Storm Moon Press - The Ronin and the Fox - Illustrated Untitled Page

The Ronin and the Fox - Illustrated

Cornelia Grey

Out of Print

We are proud to present The Ronin and the Fox as Storm Moon Press' first illustrated release! Includes six original illustrations by Alice G!

In addition, we have authorized a limited print run of 500 print copies, hand-numbered and with signed bookplates from the author!


In feudal Japan, Kaede Hajime lives as a vagabond ronin, a samurai without a lord. As he spends the night at a village's inn, the innkeeper begs him to help stop a mischievous kitsune, a fox spirit, plaguing their village. But when he captures the spirit—in the form of a hauntingly beautiful man—Hajime learns that the kitsune has troubles of his own. The pearl that contains the fox's soul has been stolen, leaving him a slave to the new owner, who is forcing him to attack the village.

Hajime agrees to help the fox retrieve the jewel, but living with a fox spirit isn't easy, and the budding trust between them is constantly tested. Kitsune are tricksters above all, and Hajime must decide how much of the story the fox tells him is truth. What's worse, an old comrade of Hajime's is in town, bringing with him the sour memories of Hajime's time as a samurai. Hajime must find a way to locate the thief and steal back the jewel before the thief turns the kitsune's considerable power against him.

Hajime flexed his fingers, trying to warm them up, before resting them on his katana. The night air was cool. Gravel crunched too loudly under his boots as he walked across the village's alleys.

He'd been patrolling the town for three nights, and still nothing. During the daytime, he'd explored the bamboo forest surrounding the village, setting a number of traps between the tall bamboo stalks where the ground appeared recently trampled. He'd spoken to several villagers, alerting them of his intentions and giving them instructions on how to behave at night. He was sure they would obey. No one would dare disobey the orders of a samurai, and even though he wasn't exactly... any longer... Damn. They would listen to him, and that was enough.

Hajime had never before met a fox spirit. The trickster spirits haunted houses and villages, stealing food and whatever tickled their fancies from the inhabitants. They could shift shape as they pleased, possess people, and ensnare a man's mind with their charms and illusions. Hajime had heard that they could change a field into a kingdom or a cave into a sumptuous palace. They could create pockets in reality and trap a man there for years if they so chose. Hajime fingered the deep red silk ribbon securely fastened around his right wrist. He'd received it from Tanaka-san. The man claimed a priest had blessed it years before, and that it would grant Hajime protection against the fox's enchantments. Hajime hoped he was right. He was not keen on losing his mind and spending the next decade frolicking in a cave at the mercy of some horrific spirit.

The sharp sound of a bell broke the quiet. Hajime stilled, every muscle tense, and listened. It came again, a single silvery sound somewhere in the alleys to his right, and then a loud, jingling noise cascaded through the night, dozens of bells tumbling to the ground. In an instant Hajime was running, the thrill of the chase sizzling and burning in his veins. He'd tied strings of bells up all around the village, in the hidden passages he'd pinpointed between roofs and back alleys, and summoned his powers of intimidation to order the citizens to keep indoors at night. The fox must have stumbled across one of the strings and snapped it. It was incredibly careless of a spirit, but Hajime had been counting on the fox feeling so assured in its supremacy over the village that it lowered its guard.

He'd been lucky. He knew he wouldn't have a second chance.

A small vulpine shape caught his eye, shifting quickly from shadow to shadow. As he watched, it hopped onto a cart and then jumped to a roof and set out running, betrayed by the moonlight.

5 - Joe at Man Oh Man Reviews
"Ms. Grey has once again proven why I am a fan of hers with her vivid descriptions, crisp dialogue, likeable characters and fun world that she has created. I loved the samurai setting and the paranormal twist that was thrown in. From the first sentence the reader is sucked in, stopping only when they reach the end. It is evident that Ms. Grey has grown as a story teller from the last story of hers that I read, and her strengths are only getting stronger. I am excited to see what further adventures Ms. Grey takes her readers on."

5 - Cole at The Armchair Reader
"The balance between the relationship and the mystery of the evil plaguing the village was done really well. Much of the story is focused on the relationship, but they're both cleverly interrelated because their relationship is measured by how they work together to save the kitsune's soul and save the village.... I admired the fact that the pacing and development worked so hand in hand. I was completely satisfied with the outcome of the relationship and they were also sexy as hell."

5 - Alex at Between the Covers
"A passionate, heart-felt story, this will especially appeal to readers who like Japanese mythologies, mischievous spirits, and honorable samurai. While the cover and title caught my eye (and perfectly represent the story told within), the pages within didn't let me down. I was quickly drawn in by the serious ronin and the playful kitsune and the troubles they find themselves in and their struggles to trust one another."

4 - Darien at Pants Off Reviews
"I am so delighted by this story you have no freaking idea. At first, it was somewhat slow for me, but then I pushed on and in no time I couldn't stop reading. It was entertaining, sexy as feck, and filled with exciting Japanese folklore.... I am happy the author shied away from being completely accurate with histories and such. That would have just bored the feck out of me. I think it was meant to be about opposites attracting, and what's more opposite than a samurai and a fox. I enjoyed reading this fun little tale, it made me smile."

4 - Melanie at Joyfully Jay
"I liked the characters of Hajime and Katsura. Hajime is a person who, having achieved his goal of being a samurai, finds himself a round peg trying to fit into a square hole. He's kind, a man of honor who doesn't do well with authority and just wants to help people. Definitely not samurai material. Katsura is a long-lived kitsune but still retains his impulsiveness and folly of youth. It is due to his own stupidity and gluttony that his pearl was stolen. How can you not love a spirit who is his own worst enemy? They are the best part of this story."

4 - Jana Denardo
"I loved this. I thought Hajime and Katsura were well drawn characters and while I'm not quite as expert on feudal Japan as some of my friends, I thought the historical bits were well done. The plot kept me enraptured, the sex is hot and I found myself wanting to know what adventures next await these two (or at least, I hope there may be more adventures down the road)."

4 - WhiteDaisy at Confessions from Romaholics
"I really enjoyed the atmosphere between Hajime and Katsura.... The last battle for the fox-spirit was epic and enjoyable. In general, I really enjoyed this fantasy storyline, it reminded me a bit of anime Inuyasha. It was well developed, had good dialog and a happy ending."

Length

32,000 words
85 pages

Release Date

Book Type

Novella

Categories

Gay

ISBN

978-1-937058-58-6 (print)
978-1-937058-32-6 (ebook)

Cover Art

Nathie Block

Keywords

M/M, historical, fantasy, feudal japan