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The Fox, by Sherwood Smith Book Review | SFReader.com
The Fox, by Sherwood Smith Genre: Fantasy Publisher: DAW Published: 2008 Review Posted: 6/9/2013 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
The Fox, by Sherwood Smith
Book Review by Joshua Palmatier
Have you read this book?
I finished The Fox, the second book in the Inda series
from Sherwood Smith, over the weekend. This is an epic fantasy novel on
the world-covering scale. My comments on the first novel were that it
was not a complete novel unto itself, that if you wanted the rest of the
story, you'd have to read on . . . and that's true for the sequel as
There were significant changes in the world and in the characters during the course of The Fox.
All of the relationships that were begun in the first book and then
ripped apart come back in significant ways in this novel, as the
political climate in Inda's homeland shifts and then dramatically
changes. All of the compatriots we met with Inda at the academy come
into play in some way. All of the boys and girls you grew to love grow
into their young adulthood here, making mistakes as they go, but also
beginning the roads they were meant to travel in life from birth.
Of course, as events transpire, not all of those roads end up being smooth.
We see Sponge learning how to wield power, Inda gathering more and more
friends and allies around him as he sails the high seas, and
increasingly both get drawn into the shifting politics of the world as
the Venn continue their efforts to seize more of the southern lands.
For the first time, we get to see some of the Venn point of view,
instead of only elusive ships on the horizon and rumors. But the main
focus for Inda and Sponge, at first, are the pirates the Venn have set
to ravaging the coast lands and interrupting trade. Most of the book
centers on this, as the power shifts back in Inda's homeland. But
having Inda run up and down the coast destroying pirates would soon get
boring, so of course Inda's plans need to change. Unaware of what's
happening at home, he sets his sights on the Venn instead, but for that
he'll need help. The second half of the book focuses on that search and
the gathering of information.
There's intrigue and action and betrayal and pirates, ARRR!, and lots of
sea battles, as well as subtle political maneuvering. The maneuvering
is at times hard to follow (I'm still having problems with the tons of
names and ranks, etc) but as before it doesn't really slow down the
understanding of the book at all to sort of skip over those. And you
can skip over those, because the reason you're reading is to experience
the world--which is deep and rich and so interconnected--and to live
life with the characters. They're who you care about. You're reading
to find out what happens to them. And with so many characters to
follow, the plot can get convoluted. It does, but Sherwood Smith's
writing doesn't mean that they're knotted or hard to follow. Quite the
opposite actually. There was one plot element that I felt was a little
too . . . rigged. It didn't quite fit as smoothly into the general flow
and felt contrived and perhaps a little too "accidental" for my tastes,
but in a book of this size, with this many elements going on at once,
that one little wrinkle is easy to ignore.
And now I need to know what happens in the next book. What happens to
Inda? And Fox? And . . . well, the list would go on for quite a while.
I'd recommend this book for anyone, at pretty much any age level.
There is fighting, and even a torture scene in this one, but nothing is
ever explicit and those at a younger age will read right over anything
leaning toward anything you'd be concerned about. Sherwood Smith
balances adult interest with young adult action excellently. Definitely
a series to check out if you're at all interested in pirates. *grin*
Click here to buy The Fox, by Sherwood Smith on Amazon