Wednesday, April 27

Book Review: The Snow Fox

Author: Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
Title: The Snow Fox
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, War
Pages: 438
First Published: 2004
Where I Got It: Library

"Is one's fate created by the people one is lucky or unlucky enough to love? The Snow Fox raises this question as it brings to life three people who existed almost one thousand years ago in Japan. One of them is Lord Norimasa, whose highest love is to reunify his country and restore peace. The second is a member of his court, Lady Utsu, one of the supreme poetic geniuses of her time. She is also a woman renowned as the country's most beautiful woman, as famous for her cruelty as for her beauty and artistry. The third is Matsuhito, a samurai who apprentices himself to Lord Norimasa, and who, in time, becomes a legendary warrior.
When Matsuhito and Lady Utsu fall hopelessly in love, the lives of these three are forever changed. Separated by the warfare ravaging Japan, Matsuhito and Lady Utsu do no meet again until both of them have aged so greatly that they no longer recognize each other, their ecstatic and long-delayed reunion is shadowed by the caprices and cruelty of time, the transience of all living things, or what the Japanese call mono no aware."

This book was the first historical novel I read that was set in medieval Japan. I've read some contemporary set books set in Japan, but this was defiantly a first for me. At first I was a little unsure if I liked this book or not. However, I avoided judging until I read the last page and was done. I then let my mind think and work out what I just read. It was an amazing love story and one that will always stay with me. At first I was irritated with how the author wrote the story. She jumped to different points in time without warning. I would find myself absolutely confused and frustrated with the characters.

However, once I got to book two, I was absolutely in love with this book! I even loved how foreboding the book was, it warns you and give you so many clues to what's about to happen and how the book will end. You want to enjoy these and believe that everything will be okay. I wanted so badly for every character to find they're happy ending, but as we all know that that never happens. I will admit that I fell for Matsuhito. He's sort of the Japanese version of William Marshal from 'The Greatest Knight' by Elizabeth Chadwick. He's such a great guy! He's so loyal and perfect. (Spoiler coming) I was devastated that he died at the end, but it was romantic because he couldn't live without Lady Utsu and his son. (Spoiler done).
I hated how the author skipped around and how she plotted out the story. I would've preferred it running in a straight line, but I know she did it purposely. I loved the story and all the characters, even Lord Norimasa's psychotic wife. I loved how she used the foxes as the symbolism of the entire book. All-in-all, I found this a great story and if you love history like me, you'll enjoy this book. It shows you life of three historical figures in medieval Japan. It shows you a completely unique and misunderstood world. I do recommend that you give this book a shot. Out of 5 stars, I will grant this book 5 stars. It was 4.8, but since I don't do decimals I rounded up.


<3 Carole Rae


Unknown said...

Wow. I may have to find this book!!

Carole Rae said...

Yeah! You should give it a-go. It's a wonderful book. You'll enjoy it!

Lizzie said...

I have this one and I have tried to read it but I never made it to book two part. I hated how the dea with the baby, it made me to sad and mad to continue. I am glad you followed through to the end with it. Great review.

Carole Rae said...

Same here. I hated that part! I nearly put the book down, but I forced myself to continue. Someday you should give this book another chance.