Scion of the Fox
Author: S.M. Beiko
Release Date: Oct 17, 2017
Publisher: ECW Press
Format: paperback ARC
Source: Indigo Teen/ECW Press
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. (Goodreads)
*I received a copy of this book from Indigo Teen & ECW Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion.*
You had me at talking fox spirit and it somehow only got better from there! Scion of the Fox was a magical, exciting, and captivating read.
Character wise this was an interesting book for me. I didn’t particularly like Roan but I sure as heck was rooting for her. I was, however, instantly drawn to Phae and Sil. Phae was an amazing best friend/sidekick/apocalypse crew member and Sil was the perfect, saucy animal familiar for the MC. All the main and secondary characters were well written and I had super vivid mental images of all of them while reading. (Don’t ask me for a fan cast though…I don’t know nearly enough actors 😝)
The mythology was also a huge draw for me. My only complaint is that I wish there were more…but like a whole book more. Clearly my demands are a tad ridiculous. I’m excited to see what the mythology of this world sets up for the coming books. (THAT ENDING!!!)
As for the plot, I will say it was a bit jarring at first just how much the pace picked up in the last portion of the book. Once I became more accustomed to how fast everything was moving I just held on for dear (Deer) life and hoped all my babies made it out alive!! I love how the ending sets up for more stories to come in this series.
This was a great YA fantasy; especially for those of us who love a good talking animal! I also enjoyed just how Canadian it is. I can’t wait for the next one! (Seriously, what do I have to trade to get it tomorrow?)
Guest Post: S.M. Beiko’s Writing Process
“Where do you get your ideas” is the big groan-joke in the writing and publishing world. There’s no answer. It’s essentially rhetorical. Yet, no matter what, I get it at every single author-related event I appear at and it’s something I think about a lot. The answer is never as simple as people want it to be, but I get it: humans are naturally curious creatures, and when you, as a writer, spend your life hallucinating vividly then sharing those hallucinations with the world, it’s only natural to ask—but, like, HOW.
Stories are still strange things to me, even though I’ve been telling them to myself since I was old enough to daydream. I don’t know where they come from, and can’t tell you the location of their wellspring to dip in for yourself. It’s different for everyone. But you certainly get better at it as time goes on, and when you learn how to use certain skills.
Honing the ability to observe things from a quiet distance is probably a writer’s greatest asset. Put your phone down and look at the world around you. There’s lots going on! There’s even more going on below the surface. Then start asking yourself wild hypotheticals and penetrating super-sleuth questions.
Now you’ve suddenly uncovered a story that wasn’t there before. Case in point: the only reason I wrote Scion of the Fox was because, one winter’s night, walking home from the gym on alongside the Assiniboine River, a wild fox ran by me and disappeared into the trees. I automatically asked myself this question: “What if that fox followed me home and presented me with a fantastic mission?”
Et voila, it’s a trilogy.
It sounds either ludicrously easy or still awfully vague and complicated. This isn’t how it is every time. You could be watching a film, listening to an engaging song, and suddenly you see a scene with characters whose names you don’t know and it’s all unfolding very, very vividly in your head. But it’s just a building block, or a keystone. You don’t know how those people got there, who they are, what their conflicts are. All you know is you want to tell their story—and somehow you’re going to figure it out. You dip into that tool box, ask the big questions, and you’re off.
Whether you just sit down and ‘let the words flow’, or you plot everything out piece by piece, you have to discover what that process is for you and whether it works or not. At the moment, I lean on a combination of both—a rough sketch of events and characters, and a bit of organic ‘pantsing’ to connect the dots. This might work for you or it might not, but the only way you’re going to know? By sitting down and getting started.
Stories and their inspirational kernels are strange things indeed, one of the truest forms of magic I know. Maybe some stories aren’t meant to be told. Maybe they fight you and they don’t quite work out as you planned. But I’ve always tried to let them lead me a little and never forget to enjoy the ride of sheer discovery I’m on.
But when that idea comes knocking, it doesn’t matter where it came from. There’s a different question you need to ask: “Do I have the courage to tell this story?”
Then you sit down, hallucinate vividly, and find out for yourself.