Mands's Reviews > The Violet Fox

The Violet Fox by Clare C. Marshall
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's review
Oct 28, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: blog-tour, for-review, fantasy, paranormal, ebook, october-2012-release, i-have-a-copy, review-on-the-blog, ya-lit
Read from October 09 to 12, 2012

The Violet Fox by Clare M. Marshall is set in the fictional land of Marlenia. Kiera Driscoll is a fifteen year old Freetor. She and her people live underground in a series of tunnels and caverns, forced to do so after the war between them and the ruling Marlenians. The war ended two hundred years ago but the hated between the two races is still strong today. Living with Kiera’s group are The Elders, they are able to wield magic and this both frightens and entices the Marlenians who have never been able to do the same. Keira is a Fighter, along with her older brother, Rordan, and best friend, Laoise. Being a Fighter means going above ground, stealing food from the Marlenian merchants and rescuing enslaved Freetors whenever possible. Kiera always goes dressed as the Violet Fox and enjoys taunting the Marlenian guards. One day she meets Prince Keegan and she is about to be captured and taken to the castle dungeons but she manages to escape, injuring Keegan in the process. That same day she is called by The Elders and told of a new mission: impersonate a noblewoman, enter the castle as part of Prince Keegan’s name-day celebrations then locate and steal back a Freetor tome containing information about their magic. Kiera accepts and sets off for the castle. But not everything is as it seems and soon Kiera will be questioning her loyalty.

I was contacted by author, Clare, to see if I wanted to take part in the blog tour for her book, The Violet Fox. The cover immediately had me interested as I liked the old-fashioned look as well as the gorgeous illustration. I’m really glad I accepted because I enjoyed this book a lot! It has mystery, action, romance, strong world building and bonus points for no insta-love and no love-traingles!

From the first page I was drawn into Kiera’s world. It’s just like any other day for her; she is above ground, attempting to steal from the Marlenians, alongside Rowan and Laoise. (I imagined the opening scene to look like the market scene in Aladdin when they all sing One Jump Ahead, only Kiera doesn’t have a monkey for a side kick!) But unlike most days the Prince is in the market area and she cannot pass up an opportunity to attack his carriage in the hope of killing him. Things don’t go to plan but luckily for Kiera, Rordan is always watching out for her. Kiera is brave, cunning and a little bit reckless. She likes the attention she gets when she wears her Violet Fox mask and cape and enjoys her life as a Fighter. She is willing to do whatever it takes to help her people and she accepts her mission immediately and I admired her for that.

Kiera enters the castle impersonating a noblewoman from the North. She is pretty sure she has her mind made about Prince Keegan but on her first night in the castle the discussion turns to Freetors and he shows compassion when others at the dinner speak with hatred. While voicing her opinions she catches Keegan’s attention and it’s clear that he is taken with her, not only because she’s beautiful but because unlike the other ladies, she is willing to speak her mind. I really enjoyed the way their relationship develops, it felt very realistic. Kiera doesn’t fall in love with Keegan right away as she hates him for being Marlenian, for having so much while she and her people have so little, but he is so kind and interested in her opinions and wants to get to know her that soon her feelings are conflicted.

I never doubted Kiera or Keegan’s actions but there were other characters that made me intensely curious, mostly Rordan and Advisor Ferguson. Both of them had me guessing the whole way through and I was surprised by both of them.

Being a fantasy story there was a good amount of detail regarding the setting, the food, and the clothing but it was never overdone or boring. I enjoyed picturing the world that Clare created and I felt like she’d done adequate research particularly in making sure that the Freetors could survive underground due to the moss growing in the caverns, not just having to rely on stolen bread and fruit.

There was also a message about forgiveness - the hatred between the Freetors and Marlenians felt like a direct comparison to our world, the fact that the prejudice is passed down through the generations and both sides are not willing to look past their differences or forget the past.

Lately I have not been enjoying drama-filled books, particularly when the drama has no real purpose, so I was really pleased when I kept thinking “Oh no, this is going to cause major drama” only to find my guess was been wrong and instead the characters handled things really well. There were many instances where I thought something typical was going to occur and when it didn't, I was surprised and impressed.

The Violet Fox is an intriguing blend of fantasy, mystery, romance, magic and action and I for one can’t wait for book two!

Thanks to Clare for offering me a place in the blog tour!
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