Review “Shadow of the Fox Series”, by Julie Kagawa

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Shadow of the Fox / Soul of the Sword / Night of the Dragon

By Julie Kagawa


I have always had a fascination with Japanese culture and if you are into the beautiful old customs of this island and also have a love for folklore, then these books are as perfect for you as they were for me.

The story centers around a yokai which is a Japanese monster, spirit or demon. In this case it is half-kitsune, which is a fox most commonly known for being a trickster. The young kitsune girl grows up as an orphan in the sheltered environment of a monastery where they teach her that she should keep a tight lead on her fox side (even hide them) and focus on her human aspects as much as possible. Kitsunes are able to create powerful illusions. 

Known for the many tricks she plays on unsuspecting monks and people around her, she comes home late one evening  to find the monastery destroyed by a multitude of demons, including a massive Oni. Still she manages to slip into the monastery to find the monks who taught and raised her. Most of them are already dead, but Master Isao is temporarily protected by the monks who are still living. He tells her the monks have really been guardians of a piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers all this time and now he wishes to give the scroll to her so she can bring it to the other guardians. 

Once every thousand years, the Kami (which is a greater God) dragon will grant a wish to the human who has the scroll. Some time in the past the scroll was divided into three pieces after a wish caused the land to be plunged into chaos and ruin. Since it has been a thousand years since the last wish many different parties are simultaneously in pursuit of the pieces of the scroll.

Yumeko, the kitsune, is in complete shock by all that has happened but she finds a way to escape the monastery and the demons with the small lacquered box containing the scroll.

In the woods nearby she runs into a young Samurai by the name of Kage Tatsumi. He is headed towards the monastery but the young girl convinces him to travel with her instead, telling him the monks sent their piece of the scrolls to another temple. Eager to obtain the scroll for his clan, the Shadow clan, he offers her his protection in exchange for leading him to the hidden temple.

Together they embark on a journey that leads them to encounter many different obstacles and other yokai from old Japanese folklore. They also accumulate a great group of, sometimes unexpected, allies. 

The POV changes from Yumeko to Tatsumi but it is indicated at the beginning of the chapter so it is not confusing.

I personally loved these books and I couldn’t wait to get back to reading them! The first two were better than the last book but it did all come together in the end. I definitely recommend reading this trilogy. There are a lot of Japanese words used but there is a dictionary of those words at the back.

The only thing missing would have perhaps been some illustrations of the different monsters and demons. Although there are good descriptions of them in the book, I found myself Googling some of them just to see what they looked like… 

Hope everyone is staying safe with loads of books!! 

stay home and read - Google Zoeken


Mage’s Blood (Moontide Quartet #1) by David Hair


Title: Mage’s Blood
Series: The Moontide Quartet
Author: David Hair
Genre: Fantasy
Published: September 27th, 2012
Page Count:705 pages
Reviewer: Rowan
Rating: 4 4



This is my first review so bare with me, I hope you will enjoy it.

When I first started reading this book I was a bit overwhelmed with the sheer amount of places, and characters I needed to familiarize myself with. After sticking with it, I must say that I am glad that I did because it is definitely worth it.

The story takes us to a Urte, a fictional land which does resemble our own world in many ways. The people, their different belief structures and the on-going friction between certain religions as well as people of different races are similar to what we experience in everyday life and this does make it easy to relate to. The big difference is that Urte is magical.

The book counts down to the Moontide, which is when a magical bridge between the two lands, Antiopia and Yuros, normally divided by water, is accessible due to the retreating tide. This occurs only once every 12 years. When it does, inhabitants of both lands can cross the bridge for a period of one year. They do so for a plethora of reasons, mostly for commercial/trading purposes. Emperors have employed Magi for many years to plunder the lands on the other side of the bridge. A very powerful Magi was also the one who built the magical bridge.

As I previously stated, there are a lot of different povs. Each chapter gives a little back story, also the time (counting down to the moontide) and the place. Almost every chapter focuses on a different character. Some storylines will overlap of course when the characters meet one another and share adventures. That being said, I did not find it difficult to align myself with several favorite characters from the start.

As perhaps any woman might, I was immediately drawn to Elena and her plight. Being torn between her former life as a spy/assassin and her growing attachment to her current ‘targets’ Cera Nesti, a princess and her little brother the crown prince, Timori, she puts herself in a very dangerous position when she decides to abandon her mission and protect those she was meant to assassinate.

We also follow Gurvon Gyle, a master manipulator and Elena’s former boss and lover. Alaron, Elena’s cousin and his best friends, Cym and Ramon. A young girl named Ramita, her best friend Huriya, her childhood boyfriend Kazim and her new husband Antonin Meiros. There are of course many more but each of these have pivotal parts to play in the book. The book contains some political storylines as several characters are motivated by power and a desire to rule but it also has all the ingredients of a great quest inside of it. So I do believe there is something for everyone.

LBGTQ characters are featured in this series which I love because sometimes I find that the fantasy genre is extremely straight! I also enjoy that it has more emotional depth that some more ‘battle’ oriented fantasy series. I love it when characters have emotional depth and are not merely swinging their swords around the entire time. All of the characters’ paths are linked in one way or another which becomes increasingly more obvious while reading. Their threads continue to entangle throughout the three books that follow this one.

It is of course recommend to read the entire quartet but once you start this one, I doubt you will be able to stop. The first book mostly introduces you to the different characters, places and customs so you can get to know them a bit before the author turns all of their futures upside down. Each of them must face new hardships and situations they had not anticipated. I do not wish to spoiler too much so I highly suggest picking up the book and getting transported to this world David Hair has so wonderfully mapped out for us.


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