Book Review: Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox


38346972Tsumiko inherits an ancestral home, a vast fortune, and a butler who isn’t exactly human. 

Humanity is rocked by the Emergence of a people who call themselves the Amaranthine. They are our myths and legends come to life. Neither human nor animal, yet embracing qualities of both, the inhuman races inspire both awe and fear. Every newsfeed is clogged with updates about the peace process, but some places don’t concern themselves with worldly affairs. Like the girls’ school run by Saint Midori’s of the Heavenly Lights, where Tsumiko Hajime grew up.

A letter from a long-lost aunt names Tsumiko heiress to an ancestral estate and its accompanying fortune. Only the legacy comes with an aloof heirloom: an inhuman butler. Argent has served the Hajime family for centuries, and Tsumiko must renew the generational bond or he’ll die. Argent hates her for the hold she has over him, but he craves her soul almost as much as he craves his freedom.

Note: I have nothing but love for this book, series and author So. Yeah my bias is apparent.

Review – Having had Forthy’s fanfic writing in my life since my early 20s, this leap into original fiction was well done.

Echoes of familiarity will pluck at attentive fans as several pieces are adapted from her popular fics. Hisoka-sensei being the most obvious, but the story pace and the telling of it are far better indicators.

Tsumiko is passive at first – having lived her whole life in a secluded school (Saint Midori’s) first as a student and later as a teacher, she had no reason to expect that would change. And yet….well fate has a way of finding ways for all of us to be useful in much more interesting ways.

Argent, both by virtue of inhabiting several of my favorite character traits as well as being who he is, was a lot of fun. Of the Fox Amaranthine clans, he is as scornful and mischievous and frustrating as he is elegant and caring and resourceful.

There is much in this Tale which is not pretty. There’s a sort of…dark undertone that while never graphically shown is frequently spoken of in regards to just how far beings will go in cruelty when they have the power to do so and the knowledge its against someone powerless to prevent it.

Rape is discussed, as well physical abuses and emotional abuses. Again not graphically, but the emotional (and physical) consequences are part of the story.

While some of the world confused me, by in large I really enjoyed the world built here. Because of Tsumiko’s seclusion we are introduced as she is, giving readers a chance to catch up as she has to. In some cases this is vexing – I’m still hazy on much of Amaranthine political structuring. In others it’s fascinating as Forthy blended many different myths, legends, original ideas and fact to create some unique customs.

This is a slow burn story of acceptance, respect, love, and understanding. Tsumiko is not perfect nor is Argent always in the right despite his situation. They both have to learn to let go of preconceptions or expectations.

Want to Know More?

Published by: Twinkle Press
Release: February 22, 2018
Series: The Amaranthine Saga Book 1
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Connect with Forthy: Twitter | Goodreads | Website


Lexie Words

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