An Epic Fantasy Adventure!
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. ?
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.