Review: Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Book Blurb

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.

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Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

This book has a Japanese theme with Samurai and Emperors in Imperial Japan.  It also has a paranormal flare with shapeshifters, witches, demons, and shadows.  Yumeko is the main character.  She is young, without family, living among monks in a Temple.  She is half kitsune with fox magic.  A number of the monks fear her, but master Isao knows what her future role will be.  This book has a darkness to it.  Demons are raised by blood magic. They are set upon the earth to find the scrolls that will raise the Great Dragon.  Then throw in the other groups wanting the scroll. Yumeko is given the task of delivering one of the scrolls to another Temple.  She picks up help along the way.  The warrior of shadow, Tatsumi, becomes her partner.  He has his own secrets.  They pick up a dishonored samurai and a member of the royal family before the story is done.  They face great enemies and work together as they make their way to Capital City.  Yumeko is so innocent to the world that it adds to the story.  Her kindness to others and doing what’s right really propels the group.  Those in her group strive to protect her but she is able to take care of herself.  She is a great character full of courage and strength.  I also   like Tatsumi.  He was raised to believe a certain thing.  He is a weapon for his clan, the demon slayer.  I like the constant battle he has with the sword and his emotions.  It gives another dynamic to the story.  The complexity of the situation grows when you view what each character has to do and what drives them. It was a great read.  I give it a 4 out of 5. 

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