|Series: Tales of Akatsuki #1||Genre: fantasy, retelling|
|Date of Publishing: August 14th 2015||Publisher: Self-Published|
Quote of the Book
A warmth enveloped Rin. Like a blanket wrapped around her, it forced the hair back into the follicles and her strength waned. She threw herself against the barrier walls again and again, but it made no difference. She changed, returning to her humanlike form. She fell to the ground, heaving for breath. She looked up at the old woman through a curtain of ebony hair.
It was dark out, darker than she remembered. She opened her mouth to speak, but nothing would come out. She glared at the woman.
“I have made you mortal, a form you despise. I will return you to your real form once you complete a task for me. I need you to break the treaty between the Kaedemori clan and Fujikawa clan. End their pact by the next full moon or I will turn you into a real fox.”
Rescuing him was a mistake. Falling in love was unthinkable. Because to save her own life, she has to destroy his. Rin is an immortal kitsune, or at least she was until a witch’s curse turned her human. To regain her yokai powers and avoid being turned into a fox, she must make the lord’s son fall in love with her before the next full moon. Her kind has been seducing humans for centuries, and it should be easy, as long as he doesn’t find out she’s a kitsune… except that the curse also took her voice. Hikaru is betrothed to the daughter of a rival lord, and he will fulfill his duty, protecting his clan from others and from the yokai. But when he’s saved by a mysterious red-haired woman, he can’t forget her, try as he might. Then she turns up at his door… Only it can’t be his savior, because this woman has ebony hair, but there’s something inexplicably bewitching about her. Yet his father’s treaty depends on his marriage to another, and even an innocent dalliance could ruin everything. Falling in love is dangerous for them both. Not only are they from different worlds, but their time together can only end in heartache. Hikaru’s marriage means security for his clan, and Rin must destroy it or be turned into a fox. And truly loving Hikaru means revealing she’s one of the hated yokai and an immortal. Will they risk it all for love? Or will their two worlds rip them apart for good? Fans of fairy tale retellings, anime, and manga love Kitsune: A Little Mermaid Retelling, an old tale retold from a fresh perspective.
Song of the Book
I have struggled to find a song for this book for weeks since there is an underlying love story between very different people it’s been tough. I happen to hear this one today and thought that’s it (might have been a bit of an excuse to use it because I love P!nk)!
P!nk – Love Me Anyway
I’m a sucker for fairy-tale retellings but they can only shake it up so much, which is why this book caught my eye. The little Mermaid as a kitsune? Pffght… sign me up right now!
I loved the idea but this story did leave me with some mixed feelings.
So, I really liked the blend of the yokai lore with the little mermaid. At first glance it seems like quite an odd mix and the two tale’s a broad jump from one another. Probably because the lighter Disney version of The Little Mermaid is the first thing to come to mind, and then on top of that fish and foxes, seem about as far apart as you can get. In actuality the tales have a lot of similarities as they both involve creatures that lure humans to feed off of them.
This isn’t as dark as all of that and the mash-up did work really well for me. I liked how the plot of the little mermaid was used with a twist; in this she had to break the treaty between the two nations to regain her voice and yokai abilities as a kitsune, or be stuck as a plain old fox forever. It doesn’t matter who she uses or how she does it – as long as the treaty is broken. The prince Hikaru, is the easiest choice until her feelings get in the way.
I thought the yokai parts of the story were very intriguing and I loved how the lore and the yokai interacted with the world around the Prince, with the shrines, beliefs etc… and I would have loved a deeper look at that folklore and also of the social hierarchy of Yokai’s world.
Most of my mixed feelings had to do with the characters and the style.
There just wasn’t much there for me to connect or love about the characters. Rin especially, whom I would expect to be the most memorable, doesn’t have much of a personality and we are relying on the things we know as lore about the mischief loving kitsunes to fill out her details.
And outside of Rin, and the Prince, there are a huge amount of side characters; each with a different agenda. I had a hard time keeping track of some of them because they were all busy plotting and some were in disguise, so I couldn’t even use who was allied with who, to help keep them straight in my head.
There is a far larger and more complicated story at work here than what it first appears to be, unfortunately everything is all tangled together and we don’t understand the characters’ motivations sometimes until after the fact, or even at all.
This is partly because this is told in that leap-frog style, that I complain about every now and again – where everything moves briskly and/or jumps ahead, and then we get some conversation or flashbacks to back-fill the story and explain certain things.
With the sheer amount of characters running around plotting, this style does make it a bit confusing to see the bigger picture while waiting for things to iron out, and some motivations never were crystal clear. Like the Witch who seemed to have her fingers in everyone’s pie, manipulating things but I was never quite sure why she was doing it.
It is possible her motivations are explained later in the series (I assume she is a recurring character) and I have a few guesses as well but that doesn’t do anything to give me answers for this story.
A little extra editing would have helped to clean up the writing with things like clearer understandings of changes in attitudes (the servants are scared of Rin for whatever reason but later they’re treating her like a princess), repetition in the story (tells us he’s going to leave and then explains his leaving kind of stuff) and that jumpiness that comes from trying to touch on one too many unnecessary characters to fill in the ever-growing twistiness of the plot.
I don’t mean to sound like I only have complaints – there is a lot to love about Kitsune, and though the story might need a little ironing out here and there, it was a very cool retelling of The Little Mermaid. This would be worth checking out if you are at all interested in retellings, or just looking for some fun stories involving yokais.
|Available: Amazon||Author website: NicoletteAndrews|