Scion of the Fox is the story of Roan Harken, a high school student in Winnipeg, who lives with her uncle and aunt in her grandmother’s house after her parents died in a car accident. Suddenly all sorts of odd things begin happening. A new student joins her class and when she looks at him she sees a disturbing vision of a rabbit. She sees a talking fox who wants to train her to save the world. Is she losing touch with reality or is reality not what it seems?

This is a fantasy novel, so clearly the latter. In Scion of the Fox we find an entirely new world, but one that is the one we live in today, only with the revelation of ancient magical people, the Denizens. We discover a rich mythology involving the ancient animal gods with great power who together protected society until slowly driven underground and into hiding by the spread of humans, or Mundanes as they are called.

Roan discovers she was marked from infancy as a sacrifice to another ancient, a magical monster who lives in the river and to whom a blood sacrifice is made every year to keep the monster from wreaking havoc with floods and storms. Can she find allies from the other denizens who will help her defeat this ancient power and end the practice of blood sacrifice?

Scion of the Fox is a great start to what I think will be an excellent fantasy series. I think the most important element in fantasy is world-building and Beiko gets it right. She starts where we are and takes us to a completely new and different creation myth with far different implications, but they make as much sense as the various creation mythologies of history and of today. I like the characters who have a good mix of “I can’t believe this is happening” and “I’m in to save the world” courage, the kind of courage that is natural to adolescence.

What I like best of Scion of the Fox is that it is not comparable to “Harry Potter” or “Lord of the Rings” or any other fantasy series I have read. I am eager to read more.

Scion of the Fox is the first in the fantasy series “The Realms of Ancient”