Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Book 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.

Book Details

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
Shadow of the Fox Series #1
Published on October 2nd 2018 by Harlequin Teen
Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Epic
Hardcover, 416 pages
Source: Edelweiss
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars


Book Review

SHADOW OF THE FOX takes an unlikely heroine, a half-kitsune and half-human, teenage-girl who has been raised by monks and sets her on an epic quest that takes her across a magical landscape inspired by Japanese mythology.

There is so much to love in this first installment of the Shadow of the Fox series!

In a land riddled with danger, Yumeko will come across demons, shapeshifters, witches, and samurai. On her journey to keep part of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers safe, she will come across a motley crew of unlikely allies in order to keep the great Kami Dragon from rising and plunging the land of Iwagoto into darkness.

Kagawa creates such a vivid world filled with beautiful imagery and populated by characters you'll come to adore and won't soon forget.

SHADOW OF THE FOX introduces readers to a Yumeko, a half-kitsune and half-human, teenage-girl and gives us a heroine to adore. Though she can wield a touch of magic, it is her innocent wisdom and unflinching loyalty which make her such a wonderful character to follow. I loved seeing through her eyes each new and unlikely ally, some once enemies, and how they invariably want to follow this young kitsune on her mission.

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.
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa - image taken by Book Swoon

This is very much a quest-style story.

It's all about the strange creatures, magic, and characters you come across. The pace is leisurely but builds as the quest gets close to its conclusion. I truly did not know what to expect as Yumeko encounters so many strange things. I never knew for sure if someone was going to remain friend or foe throughout, which made for a really interesting read.

The landscape of Iwagoto is brimming with magic.

Inspired by Asian mythology, Shadow of the Fox features some the most unforgettable creatures I've come across recently in YA literature. A jorōgumo, half-woman/half-spider with a deadly taste for the flesh of human men, weasels with sickle-wielding appendages, a giant-demon bear, and a deadly wind-witch are just a few Yumeko will come across on her quest. There's a demon bound sword, ghosts, the Shadow Clan, and of course, and an unlikely cast of side characters readers will find themselves completely invested in.

In the End

The quest to keep the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers safe is only the beginning of the story and I cannot wait for the next installment in this fantastic new Japanese inspired fantasy series. Once again, Julie Kagawa has created an exciting world to love, characters to adore, and villains that are truly worth their salt in badness.