Shadow of the Fox took my heart to unexpected and tender places. I basically ended this book thinking, PROTECT EVERYONE AT ALL COSTS.
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.
So I need to protect all these characters, that I like, with my heart because they are precious to me. Yumenko is this shining light in the dark. We are able to really savor our time with each character, to appreciate their individual journeys, before coming together to form the ultimate best rag tag group I’ve read in a while.
I loved witnessing how their friendship, their differences, and their similarities merged. It grows and develops, and by the end of the book I could weep at how tender it is. And that’s kind of how I feel about this book. I didn’t really expect these characters to move me so much, but they did. And I’m left with this tender puddle of feelings towards the book as a whole waiting for the next one.
A theme I really loved was this idea of being good. Yumenko struggles with the balance of her kitsune side and her human side. Time and again she’s told various things. But she has to figure out for herself the type of person she is. And throughout the book, this balancing, these actions that fall on both sides, touch your heart.
She’s just trying to do the right thing. To be guided by what she was taught, and her own instinct.
Not only that, but other characters struggle with this battle too. I can’t really tell you which ones and what I like about it without spoilering, so all I’ll see is that they struggle with this internal choice each day. We have to fight an even bigger battle. The battle against ourselves being turned into weapons.
Shadow of the Fox is much like an epic story. It follows a quest like format with these mini challenges and picking up members all the way. It is full of secrets, dangers, power plays, and deception. At the same time, it asks us important questions about honor, promises, and responsibilities. This multiple perspective novel allows for a comprehensive growing of story, world, and characters. And I want more lovable blunders, mistakes, and quests!