Scion of the Fox: The Realms of Ancient

S.M. Beiko. ECW (Legato, U.S. dist.; Jaguar, Canadian dist.), $16.95 trade paper (440p) ISBN 978-1-77041-357-3
This first installment in a fantasy trilogy by Beiko (The Lake and the Library) has an interesting premise and a lively protagonist but would benefit from stronger worldbuilding. Roan Harken is a sarcastic high school student living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her story begins when she is told by a mystical fox named Sil that she belongs to the fox family, one of five powerful animal families that live among humans. These families are connected to Ancient, the spirit of the universe. Roan and Sil are quick to fall into a steady rhythm of entertaining, though slightly contrived, banter from which Roan learns that she will be the one to overthrow Zabor, a powerful river demon with whom the five families made a desperate pact many years before. Roan must first learn how to wield her newly discovered fire powers and then unite all five families in order to defeat the demon before the coming spring. Although she says she feels unprepared as she gathers allies for the battle, Roan overcomes obstacles with relative ease. The story is entertaining, but the underdeveloped world and cast of characters fail to warrant readers’ full investment. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 472 pages - 978-1-77041-431-0
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