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Beiko, S.M.: Scion of the Fox: The Realms of Ancient, Book 1.

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Beiko, S.M. Scion of the Fox: The Realms of Ancient, Book 1. ECW Press, October 2017. 440p. $16.95. 978-1-77041-357-3.

Ever since she can remember, seventeen-year-old Roan has been drawn to the stone menagerie in her back yard. As a child, she climbed on the deer but she felt special warmth emanating from the stone fox. She still feels strangely drawn to it and is terribly upset when she finds it in pieces. Then, a shape-shifting fox appears to fight off the moth queen, bringer of death. Sil, the fox, is Roan's spirit guide, helping her through a long quest to bring the Five Families of spirit animals together to defeat Zabor, the river snake. The flippant, mocking teen must become the Paramount Fox and cheat the snake out of the agreed-upon sacrifice: Roan.

The author's richly imagined setting encompasses real places in Winnipeg, such as the Assiniboine River, and fantastical places like the obsidian-floored summoning chamber accessed through a secret basement door. The blending of the real and the imagined are portrayed in such visual, cinematic scenes that it is easy to imagine Roan on her bike and Sil's nine tails in a movie. The story's mythical universe is well thought-out, and both teen and adult characters are unique and dynamic. The Five Family spirit animals--fox, rabbit, owl, seal, and deer--all have connections to cultural legends, lending depth to the story. Although pacing is slow and the story long, fantasy fans will want more. Two sequels are planned.--Maria Unruh.

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Author:Unruh, Marla
Publication:Voice of Youth Advocates
Article Type:Young adult review
Date:Oct 1, 2017
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