Curse of the Blood Fox – Sleepless
Reviewed by Julia Flowers writing as A. T. Weaver
Sleepless is the first of a trilogy by a first-time author. Hopefully she will finish the trilogy and go on to more books.
Sera Ashling is a graduate of the University of South Florida, with a B.A. in Creative Writing. She has an intense and disturbing love for fantasy and sci-fi anything, and thinks everyone else should too. Currently surviving by making fleece hats and selling them online, she spends the rest of her free time on manga, video games, and… writing, because she does that for work as well as play. She likes to focus on dialogue and character development in her stories, which range from young adult to adult and stay mostly in the speculative fiction genres.
I’m a bit confused as to what genre to call this book. Is it fantasy? Yes. Is it sci-fi? Yes. Is it a legend? Yes. What it isn’t, is boring. It has monsters, unicorns, enchanted swords, enchanted forests magic users, and almost anything else you’d want.
The story of the enchanted swords, Valentina and Phernando would make a good book all in its own.
If you are looking for a fast read, or a fluffy plot to pass the time, don’t start this book. It will take you into worlds you can only imagine. I’m generally a fast reader, but every word of this book needs to be relished.
What is a Blood Fox? This is a question I asked.
“No one knows the Blood Fox is actually Santo, a polite, introspective mercenary who avoids sleep whenever possible. She might look young and inexperienced, but looks can be deceiving, especially for one who is tormented by a curse that was meant to drive her mad over a century ago… and it hasn’t entirely failed. The truth is that Santo is only interested in answers. Who cursed her? Why? She has only hazy memories, and no leads.”
I’ll admit, it gets a bit bloody for my personal taste at times, but if you like sword fights and magic, this is for you.
“Our bandits were perhaps starting to realize that they had bitten off more than they could chew. It was still hard to individualize them until they attacked, but one did stand out; he was tall, and there was stubble on his chin sticking out from below his mask. He was shouting orders to circle back and regroup. He might have been the leader, but there was only one way to be sure. I snaked forward through the crowd, knocking stray swords away with my own, and swung at him when I was within a couple feet. He only just managed to dodge, but Valentina still bit sweetly into his side. A desperate lunge from one of his fellow bandits jarred me and sent my sword flying into the dirt.
The man cried out, and it was like I had disrupted a beehive. Bodies swung around and swarmed close, pushing me back as he stumbled into them. I retreated, only Phernado in hand, trying to find a safe place amid the flashing blades.
Suddenly something flat and hard pressed against my back. I almost turned and swung, but I heard a familiar chuckle that told me Traken was there and I let out a shaky breath. It was strange fighting alongside someone else.”
Admittedly, there are probably places where the author could have tightened the story a bit without losing the overall thread, but I’m not sure how.
Often, a story’s end is obvious from the beginning. A lot of the ‘fun’ of a story, is in getting to the end. I was not able to see where the author was going. The end came as a big surprise.
I’m looking forward to the next chapter in the lives of Santo and Traken.
The author can be found at: