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Parents' Guide to

Shadow of the Fox, Book 1

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Samurai, demons, Japanese folklore; very cool, kind of gory.

Book Julie Kagawa Fantasy 2018
Shadow of the Fox, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids say (4 ):

The start of this Japanese-inspired fantasy series is not always executed cleanly but feels entirely fresh and bursting with cool ideas as it mixes samurai, demons, and folklore. A glossary would have helped immensely -- Wikipedia does a little -- as many readers are introduced to kitsune (foxes), yokai (half-human beings), kami (spirits), yurei (ghosts), and oni (big, nasty demons). Old samurai movies and the wonderful Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon will also familiarize readers with this kind of storytelling. Foes appear in the woods and small villages during the quest, some with supernatural powers, some just highly skilled swordsmen and archers, and need to be vanquished one after the other. Author Julie Kagawa's foes are all fascinating, as are her two leads: Yumeko, a naive yokai outside the monastery for the first time, and Tatsumi, a trained assassin who's never known kindness and will become possessed by his demon sword if he shows too much of it.

Yumeko is not always a clearly drawn character. One minute she's naive, another she's cunning and resourceful. Tatsumi's fear that he's losing himself to the power of the sword is not explored as much as it could be -- too bad, because it's a fantastic idea. Still, there are huge surprises at the end to gear readers up for the next installment.

Book Details

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