Scion of the Fox (The Realms of Ancient book one) by Samantha Beiko

Disclaimer: I received a free eARC via NetGalley in return for an honest review!

Scion of the FoxSamantha Beiko has managed to create an incredible adventure that is full of emotion, strength, passion, tension & power. The rep in this book for POC and the disabled is brilliant & there were some lines about disability that really resonated with me. I’m incredibly excited for the rest of this series!

This review contains some very minor spoilers!

Scion of the Fox opens with a chilling & fascinating prologue that pulls you straight into the story; we are confronted with the body of a dead girl and the protagonist saying that “[she] knew [the] body was meant for [her] to find” & that “[she’s] next.” Immediately I was pulled into the story, & I became even more entranced as the story went on.

The main character of this adventure is a 17-year-old orphaned girl called Roan. Roan’s life has been one upheaval after another ever since her parents died in a car accident when she was a small child. The most recent upheaval in Roan’s life occurred when her estranged grandmother fell into a deep coma & ordered Roan & her guardians, aunt Deedee & uncle Arnas, to live in her home whilst she lived out the end of her life, via a pre-written solicitors letter.

The main plot itself gets going fairly quickly when a garden statue is mysteriously smashed during the night – this one, small event pulls Roan into a terrifying night that nearly takes her life & leaves her with an unending amount of questions about herself & her family. The plot keeps up a fast pace throughout & is full of humour, emotion, tension & excitement. There are several unexpected turns in this book &, judging by the curious ending, there is no doubt in my mind that the sequel will be full of just as many twists & turns as Scion of the Fox.

One of this book’s many great qualities is the fantastic rep for minority groups – there are people of several different races & some disabled characters as well. Being disabled myself it felt wonderful to be introduced to the two characters in the book who have experienced a disabled life & there were some wonderful quotes that really resonated with me. The first was this;

The plan was to wear my disability like a badge, to show people I didn’t care. But after adjusting the patch in the mirror every morning before school, I’d inevitably cover it with my messy auburn hair. It took less energy to hide it than to own it.

These lines appeared at 2% & gave me a lot of faith in the author & the book very early on – I relate to this quote massively, despite the fact that Roan’s disability is very different from mine. Roan’s character continued to feel very real to me when I read the following lines;

I wanted it badly enough to put the eye patch on every day, to tutor lazy idiots on their shitty papers, and steer any cruelty or pity, intended or otherwise, into the immense vortex caused by my convincing and well-practiced Brave Face

I loved the “intended or otherwise” line as it highlights that people can be ableist without even realising & this is such an important issue, especially in my life.

Additionally. there was one other quote that I really wanted to mention in my blog review;

White girl from the wealthy suburbs forced to save the world. Not like Natti hasn’t heard that story before

This quote comes along later on in the book & is thought by Natti, a girl from a totally different background than Roan & I was so impressed when I read it – this is probably a thought a lot of POC who read have & I thought it was cool that it was included… although admittedly the author could have just had a character more like Natti as the MC. The quote does help us understand Natti a lot though, & I personally really liked her & her family. We didn’t learn as much about her & her past, but did get a few hints, in Scion of the Fox so I hope we get a bit more about her in the sequel.

As well as a great plot & fab disability rep this book also introduced me to my favourite animal character; Sil. Sil is a sassy fox full of wisdom & attitude & she made me laugh on more than one occasion. She’s definitely my favourite character in the book & it would be fab to have a novella all about the journey she was on before the book was set.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book & I’m so buzzed that I was able to review it before it’s release, I gave it a 5/5 on GoodReads & I’m super excited for the sequel. Unfortunately the book doesn’t seem to be up for preorder just yet but as soon as it is I’ll post a link! For now though, I encourage you to follow Samantha on Twitter for any updates!

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