Source: From ECW Press in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.
Scion of the Fox by S.M. Beiko
Series: The Realms of the Ancient #1
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
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.
Praise for Scion of the Fox:
“A thrilling tale underscored by excellent, deep, and unique world-building.” — Kelley Armstrong, #1 New York Times bestselling author“A smart, complex, animal-based fantasy.” — Kirkus Reviews“S.M. Beiko's Scion of the Fox is the thrilling first installment in what will surely be an exceptionally imaginative trilogy. Roan Harken is an instantly relatable heroine, a girl with guts and moxie in spades, and Beiko moves her story from hilarious to heartbreaking with true literary grace. Evocative prose and crisp, crackling dialogue perfectly define this rich fantasy world. I can't wait for Book Two!” — Charlene Challenger, author of The Voices in Between and The Myth in Distance“In Scion of the Fox, S.M. Beiko introduces us to Roan, a wry, fierce young woman whose world changes in the blink of an infected eye. She's more than she has ever imagined, and there's enchantment everywhere — flying, running, and swimming around her — transforming everything and everyone she has ever known. Beiko's magic-steeped Winnipeg is a marvel, and Roan is a delight. I look forward to following her into her next adventure.” — Caitlin Sweet, author of The Pattern Scars
Scion of the Fox is the first book in the Realms of Ancients series. It follows Roan, a high schooler with an incredible family history waiting to be discovered. When she is attacked and almost sacrificed to a river monster, she starts to learn that things in Winnipeg are not as they might appear. There are ancient families that have animal counterparts and they must offer up their children, 1 every year, to the darkling in the river so that they are not flooded.
So what can you expect? The is a lot of world building in this book so the plot takes a little while to pick up, but once you are in it, you are in it for the long haul. Beiko does a good job giving the reader just enough information to keep them hooked while leaving enough out to have the story progress. I found the pacing a little slow in the first half but I flew through the second half.
I liked the characters, they were different and interesting, but also all had issues and were trying to overcome them in their own ways, or in some cases not at all. I liked that Roan was able to grow through this experience at least a little.
As for the overall plot, it was very interesting. I liked the idea of this monster living here on earth and just going unseen by so many. I liked the alternate beings the Human/Animal mash-ups. I think that some of the big-hitting twists were very obvious from the beginning and while I enjoy when I can figure those things out, it does leave a bit to be desired in the end.
So in the end I enjoyed this book quite a bit, it was a lot of information and world building in one book, so I am interested to see how the next in the series are written, will there be more action now that the playing field is out there? I am curious. I think that teen readers that enjoy fantasy will enjoy this one.
About the Author
S.M. Beiko has been writing and drawing strange, fantastical things since before she can remember. She currently works as a freelance editor, graphic designer, and consultant and is the co-publisher of ChiZine Publications and ChiGraphic. Her first novel, The Lake and the Library, was nominated for the Manitoba Book Award for Best First Book as well as the 2014 Aurora Award. Scion of the Fox is the first book of the Realms of Ancient trilogy. Samantha lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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