Fox Tales Anthology by Dee Carey
The Fox Tales Anthology by Dee Carey is a two novel anthology that revamps stories of King Arthur, Merlin and the Druids, but the author puts her own spin on these legends. I’m going to give my overall thoughts on the writing and stories and then discuss the two books separately.
Overall, the writing was okay. There was a lot of purple prose, and I got the feeling the author was trying to make the writing sound older, but it mostly fell flat. It was easy to read, and I finished the book in only a couple days, just from reading the book at night, before bed. My only other general complaint is that these stories are told from almost every single character’s perspective at one time or another. It would have been preferable if the author just used the third person omniscient instead of constantly hopping from character to character. Most of the time the change was noted, but I found a few instances of head hopping that I had to reread.
Now for the first book, Mark of the Fox.
While I love hearing new takes on King Arthur and Merlin, I could not connect with any of the characters. I found Ryan to be a petulant, annoying and spoiled child. He doesn’t want to be king, only the best falconer in the kingdom so he doesn’t have to listen to anyone. I didn’t see him as a hero at all. He’s constantly whining and thinking only of himself. It’s not until Claret is dying that he decides to put aside his own plans and follow his Ordination and rule. And Claret. While I found her interesting, she only had sex with Ryan at first because she was in heat. The feelings change later, but she’s always running off and doing her thing. The villain wasn’t very villainy at all, as she had a change of heart halfway through the story after Merlin left her and she decides to be a good guy. I had hoped for heightened anger, maybe declarations of war, but the stakes just weren’t high enough.
The second book, The Fox and the Swan, had many of the same problems.
I didn’t particularly like any of the characters, although the evil was a bit more substantial this time and the characters faced more problems. It was still too easy for them to vanquish evil; all of the people they needed appeared as if by magic. The other issue I had, was when Tag was turned into a fox, everyone immediately, mysteriously knew who he was, which didn’t make sense, especially when the first character to recognize him was portrayed as a simpleton. I did enjoy Tag and Fionna’s love. That seemed to blossom fairly naturally over the course of the years. Overall, the story was okay, just lacking suspense.
Since both of these books have the same issues, I’ll be rating them as one.
My Rating: 2.5/5
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If you want to purchase this book, it’s free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, or $2.99 on Amazon.