-raised kitsune named Yumeko).I was interested enough in the plot at the end to not completely write off reading future books at the series, despite all the stuff I perceived as flaws in this one.Now it's time for me to discuss what didn't work for me, at least not completely.->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->The characters• Yumeko: I liked her well enough and enjoyed her unflappable optimism. Sometimes it can be a breath of fresh air to read from the point of view of a genuinely sweet, funny, and hopeful protagonist. I did feel she was a bit one-note but I would bet money on her having a nice character arc over the course of the series as a whole. She had some moments where she missed the obvious to the degree that it was almost painful, but I also have a soft spot for the naive-cloistered-protagonist setup, so it didn’t ultimately bother me too much.• Tatsumi, by contrast, actively frustrated me. I had a lot of sympathy for him - I don’t completely lack a heart - but I also never felt fully invested in his character. He also, for being an incredible sneaky shinobi, is maybe the most oblivious character in the book. I was waiting for him to have a moment in which he discovers a thing, and it felt like he never bothered to really check on that (spoilery) thing or investigate it because it was more narratively convenient for him to not do so.• Suki, poor Suki. The plot of the novel definitely did her dirty, because she really did feel entirely like the mere ghost of a character. It was probably intentional, and I’m also probably being nit-picky, but I was hoping for more from her.• The rest of the squad: I felt like there wasn’t quite enough time to really get to know everyone else, especially Daisuke and Reiko. They seemed engaging in the way recognizable anime archetypes can be used to build interesting but familiar first impressions of a character roster. (I don't count that as a bad thing - there are tropes in literally any work of fiction - I just hope they get developed more fully in the future.)->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->The dialogue & narrationNow to address what bothered me the most about this novel: its writing style, especially for dialogue and action narration.Reading this book was like experiencing the “JUST ACCORDING TO KEIKAKU [translator’s note: KEIKAKU means PLAN]” meme over and over and over again, until it felt like a comically-oversized mallet was hitting me over the head. Randomly inserting a “nani” in place of “what,” “hai” instead of “yes,” or “ano” instead of “um” made the dialogue so awkward to read.Like, c’mon. There were instances of phrasing like “a kama sickle.” Kama means sickle, so...a sickle sickle? And at one point, a character literally yells out that others are “bakas.” Why. Oh my god. I genuinely hope the final published version has some of these edited out. Maybe this was simply the type of writing I don’t enjoy. Am I just too picky??? I don’t know, y’all. I do think English-speaking otaku will be totally fine with the dialogue or even prefer it like this, though.Even with me being annoyed by the writing, I would much prefer a Japanese or Japanese-American person writing a fantasy inspired by Japan and writing it this way than a white author going buck wild with ~~inspiration~~ from Japanese culture/mythology and doing a shitty, offensively-appropriated job of it. That’s already been done way too fucking much.->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->The plotThis book reminded me of shounen anime and manga like Inuyasha in good and bad ways. The good - that it was filled with action scenes and snappy character dynamics. The bad - the feeling that much of the plot was filler.There’s absolutely nothing wrong with extra scenes for character development here and there, but this novel truly felt episodic in a way I don’t think I’ve ever experienced in a novel before. It read like a compilation volume of a manga with separate, individually-published stories contained within it. Not a bad thing, necessarily, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->ConclusionI think if readers go into Shadow of the Fox expecting an anime-style adventure geared toward tweens and younger teens with elements of Japanese mythology, they will likely have a good time. In thinking about this book for several days after finishing it and in the process of writing this review, I mostly just feel like this was a case of misguided expectations on my part. I blame myself for not enjoying it more. As I put it in one of my goodreads updates for this book, I haven’t felt so bad for not loving a book in a while - I really thought this would be a new favorite for me.Despite my own misgivings, I definitely think that this will be a fun and engaging read for many, and I encourage you to check it out if its premise or synopsis interests you. I think this will be an excellent read for a large number of people, and it might be extra exciting for young Japanese-American teens in particular. Also, it’s got a gorgeous cover, and I have high hopes that the series will improve with future installments of it.So, yeah. Thanks for joining me for another episode of Mo Overthinks Things, and thanks as well for reading all the way to the end if you made it here.->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->Thanks to Edelweiss and Harlequin Teen for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from a pre-release copy and may be subject to change in the final published version.What did you think about this book, if you’ve read it?blog | instagram | twitter | bloglovin
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  • Marie
    January 1, 1970
    Find me:Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | SpotifyA copy was given to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This book requires a great deal of imagination and Google search.That is if you are unfamiliar with Japanese folklore. Granted, things and creatures mentioned in this book are described. There's even a glossary at the end of the book (which I found out too late). But sometimes, our imagination cannot measure up to the real thing. So if you ever read this book and you have no Find me:Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | SpotifyA copy was given to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This book requires a great deal of imagination and Google search.That is if you are unfamiliar with Japanese folklore. Granted, things and creatures mentioned in this book are described. There's even a glossary at the end of the book (which I found out too late). But sometimes, our imagination cannot measure up to the real thing. So if you ever read this book and you have no idea what different types of yokai and demons are supposed to look like, I encourage you to look things up.You might get surprised by cute creatures like this. The Kodama 2 by Allison Reimold Or maybe, this is more your thing. Kamaitachi by Brandon Chang I swear it will make reading this book ten times better. By the end, you will have a whole anime in your head.Seriously.If you’re not familiar with Japanese folklore, this book can get pretty confusing. But fear not! Once you get the hang of things, you won’t be able to stop.This book had everything I wanted. Interesting characters, great world-building, intriguing plot, and engaging writing. Kitsune, shinobi, yokai, legends about magic scrolls, what more could you ask for? If you’re a fan of anime or Japanese culture, this book is definitely for you.Original art by sXeven. Shared by Julie Kagawa on Facebook.The pacing was slow at first but surprisingly, I wasn’t bored. To me, this book is like an introduction — a way for us to get invested in the story and get to know the characters. I feel that it has barely skimmed the surface and there are more secrets and surprises in store. Even when it’s only been a few hours since I finished the first book, I am eagerly anticipating the next one. Because... seriously, just read the book and you will know why. 😭This is my first Julie Kagawa book and it definitely won’t be my last. BRB, I'm buying more.Review can also be found on my blog.
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  • Laurie
    January 1, 1970
    I do not know how I am going to do justice to the awesomeness that is SHADOW OF THE FOX - which I've just finished and my mind is officially blown. It is SO FANTASTIC I DO NOT KNOW WHERE TO START (and am resorting to yelling about how great this is all in caps, apparently). BUT IT'S THAT GOOD! As many exciting twists and turns as Game of Thrones (OMG - the most BRILLIANT surprise POV shift I have EVER SEEN) AND this exciting, cinema-ready fantasy action/adventure is gloriously steeped in Japanes I do not know how I am going to do justice to the awesomeness that is SHADOW OF THE FOX - which I've just finished and my mind is officially blown. It is SO FANTASTIC I DO NOT KNOW WHERE TO START (and am resorting to yelling about how great this is all in caps, apparently). BUT IT'S THAT GOOD! As many exciting twists and turns as Game of Thrones (OMG - the most BRILLIANT surprise POV shift I have EVER SEEN) AND this exciting, cinema-ready fantasy action/adventure is gloriously steeped in Japanese legend and lore (and a beautiful Japanese aesthetic as well). Our main character, the delightful sixteen year old Yumeko, is a kitsune (a fox shapeshifter - with magical kitsune powers like foxfire and the ability to create clone illusions). There is an epic quest (I adore epic quests) involving a dragon scroll and wildly intriguing travelling companions including the mysterious & very serious shadow samurai Tatsumi (who is alluringly broody & has a demon infested sword that is trying to possess him) and a delightfully uncouth, disgraced samurai ronin Okame (along for hilarious comic relief). There are fabulous (and often quite scary) mythical monsters, a sympathetic ghost, a vicious villainess (who is quite chillingly evil) as well as the possibility of a love triangle that is drawn in the background with such a subtle, light hand I was a bit entranced by it. Bravo Julie Kagawa. Take a bow. This book in a new favorite. Most highly recommended. And then some. #TeamBroodyTatsumi (aka #SexyShadowSamurai) #TeamHakaimono #TeamSickleWeasels #TeamKodama #TeamOkame - oh, and can I just mention the magnificent details, like the paper cranes that can actually fly and act as a magical messenger service - this really needs to be a movie #TeamShadowOfTheFoxMovie
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  • Dani - Perspective of a Writer
    January 1, 1970
    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...Raised by monks in the 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 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 of a Thousand Prayers. Whoever holds the scroll will be granted a w Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...Raised by monks in the 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 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 of a Thousand Prayers. Whoever holds the scroll will be granted a wish. Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is hunting the scroll… but as he seeks what she’s hidden away, her deception could tear them apart.The short review...After reading Julie Kagawa's short story in A Thousand Beginnings and Endings and loving it I was super excited to pick up Shadow of the Fox! I got the impression that Yumeko would be a savvy trickster who while innocent is not without her ways... instead I got a helpless and naive girl who I didn't dislike but didn't really stir anything in me for her. She stuck to human form for the most part (hiding her fox features with illusion) and rarely used her fox fire. Which was disappointing because I wanted to see a kitsune in action!The story was saved for me by Yumeko's love interest and the other half of this dual POV narrative... Tatsumi, aided by a shadowy sword and his shadow clan skills. He becomes her travel companion and unwilling servant/warrior guard with a promise to be lead to what he needs to fulfill his duty. In reality the whole deal didn't make a lick of sense and he went along with a bunch of things a little too willingly! I still found his dark, shadowy and a little broken. He's in a pretty crappy situation and I just felt for him. I think what made me soften toward Yumeko was that I totally shipped these two! That may sound superficial but this really is a slow burn romance... there are real reasons why these two can't ever be together and yet they made their impromptu road trip so fun! I know, how is that?! Well I loved all the Japanese mythology for one... we ran into all sorts of yokai and it was worked into the story in very neat ways. We also gain some other companions... I think that is always fun, the more the merrier on a road trip!! The ronin was perhaps my favorite but we also gain a mysterious masked swordsman, a priestess and a monk... This isn't the most creative use of Japanese folklore and there are moments where it feels like something you've read before... however that doesn't stop it from being its own adventure and I quite enjoyed reading it.Cover & Title grade -> B+I don't hate this cover... the mask is pretty neat looking and the colors are nice... but that's it! The mask has nothing to do with the story and doesn't really feel Asian. The red graphic in the background takes some serious concentration before you work out that it is an outline of pagodas. It is a cover that would look pretty on a shelf though!What made Shadow of the Fox enjoyable?-Japanese Mythology...I love yokai and supernatural beings and there was a lot of effort made to pepper different kinds through their journey. The kodama were perhaps my favorite! While Yumeko's kitsune abilities didn't wow me they did have their moments.-Okami!The ronin really was a great addition to Yumeki and Tatsumi's group. He added this tension that the two of them alone didn't have... Right now we accept his place in the story but I can't help thinking his role may be more morally grey than we realize.-The Villains and Shadowy People.The villain for this book is quite fascinating as we learn the different parts of their plan. And there are other powers that be working behind the scenes... we get a little glimpse of them and what a fascinating glimpse it is!-Tatsumi's Struggle!Possessed swords are pretty much a given for Japanese stories and I really enjoyed the tender hooks that it left me on through the entire story... In fact, I'd read the next book just to see how his struggles play out and what Yumeko does about him.As a Writer...I harp on this idea a lot but characters are motivated due to reasons. And Tatsumi's reason to do whatever Yumeko wanted was because of their deal. Okay, makes sense. But characters are also motivated by their back history!! (Hahaha, didn't expect that, did you!?)Tatsumi is a gifted and well, well, well trained shinobi with extreme powers of perception (duh he hunts demons and yokai)... so he should have conflicted with Yumeko more. First, she wasn't doing anything to hide the scroll case, it's pretty obvious what is in it (hint scroll!) and that she probably lied. Here he is a liar himself and never suspects that? Never sees it in her clothing? She never talks about putting an illusion on it! This bugged me the entire time! He’s never trusted anyone and while they talk about how they were raised, the awful way he was treated never effected how he treated Yumeko. It doesn’t add up.There are a couple things that are too easy in Shadow of the Fox, but this is a fun road trip full of Japanese mythology and a found family coming together. Sure, we don't head right for our goal (this is a road trip!) but take many detours and go through obstacle after obstacle, but that's how slow burn romances roll and it makes the entire journey worth it.⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ World BuildingThanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.______________________You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!
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  • Melissa (The Reader & The Chef)
    January 1, 1970
    *This review can also be found on YA Books Central & The Reader and the Chef! Huge thanks to Harlequin Teen for the ARC in exchange of my honest opinion.*Julie Kagawa NEVER disappoints. As a fan who has been following her writing since The Iron Fey series came out, I can truly say that each new work PROVES why she is one of my top favorite authors. Shadow of the Fox is the first installment in a new series full of epic Japanese folklore, humor, adventure, action, and some very subtle but pow *This review can also be found on YA Books Central & The Reader and the Chef! Huge thanks to Harlequin Teen for the ARC in exchange of my honest opinion.*Julie Kagawa NEVER disappoints. As a fan who has been following her writing since The Iron Fey series came out, I can truly say that each new work PROVES why she is one of my top favorite authors. Shadow of the Fox is the first installment in a new series full of epic Japanese folklore, humor, adventure, action, and some very subtle but powerful swoons. This is definitely Julie Kagawa at her best!This book is told in Yumeko and Tatsumi's POVs (with a third minor POV). Yumeko is a half-Kitsune. This means she can shape-shift into a fox and weave illusions. She's full of innocent mischief, though the monks at the Temple where she grew up in would surely say she is nothing but trouble! I LOVED meeting Yumeko and joining her quest to deliver the part of the scroll to another temple that can protect it from those that wish to call on the Kami Dragon. Since she is forced to flee the only home she has ever known and manages to trick a demon slayer into helping her get to the temple, Yumeko quickly proves that she is an amazing heroine as she faces head on all the danger and the unknown, despite always being in a constant state of fear of being discovered and killed because of her true form.Honestly, Yumeko's wonder and awe in every step of the journey as she gets to meet people and different places is the perfect window to fall in love with the world along with her! It's dangerous and full of demons, yes, but also incredibly beautiful and whimsical. What I would give to visit a small village lit by Japanese lanterns once the sun sets! ? Especially if I could have perfect companions such as Yumeko and Tatsumi *swoons*. Also, what I would give to travel with Yumeko, Tatsumi, and the hilarious ronin they pick up on their way. :D The dynamics between Yumeko and Okame are one of the true highlights of this book!However, I must also fangirl over Tatsumi since he is the brooding YA hero we all LOVE to read about! He's the demon slayer from the Shadow Clan and is in possession of the sword Kamigoroshi that holds captive a powerful godslayer, Hakaimono. To not let the demon take control over him (wth potential catastrophic consequences), Tatsumi has been raised to be cold and unfeeling, since the Demon's power feeds from emotions and can take over in an instant. Emotions are a weakness, and Tatsumi has never felt what it means to be cared of.His character is truly complex and being inside his mind in every other chapter is fantastic. As the days go by and he spends more time with Yumeko, you can see his internal conflict as the ice shatters around his heart and mind and he fights to keep himself in control and not lose his mind to the Kamigoroshi.As Julie Kagawa does best, she brings all of the feelings into play and she makes you swoon, laugh, and feel as if you were fighting alongside Yumeko and Tatsumi! Not to mention rooting for them to take the next step and admit their slow burning feelings for each other. ?Final Verdict:Action-packed with incredible world-building, danger at every corner, and with ancient magic and intriguing characters, Shadow of the Fox is THE book I have been waiting all year to devour. This is the book that my heart sings for and now cries for since the ending left me absolutely devastated and desperate for more. Julie Kagawa's books are unmatched and I'm incredibly happy for my tears to feed her muse if it means getting the sequel soon.Undoubtedly, IN LOVE with this book. ♥
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  • Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)
    January 1, 1970
    SO THRILLED for Julie to finally publish a Japanese fantasy. Oh, and it has a super hardcore Inuyasha feel to it ;)Full review to come!
  • Vicky Who Reads
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsI so enjoyed reading this one! It was really nice and refreshing to have an entertaining fantasy with a strong plot arc and endearing characters.Shadow of the Fox was first and foremost a really engaging read. It kept me wanting to read, and it had a likeable main character that I wanted to see more of.I wanted to keep reading, and I wanted to find out next. More and more, I'm seeing books I'm not 100% invested in, but with Shadow of the Fox, I really felt invested in the characters and 4.5 starsI so enjoyed reading this one! It was really nice and refreshing to have an entertaining fantasy with a strong plot arc and endearing characters.Shadow of the Fox was first and foremost a really engaging read. It kept me wanting to read, and it had a likeable main character that I wanted to see more of.I wanted to keep reading, and I wanted to find out next. More and more, I'm seeing books I'm not 100% invested in, but with Shadow of the Fox, I really felt invested in the characters and the storyline and the fate of the world.Julie Kagawa did a wonderful job in creating stakes and urging us to keep reading.I know some people have commented about how "traditional" the storyline is--how it's like so many other fantasies, but ultimately, I disagree.Yes, it might have the hero's journey and an adventure where the main characters pick up a bunch of misfits as they travel to the capital. But unlike most other fantasies--it stars an all-Asian cast, and it has Japanese mythological elements.People like to diss tropes as "outdated"--but it's only outdated because so many white authors have done it with white casts. LET POC HAVE THEIR TROPES. Seriously.I loved this because not only was there a strong, traditional fantasy plot structure, it also had magical and thematic elements that I could really relate to when I see Asian characters in this story.Don't say X trope is dead when you haven't even let POC see themselves in that trope. Please.Anyways, can we all also talk about me undying love for Yumeko? I love her. I love her so much.She's the type of protagonist I ADORE. She might not physically be a warrior, but she is compassionate and caring and a little sneaky and a little wily, but overall with the good of everyone else in mind.Seriously. It was so refreshing to read a compassionate main character who listens to other people and tries to do what's best for others--and it doesn't even come off as forced.Plus, she has the more mischievous yokai side that she struggles with at times, and that kept Yumeko balanced and from falling to flat, in my eyes.The other characters were cool too! I really enjoyed the ragtag band of misfits Yumeko picks up along the way, although I'm not the fondest of Kage. I feel like I didn't get to see enough dimension in Kage to really make a solid judgement on him, and the romance is already starting to hint in this book, which is kind of jarring as I feel like I don't even know him yet.But the characters were all really cool, and the magic system was even more amazing (except when compared to Yumeko. Yumeko is the best.)I like how Kagawa makes the magic system--even though there's no infodump and we're immersed in the world, it wasn't jarring or hard to understand. It all felt very natural to me, and I love all the magical creatures.Overall, I absolutely adored Shadow of the Fox and will definitely be picking up Kagawa's other works after this! I wholeheartedly recommend if you want a well-needed Asian spin on a traditional plot structure of the hero's journey, or if you just want to immerse yourself in a wonderful fantasy with endearing characters.Thank you so much to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for providing me with a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review!Blog | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Abby♡Books
    January 1, 1970
    I love Julie Kagawa books i really do . I have always enjoy her Iron Fey series but the three different perspectives of each characters can be difficult at times but either way I'm excited for book two😍❤
  • Clephiro (The Book Coven)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.Is all Julie Kagawa like this? Because If so, I REALLY need to read her other work. This book was hands-down, one of the most amazing YA fantasy books I've read all year.Yumeko is half-kitsune, living in an isolated shrine with the monks who found her as a child. When tragedy strikes, she sets out with a part of the scroll to summon the Dragon (I feel intense DBZ vibes here). Tatsumi is a cursed member of the Shadow clan. A demon sl I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.Is all Julie Kagawa like this? Because If so, I REALLY need to read her other work. This book was hands-down, one of the most amazing YA fantasy books I've read all year.Yumeko is half-kitsune, living in an isolated shrine with the monks who found her as a child. When tragedy strikes, she sets out with a part of the scroll to summon the Dragon (I feel intense DBZ vibes here). Tatsumi is a cursed member of the Shadow clan. A demon slayer, he is on a quest to recover the scroll, he agrees to help Yumeko reach the Steel Feather Shrine, where he hopes the scroll is located. He has no idea that Yumeko has one of the pieces with her.They are joined by other people along the way - Daisuke a nobleman and Okame a ronin. Of course, none of them have any idea that Yumeko is a kitsune. Along the way they will encounter oni, yurei, and plenty of other dangerous creatures from Japanese folklore. The book features intricate world-building and plenty of Japanese folklore. The characters were amazing, and seeing Yumeko and Tastumi start to care for each other was just too perfect. The book reminded me a lot of an anime, but in a good way. My only criticism is that I could have done without the random Japanese words thrown in. Not really a good reason why SOMETIMES a character needs to say 'hai' instead of yes. It's just not consistently done. I need the next book now.
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