Blog Tour: Shadow Of The Fox by Julie Kagawa
Shadow Of The Fox is one of my favourite YA reads this year, and it is your new YA fantasy addiction. Set in a world of demons and tree-spirits, ghosts and shapeshifters, it follows a girl on her quest to prevent a terrible power from falling into the wrong hands.
I was delighted to be invited on to the blog tour and I particularly wanted to hear how Japanese mythology had shaped the book. My friend Christina has lived and worked in Japan and knows the language and culture well. When I visited her in October, she introduced me to a whole landscape which I had never known before. Shadow Of The Fox took me further into this landscape and made me hungry for more fantasy inspired by world mythology.
A big thank-you to Julie Kagawa for taking the time to tell us how mythology shaped your story.
About Shadow Of The Fox and Japanese mythology – Julie Kagawa.
Shadow of the fox’s main protagonist is Yumeko, a girl who is also half-kitsune. Kitsune are the magical, shapeshifting foxes of Japanese legend, and one of their most beloved creatures of myth. Kitsune appear everywhere in Japan: in anime and manga, folktales, toys and video games, even in food. Kitsune udon (noodles) and Inari zushi (tofu sushi) are tied to foxes, as both have a sweet fried tofu pouch that is said to be a kitsune’s favorite food. Fox statues can be found at Japanese shrines, particularly the Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto, as kitsune are also messengers of Inari, the god of rice.
In Shadow of the Fox, Yumeko struggles with the two sides of herself. She wants to be a good human, but she is also mischievous and loves playing pranks due to her kitsune nature. Having lived in an isolated temple all her life, she is very innocent and naive to the world, but she has a fox’s intelligence and learns quickly. Which will come in handy when she flees her home and runs into all manner of Japanese monsters and yokai. Yumeko isn’t a warrior, but she is kitsune, and will have to use all of her cunning, magic and fox talents if she wants to survive.