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Kitsune-Tsuki by Laura V Baugh


by Laura V Baugh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Kitsune Tales (Book 1)

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In Kitsune-Tsuki, Tsurugu no Kiyomori has been hired by the daimyou, Naka no Yoritomo, to protect his new bride from a Kitsune, a fox spirit. In Japanese folktales, a Kitsune like the coyote spirit in Native American myths; the fox spirit is a mischievous or a trickster. At the beginning of the story, Tsurugu appears to be a skeptic when dealing with the peasants in the story. The peasants are superstitious and beat a young girl who they believe is possessed by a fox spirit. This is one of a few red-herrings within the tale. Twists abound, the mystery deepens; is there really a kitsune plaguing the the daimyou’s household? Will Tsurugu and his partner find the Kitsune?
I really enjoyed this story. It is full of interesting characters and is set in an interesting country. I haven’t read a lot of stories set in Japan; therefore, I was not familiar with the Japanese terms and titles used in the story. As another reviewer has suggested, I would definitely recommend locating a good source to find the correct definitions of the terms such as daimyou. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for further stories written by the author, Laura Baugh. ( )
  slimy07 | Sep 25, 2013 |
(Disclaimer: Received this book through Goodreads Giveaways/First Reads program. Review was first published there on 10/23/12)

Wonderful read. I enjoyed this immensely. Even though it was a shorter piece, I didn't feel short-changed. The two main characters were very human and understandable, and the Asian influence and language was not an impediment in any way in my opinion.

The ending was a surprise, definitely not what I was anticipating, which is always a happy event. When you have a character you like and believe you know, if they do something truly unforeseen then you feel almost betrayed. But this was in a good way, taking into account artistic license.

So, the writing style was very agreeable, characters believable and likeable, Asian feel of the piece not overdone and still had the right amount of "foreign" feel to it. All in all, my only "complaint" was that I would have liked a longer story with even more development/further adventures. If the protagonist and this setting were to appear in a series of stories or novels, I'd be very pleased.

I'm glad to have read this story and hope to see more and longer works from this author in the future. ( )
  wolfjack | Jun 2, 2013 |
I like the context (japanese, legends, animals and nature) very much. The scenario is also a nice one. I would just have wanted more of them! The twist in the end is good, but lacks an explanation, an epilogue... Something that would open to a possible story in the future, or one from the past.
All in all, a good read, makes one want to read more from the author!

Published in: http://www.amazon.com/review/R21SWD1KSE6P9K/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm ( )
  valcas | Apr 27, 2013 |
I won this novella through LibraryThing's Member Giveaways, and since I had just read Yamada Monogatari it seemed like a natural next read.

In keeping with my confusion over what "Monogatari" meant, I expected "Tsuki" to mean "story" or something along those lines. But it doesn't. It's not a literary term at all, at least according to my limited search: it means "punch" or "thrust". Perhaps it refers to the twist in the tale, which ought to come as a shock equivalent to a kendo attack. Because there certainly was a twist. Of sorts.

As the synopsis says, Tsurugu no Kiyomori is a sort of magic-using private eye, hired to protect a warlord's new bride from a kitsune (often malicious fox spirit) they believe is near, and threatening. Kitsune can and often do take human shape in order to work mischief (and worse), and it could be anyone – or no one. And – again, as the synopsis says – a PI in ancient Japan doesn't have the leeway a classic American gumshoe would, since a mistaken accusation against, say, the bride herself could end in very ugly, very painful, possibly very fatal results.

Tsurugu is partnered – against his will – with a warrior named Shishio Hitoshi, who makes up in grit and determination what he lacks in magic. They become a good team, until they aren't any longer, and that's the problem I had with this story. I'll come back to that. It was well done, with several factors that made it both a very good and a very bad followup to Yamada Monogatari - there were surprising similarities (which is why it was both good and bad). I'm not in any way suggesting anything hinky about either book – just surprise at a superficial resemblance. This is a quick tale (wouldn't it be fun to write stories about kitsune in sets of three? Three tales? Geddit??) which encompasses a pair of mysterious twins, a dog hunt (which was, I felt, an unnecessarily ugly scene, but at least it was not graphic or detailed), and a beautiful bride who may not be what she is supposed to be.

The twist in the tail tale was very much a surprise, and so was effective in that way – but it was so very close to the end of the novella that I think I was still thinking "What … just happened here?" when I hit the last sentence. With the fast pace of the story, it felt like flying along on a bobsled, hitting a wall, and continuing to fly along without the benefit of the sled for a while until I came to a spinning stop several yards away. (This would be one of those rare times I wish I knew where to find a gif that would illustrate that better.) Once I stopped blinking in surprise, I think I was just unhappy about the whole thing. It was clever – I just didn't like it.

But, to end this at least on a positive note, I do love kitsune. I love that the fox-as-trickster trope is as strong in Japan as it is in Native American lore. I love that the creatures can be malice personified or merely mischievous, can fall in love with human and be willing to kill anyone else. They're a fascinating class of being, and it's fun to see them as much as I have lately. And they have three tails – how cool is that? ( )
  Stewartry | Mar 9, 2013 |
  realalondra45 | Jan 3, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laura V Baughprimary authorall editionscalculated
Irwin, AmandaPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jonsson, JessIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Potter, R.H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To all those who asked me to dedicate a book to them- here it is. But mostly, to my family and the Author.
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Tsurugu no Kiyomori bowed low over the polished floor.
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Book description
Kitsune Tales is a series of stories rooted in traditional Japanese folklore, set in magical historical Japan. For lovers of historical fiction or Asian mythology, Kitsune Tales offers delightful reads.  [retrieved 8/22/17 from Amazon.com]
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