Den of the White Fox

Den of the White Fox

by Lensey Namioka
     
 

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Who is the White Fox? Is he merely the mysterious, charismatic leader of a doomed political rebellion? Or is he a powerful spirit, taking revenge on the occupying force that desecrated his shrine? And who-or what-shoves Zenta off a cliff on a dark and misty night? Two unemployed samurai in sixteenth-century feudal Japan find themselves engaged in an adventure

Overview

Who is the White Fox? Is he merely the mysterious, charismatic leader of a doomed political rebellion? Or is he a powerful spirit, taking revenge on the occupying force that desecrated his shrine? And who-or what-shoves Zenta off a cliff on a dark and misty night? Two unemployed samurai in sixteenth-century feudal Japan find themselves engaged in an adventure charged with trickery and political intrigue.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
Medieval Japan is the setting for this carefully researched historical novel recounting the adventures of two masterless samurai. Teen-aged Matsuzo and his slightly older teacher, Zenta, find themselves drawn into the problems of a poor but proud young woman and her trouble-prone younger brother. Plenty of action, with touches of humor and romance, accompany the heroes' efforts to discover the identity and motives of the mysterious White Fox. A helpful list of characters is included.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 UpAn intriguing blend of historical fiction and mystery that will be appreciated by fans of either genre. Freelance samurai Matsuzo and Zenta are warned that the valley they are about to enter is an "unwholesome place after dark." Rumors about a powerful spirit that haunts the area and the more tangible threat of an occupying army fail to dissuade the two, however, and they descend into the valley's depths. The place is rife with intrigue and the samurai establish an uneasy existence among the locals, ever unsure of who is friend and who is foe. As the plot unfolds, the two warriors attempt to solve the mystery of the White Fox, a shadowy figure who might be the leader of a political rebellion or a supernatural spirit. This extremely well-researched work gives readers a real sense of what life was like in 16th-century Japan. As a mystery, it is methodically planned and resolved with no loose ends. The characters are all well developed and interestingly drawn and YAs will be as unsure as the samurai about whom to trust. The language is challenging and includes some Japanese words. This novel will expose teens to a fascinating period in world history.Robyn Ryan Vandenbroek, formerly at Otterville Public School, Ontario
Kirkus Reviews
Set in 16th-century feudal Japan, a slow, uninvolving episode in the adventures of two wandering samurai previously met in Namioka's The Coming of the Bear (1992).

A mysterious figure in a white fox mask is fomenting rebellion in a misty, newly annexed valley—intending, it turns out, not to throw out the small occupying force, but to steal its payroll and leave the locals to their fate. Enter unemployed ronin (masterless samurai) Zenta and Matsuzo, who discover that they've been cleverly maneuvered only after helping with the heist, but do manage to recover the gold, thus saving the valley's residents from slaughter. The contrast between impulsive Matsuzo and his crafty, saturnine mentor Zenta plays as well as ever, but that's all that works here: The pace never picks up after the hookless, sluggish opening scene; readers expecting suspense, heroics, authentic atmosphere, or at least some action will come away disappointed; and the fleeting appearance of a second, possibly supernatural White Fox is as forced as the attraction that develops between Zenta and Kinu, daughter of a once-noble clan and the valley's secret jujitsu instructor. The criminal mastermind's escape at the end implies his return in future adventures, but the series is plainly running out of steam.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152012830
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
02/01/1997
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
4.24(w) x 6.92(h) x 0.53(d)
Lexile:
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

LENSEY NAMIOKA is the author of several books for children and young adults, including Ties That Bind, Ties That Break; Mismatch; and Half and Half. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

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