There are certain things I wish for in my bookish dreams. Some of them are more easily fulfilled and others have yet to be fulfilled or I have to scavenge really hard to find them. They exist, but not in a large amount. Books, specifically YA, never take place in or have characters from El Salvador (id est. Rendz’s family’s place of origin). I may be wrong, though I doubt it. So that’s a dream still not fulfilled, but perhaps someday.
Now YA set in Canada is another dream. It’s a lot easier to find books set in Canada/with Canadian characters! There are lists on Goodreads that I can scroll down and so on!
So pretty much all books set in Canada get put into my TBR, no questions asked. This was one of those books, so when I saw it on NetGalley you I snatched it up fast!
Scion of the Fox by S.M. Beiko
As the winter ice begins to thaw, the fury of a demon builds — all because one girl couldn’t stay dead . . .
Roan Harken considers herself a typical high school student — dead parents, an infected eyeball, and living in the house of her estranged, currently comatose grandmother (well, maybe not so typical) — but she’s uncovering the depth of the secrets her family left behind. Saved from the grasp of Death itself by a powerful fox spirit named Sil, Roan must harness mysterious ancient power . . . and quickly. A snake-monster called Zabor lies in wait in the bed of the frozen Assiniboine River, hungry for the sacrifice of spirit-blood in exchange for keeping the flood waters at bay. Thrust onto an ancient battlefield, Roan soon realizes that to maintain the balance of the world, she will have to sacrifice more than her life in order to take her place as Scion of the Fox.
American Gods meets Princess Mononoke in this powerful first installment of a trilogy sure to capture readers’ imaginations everywhere.
*My deepest gratitude to the publisher for providing me with a copy! This does not affect my opinions!*
Well this was definitely an interesting read no doubt. It was a little bit of a roller coaster ride in terms of how I felt about it at times while reading, but overall it was a pretty fun read! With an added bonus that it’s set in Canada!
What I Liked
Roan: Our lovely chosen one. (As she so warmly names herself) Um…I actually have some mixed feelings about her. She was a very entertaining character to follow. She definitely wasn’t the perfect hero! She felt like giving up multiple times (she almost did), but like the good heroine she is, she pulled through. She made not so intelligent decisions, some of them more mind-boggling than others (more on that later). I wouldn’t label her as my fave character, but she was alright.
Sil: Sil was an interesting character to follow! She was the not fairy god mother but still the wise figure in Roans adventure. Wise and very sassy. I really enjoyed her banter with Roan as it made the book a whole lot more entertaining.
Eli: Very interesting. Very troublesome. Not exactly a villain but definitely possesses some evilish qualities. Not exactly the most romantic hero for Roan either (like they have issues)….but unless I read into it wrong he’s feeling something! (There wasn’t any romance in the book, I’m just pointing out from observation!)
Other characters…Roan had a great cast of friends by her side. Phae, Barton, Natti and more who helped her survive her journey. There were secondary characters that were less likeable, but that I liked to hate so I had fun following them too.
Setting: Le duh! Set in Canada, specifically Winnipeg (a city I be never actually visited…I haven’t visited a lot of Canada FYI) The story takes places during the winter so the atmosphere really contrasts with Roan and makes her stand out! Where she burns bright with fire her surroundings are very cold, ominous and chilling. And then as the story melts into spring, her fire gets more intense and the big show down happens.
Magic System: While I liked it, it was also kind of hard to wrap my head around. I liked the use of the elements and the Ancient system that passed down their powers from generation to generation. It was classic so I enjoyed it. What stumped me were the animal familiars. I didn’t have a problem with the Owls, Fox, Seal or Deer….what stumped me was the Rabbit, representative of the earth element. It was just funny to imagine because I see earth as a strong and fortifying element but envisioning cute little bunnies kind of threw me off (and it didn’t help that the people descending from this line looked jittery and scared). I don’t know, it just didn’t work for me. Otherwise, I really like the Magic and its ties to humanity and the villain.
What I Disliked
Predictive: I saw a few things from a mile away, that were really no surprises or shocking revelations. I felt that the intensity of the novel was low, there weren’t any really OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG moments, but it wasn’t completely flat either. I think this was a little juvenile for me despite some of the more mature themes.
Trope Talking: This book had some tropes in which I was like, whatever *shrug* But then the author goes and makes fun of the tropes within the book…in which I was like okay….? The obvious one is the Chosen One trope, ie Roan. She actually poked fun and makes jokes about being the Chosen one….and continues to do so throughout the story. It was funny at first, but then it gets annoying so I really could have done without it. The author does this with a few other tropes too: the white saviour w/ a diverse side cast and the old wise person, dead parents are some examples. It’s kind of like saying “these tropes kind of suck, but I’m going to use them anyways!”
Roan’s Idiot Mistake, for being an Idiot Chosen One: I read about 400 pages of Roan trying to stop Eli from being evil. She helps him get through some intense struggle and y’all, they pull through. And then in the final chapter, she made the same damn choices as evil-Eli so now she is at risk of becoming evil! Was she not present for the earlier chapters of the book??? Did she not realize the consequences of her decision??? Apparently this book is a cycle, and we are going to get right back where we started.
Overall, I did enjoy most of the book. It was fun and magical. A little flat in some areas, but it was a solid read.
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Recommend: I think this would work well with younger YA readers
Let me know what you think! Have you read this? What are some of your favourite tropes? What are some of your least?