An engaging Young Adult Japanese Fantasy.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
Ketsueki would give anything to find out why her mentor Akikumo, the last wolf in Japan, abandoned her. He left her with other kitsune at the Inari Shrine, but she doesn’t fit in. And now the other kitsune are bullying her and saying Akikumo is dead.
After causing trouble for the hundredth time, the Inari, instead of punishing her, has given Ketsueki a task: she must find out what happened to Akikumo. She quickly agrees, not realizing the delinquent son of the shrine’s head priest must accompany her.
Will Ketsueki be able to make peace with a human? Or will her years of resentment make this partnership impossible?
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
Ketsueki is a kitsune, a fox spirit. She has been traveling Japan for thousands of years with her mentor and best friend, Akikumo, a wolf spirit. But Akikumo leaves Ketsueki in a shrine and goes away. Nobody knows where he is, or if he is even alive. The Inari gives Ketsueki a task – find Akikumo and take the head priest’s delinquent son, Yamato, with her on the journey. However, Ketsueki is wary of humans due to her past. Will they survive this journey?
The Legend of Akikumo opens with a flashback to a brutal incident in the past and instantly engaged my attention. It has dual timelines – one in the modern-day, and another journaling Ketsueki and Akikumo’s time with each other over a thousand years. The dual timelines were well executed.
I found the book easy to read. There is a smattering of Japanese words throughout the novel. However, after reading the glossary twice, I got the hang of the Japanese words and it was easy to follow the story after that.
FULL OF ADVENTURES AND JAPANESE FOLKLORE
Although this is my first time reading a Japanese folktale inspired novel, I enjoyed reading it. The book is full of adventures and richly imbued with Japanese folklore. The story flows smoothly and is written in a lucid language. Although the target audience is YA, even teens can read it due to the use of simple language. However, people looking for an intricately detailed book may find it lacking.
A SPUNKY HEROINE
I loved Ketsueki in this novel. She is spunky and does not accept injustice. Despite being a thousand-year-old kitsune, she possesses a childlike innocence and fierce loyalty to Akikumo who fills the role of a guardian in her life. Further, the relationship between Akikumo and Ketsueki was endearing.
The last fifty pages elevated the book to the level of 3.5 stars for me. The climax was poignant and beautiful. Who knew so deep a loss could lead to freedom?
The Legend of Akikumo by Dani Hoots is recommended for young adult readers looking for a story of self-discovery that combines fantasy and Japanese folklore.
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Many thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for organizing this blog tour. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
Dani Hoots is a science fiction, fantasy, romance, and young adult author who loves anything with a story. She has a B.S. in Anthropology, a Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning, a Certificate in Novel Writing from Arizona State University, and a BS in Herbal Science from Bastyr University
Currently she is working on a YA urban fantasy series called Daughter of Hades, a YA urban fantasy series called The Wonderland Chronicles, a historic fantasy vampire series called A World of Vampires, and a YA sci-fi series called Sanshlian Series. She has also started up an indie publishing company called FoxTales Press. She also works with Anthill Studios in creating comics through Antik Comics.
Her hobbies include reading, watching anime, cooking, studying different languages, wire walking, hula hoop, and working with plants. She is also an herbalist and sells her concoctions on FoxCraft Apothecary. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and visits Seattle often.