🌟 🌟 🌟 .5
I was completely entranced with this magical, rich and often dark fantasy world that Kagawa has created, in particular, her heroine and the other yōkai characters introduced. Though seemingly naïve, Yumeko undergoes great development and has the uncanny ability to improve and uplift those around her, no matter how deceptive and irredeemable they are and I liked her general attitude.
The parallels this book holds with the Wizard of Oz didn’t become apparent to me until we had collected our fourth companion and the book, though containing a lot about walking and travelling, did hold the feeling of adventure and mystery.
The mythology and world building were perhaps my favourite parts as the romance arc and several plotlines were a tad tropey and predictable. I know that these things don’t often impact my own enjoyment of a well-written book but I know other reads who would be put off by several of the clichés subscribed to in Shadow of the Fox. For instance, the dark, brooding (not to mention tragically good looking) assassin with demonic ties with no apparent emotions simply had to fall hopelessly in love, despite it going against his very character makeup; it was practically pre-ordained.
My only problematic area stems from the above point in that I wish YA fantasy authors would appreciate the significance of mixed gender, platonic relationships. This book does, in fact, have a reasonably good one – despite one of the characters being a bit more than questionable in terms of morals – but it felt like a default rather than a planned and meaningful relationship.
Despite these few issues, I did enjoy the story and I think I would like to read a sequel if only to know how it all turns out.
I received a copy of this book from HarlequinTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.